September 13, 2022

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

Three New Exhibitions Open Saturday September 10 at the Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Showing through January 8, 2023 at the Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building 

Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art

In this exhibition, contemporary artists employ animal imagery to address humanity’s interconnectedness and ever-changing relationship with the natural world. Comprising of approximately 50 artworks traveling exclusively from the permanent collection of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY, this exhibition offers a wide range of works in a variety of media divided into four thematic sections: Tradition, Politics, Science, and Aesthetics. These sections act as overlapping chapters, investigating the ways we use animal imagery to tackle human concerns. 

Generous support provided by Art Bridges, Heritage Bank, Jean Andresen, and ArtsWA.

Andrea Joyce Heimer: Holy Mountain

Shown for the first time at the Whatcom Museum, this group of autobiographical paintings by Andrea Joyce Heimer reflects on states of loneliness, both in herself and in others. Over the course of the pandemic, the artist spent many hours in nature—as much as she once did in childhood. Having grown up in Montana, she is familiar with land that stretches out in all directions under a big sky and where pine-covered mountains skirt brutally desolate badlands. Now a resident in Washington, where the impenetrable terrain emits a different kind of claustrophobic loneliness, the ferns, moss, mushrooms, and trees of this place make their way into her work. A multitude of encounters and experiences unfold through the varied painted scenes.

New to the Collection: Carl Chew

In 2020, Seattle artist Carl Chew donated four new prints and a tapestry to the Museum collection. Chew has long studied the world through an absurdist lens. Known primarily for his “mail art” and collage, in 2019 the artist decided to apply his wild imagination to our regional landscape. The resulting imagery feels immediately familiar, and upon further inspection, also highly produced. The symmetry and cathedral-like compositions begin to become clearer. These works beg the question, how do we as humans respond to nature, understand nature, and organize it for our own spiritual and aesthetic consumption?

        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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