May 2, 2022

Christina Claassen, Marketing & PR Manager
Whatcom Museum
(360) 778-8930

New Exhibits at the Whatcom Museum Highlight Indigenous Communities, Local Music History

Four new exhibits are opening this month at the Whatcom Museum. At the Lightcatcher building, the Museum will bring awareness to Native issues. The REDress Project will honor Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and People through an installation in the Courtyard, on display May 5 – 15. Additionally, a photo installation by Duwamish artist Jac Trautman, “Doorways,” will be on display in the Lightcatcher entryway beginning May 7.

At Old City Hall, two music exhibitions will showcase the art of music, as well as Bellingham’s local music history. "Not One of the Boys: The Psychedelic Posters of Bonnie MacLean," opens May 14, and “The Scene: A Journey Through Bellingham’s Musical Past” opens May 21, with both on exhibit through November 20.

Honoring Indigenous People

The REDress Project, co-presented with Whatcom Community College Native staff and sponsored by Jair Furnas, will feature red dresses on display in the Lightcatcher Courtyard, representing the thousands of Native women, men, children and non-binary people who go missing or are murdered each year. The original REDress Project by artist and Métis Nation member Jaime Black began in Winnipeg in 2011 to draw attention to crime against Aboriginal women in Canada. The project has since spread to the U.S. and calls attention to the lack of reporting, data and justice for Native American women.

According to a study by the Urban Indian Health Institute, Washington State has the second highest number of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and a study by We R Native shows that Native women face murder rates 10 times above the national average. The Museum hopes to bring attention to this issue and is offering free visitation into the lobby and Courtyard to see the installation and watch videos related to the topic.

The Museum also brings back the unique artistic work of Duwamish photographer Jac Trautman with a new display called “Doorways.” In 2021, Trautman presented a series of seven photographs taken as a single exposure with multiple projected images contained within. The works drew attention to the concepts of splitting and projection and their role in the history of interactions with the colonizer and the colonized. This spring Trautman will exhibit four new large-scale photographs in the Museum’s Lightcatcher entry hall.

Music History at the Museum

From string bands on steamboats in the 1890s to alternative/indie rock bands today, for more than 100 years Bellingham’s music scene has embraced genres ranging from folk to classical to rock and roll and beyond. The Museum’s upcoming exhibition, “The Scene: A Journey Through Bellingham’s Musical Past,” will present a timeline of the styles, musicians and venues that helped put Bellingham on the “music map” between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Photos, instruments, concert posters and other items from the Museum’s collection will be displayed at Old City Hall.

While keeping in tune to the music theme, the Museum will also feature a selection of colorful, historic concert posters from the collection in "Not One of the Boys: The Psychedelic Posters of Bonnie MacLean." MacLean created psychedelic art posters in San Francisco during the mid-1960s, borrowing from Art Nouveau styles, but also creating her own designs with elaborate plumes, curving letters and stoic faces. While she wasn’t recognized among male poster artists during her time, she stood out as one of the only women in the field.

Visiting the Exhibitions

The REDress Project will be on display May 5 – 15, 2022 in the Lightcatcher Courtyard during the Museum’s open hours and will be free to view. “Doorways: Photographs by Jac Trautman” will be on display in the Museum’s Lightcatcher entry hall May 5 – August 21, 2022.

“The Scene: A Journey Through Bellingham’s Musical Past” will be on exhibit May 21 – November 20, 2022 and "Not One of the Boys: The Psychedelic Posters of Bonnie MacLean" will be on exhibit May 14 – November 20, 2022, both at Old City Hall. For more information about these exhibitions visit our upcoming exhibitions.

For media inquiries contact:
Christina Claassen, Marketing & PR Manager, Whatcom Museum
360.778.8936 |

About the Whatcom Museum: 
The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., offers a variety of exhibitions, programs, tours and activities about art, nature and Northwest history for all ages. Its multi-building campus is in the heart of Bellingham's downtown Arts District. The Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora St., and Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St., are open Thursdays – Sundays, Noon – 5 PM. For more information about our exhibitions and admission visit

The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today. 

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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