Events this weekend at the Whatcom Museum allow a free or reduced-price look at current exhibits, plus crafts and activities linked to both Groundhog Day and to the new exhibit of Chicano art.
Una Comunidad de Diversión, one of the museum's regular activity days of events aimed at families, is tied to the museum's newest exhibit, "Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection," which is showing through March 24.
"It's Chicano visual art activities," said Chris Brewer, the museum's educator and public programs coordinator. "It's about their traditions and cultures."
It's from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, in the Lightcatcher, 250 Flora St. at Grand Avenue. Admission is $3, which also allows access to all museum exhibits. It's free for museum members.
Activities in the museum's second-floor art studio include crafts such as collages and retablo, a common Latino style of devotional art - often found in home altars. Live Latino music will be featured throughout the day.
Also Saturday, the museum will have activities related to Groundhog Day for younger children in the Family Interactive Gallery.
Further, the Northwest Washington Woodturners group will be making wooden spinning tops that participants can decorate and take home.
Admission to the Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher galleries, 250 Flora St., will be free during the Downtown Association Art Walk, from 6-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.
Chris Brewer, the museum's educator and public programs coordinator, said it's a good time see "California Impressionism: Selections from the Irvine Museum" before the exhibit closes Feb. 17.
"It's your last big chance to see those paintings. It's a great show," Brewer said.
Also showing is "Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection," and "At the Park: Vintage Views from the Photo Archives."
For more information on the art walk, including a map of participating venues, go online to downtownbellingham.com/artwalk.
A special event in Blaine celebrates several aspects of Japanese culture as part of the annual Whatcom Reads! program.
The free Japanese Culture Open House is from 2-5 p.m. Friday, Feb.1, in the Blaine Library, 610 Third St., between G and H streets.
Participants can learn to make origami paper cranes, how to use chopsticks, or how to write their name in katakana, which is traditional Japanese characters, said Debby Farmer, branch manager. Exhibits will be positioned around the room.
"One of our goals is to provide information about diverse cultures in the Blaine area," Farmer said. Japanese tea and food also will be available to sample, she said.
"People can just come and wander around," Farmer said. She said the event will be appropriate for all ages, but small children should be accompanied by an adult.
Anti-Japanese bigotry is a theme of this year's Whatcom Reads! book, which is Seattle writer David Guterson's novel "Snow Falling on Cedars." For more information, call 360-332-8146.
Suggest your ideas for family-friendly events or day trips to Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.