May 27, 2022

Christina Claassen, Marketing & PR Manager
Whatcom Museum
(360) 778-8936

Summer of Sound at the Whatcom Museum

This summer, the Whatcom Museum is hosting a variety of exhibits and programs that celebrate music and sound. The public is invited to see two historic music exhibits at Old City Hall, attend a free chamber music concert with musicians from the Bellingham Festival of Music, and bring kids to the Family Interactive Gallery for Saturdays with the Symphony.

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

“The Scene” presents a timeline of the styles, musicians and venues that helped put Bellingham on the “music map” between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Photographs, instruments, concert posters and other items from the Museum’s collection are on display.

“Bellingham was the perfect place if you wanted to be inventive because it’s so supportive; the people who want to do their own thing and not have to worry about what people think...a perfect little microcosm of so many elements coming together,” said Jon Auer, co-founder of The Posies, in a 2022 interview.

The Museum is also featuring a selection of colorful, historic concert posters from the collection in "Not One of the Boys," created by Bonnie MacLean in San Francisco during the mid-1960s. Her psychedelic art borrowed from Art Nouveau styles, but she also created 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.

In addition to these music exhibits, the Museum is excited to present a new summer series, Saturdays with the Symphony, in collaboration with the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra and the Bellingham Festival of Music. This series focuses on kid-friendly performances the first Saturday of each month at the Family Interactive Gallery inside the Lightcatcher building. Participants will meet a musician, hear them play, and participate in a related art activity.

"It is a fabulous and fun way to introduce kids to the instruments that make up an orchestra," said Gail Ridenour, Executive Director of the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra.

The program will feature Bellingham Symphony Orchestra guitarist Daniel Bolshoy on June 4, Bellingham Festival of Music cellist Anne McCafferty on July 2, and Bellingham Symphony Orchestra concertmaster and violinist Dawn Posey on August 6. The programs take place from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. and are included with admission and free to Museum members.

The Museum is also partnering with the Bellingham Festival of Music to offer a free chamber concert in the Rotunda Room of Old City Hall on Friday, July 22, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. The Festival of Music is the only summer festival in the region built around a virtuoso orchestra. Composed of outstanding musicians from major symphonies of North America, its mission is to make exceptional classical music accessible to everyone in the community.

Learn More

“The Scene: A Journey Through Bellingham’s Musical Past,” which opened May 21 and "Not One of the Boys: The Psychedelic Posters of Bonnie MacLean," which opened May 14 are both on exhibit through November 20, 2022 at Old City Hall. For more information about these exhibitions visit For a schedule of Summer of Sound events and details on Saturdays with the Symphony visit

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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