Bellingham is the place for outstanding art hailing biodiversity!

A melancholy, but lovely celebration of biodiversity is on display at the Whatcom Museum of Bellingham, WA.  “Endangered Species:  Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity” is a melancholy exhibit because it laments our era of rapid mass extinction of flora and fauna.  Some pieces, including a great auk skeleton — constructed from bones of chickens raised inhumanely on industrial farms — are an expression of anguish over recently extinct animals, and how we still treat other creatures.  But there is also a tremendous shout-out to the beauty that still thrives in this world.

Several Andy Warhol prints on display, including this rhino

From Audubon and Warhol to More Recent Prodigies

Some of the artists exhibited, ranging from the birder John James Audubon (who shot and stuffed birds and painted them with water colors inside his studio — I didn’t know that) to Andy Warhol (who produced prints for environmental charities), are world famous.  Others are up and coming, including Tom Uttech, another birder saluting 300 species of birds around Ontario in a fantasy piece called “I Don’t Want to Part with It.”

In one multimedia sculpture there is a noble wolf half turned into a pelt, but still half alive; in another Chris Jordan provides hypnotic circles in colored pencil depicting 213,000 bees, supposedly equal to the number of pounds of toxic chemical pesticides applied to plants and soil around the world every 20 minutes (“Round Up”).

Tom Uttech, “I Don’t Want to Part with It.”

More details and getting there

More details on the exhibit, with some provocative photos, are found here; it runs through January 6th, 2019 Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5:00 PM.  And for the same general admission ($10) if you can stomach more melancholy beauty, you receive admission to a related exhibition in a separate historic building (the old Bellingham City Hall) on The Elephant in the Room”:  The Allure of Ivory and its Tragic Legacy.”  

Downtown Bellingham is a bit of a drive (or relatively easy, view-filled train ride) from Seattle, and there are other ways to plan your visit to the Whatcom museum in downtown Bellingham — so visit and learn a great deal while enjoying stimulating, meaningful works by emerald artists!

More historic of the two Whatcom Museum buildings, a stone’s throw away from each other