Bellingham museum event focuses on water in art, science

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDSeptember 10, 2013 

Christian Anne Smith

Christian Anne Smith's art uses vibrant colors to depict scenes involving water.


"Water's Great Journey," a look at the precious resource from both a scientific and artistic view, is the focus of another of the Whatcom Museum's family activity days, featuring reduced admission this weekend.

Activities linked to water-related issues are presented in conjunction with the annual Whatcom Water Weeks observance, said Chris Brewer, museum educator.

It's from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, in the museum's Lightcatcher galleries, 250 Flora St. Admission is $3; free for museum members.

Brewer said the event features art, interactive activities and displays by the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. It's also an ideal time to see the current "Nature the Balance: Artists Interpreting Climate Change" exhibit, which closes this month.

"A lot of the images in 'Nature in the Balance' relate to glaciers and water," Brewer said.

For younger visitors, local artist Christian Anne Smith will show how she depicts marine life in her vividly-colored ink drawings.

"She does wonderful imaginative artworks," Brewer said. "She's going to guide people through fun and imaginative drawings of undersea creatures. She has a unique style and she'll add that flavor to it."

A more concrete examination of water will be on display in the FIG - the Lightcatcher's Family Interactive Gallery, where lead educator Carrie Brooks will let children use their ingenuity in a "Muddy Waters" scientific exploration from 2-4 p.m.

"We'll be leading an experiment where children can design their own water filter. They'll try to clean muddy water and see what works best," Brooks said.

She said there's also an activity related to the water cycle, in which water undergoes the physical processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Kids can make a bracelet of beads, with each color bead representing a different element of the water cycle.

Another activity illustrates how water moves across the landscape, she said.

"The kids will be able to squirt water on the FIG watershed and see the different ways it goes to Bellingham Bay," Brooks said.


A traveling exhibit coming to the Bellingham Public Library from the Foundation for Early Learning aims to spark an interest in math and science among preschoolers. The free event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, on the lawn behind the library at 210 Central Ave.

Called the STEM Uni(verse) project - an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math - the exhibit offers children 5 and younger a chance to explore a variety of educational activities.

It's a bookshelf-like collection of cubes that hold educational books, terrariums, aquariums, counting machines and other hands-on activities. Children will be able to explore the items at their own pace.


The sixth annual Whatcom County Farm Tour - a free self-guided event focusing on the area's diverse family-owned agricultural industry - features nine farms, two wineries and the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

Find a list of participating farms and driving directions with a Google map at under the "events" tab. Otherwise, find maps and other information at both Community Food Co-ops and the Bellingham Farmers Market.

Robert Mittendorf is a Herald copy editor and page designer. Suggest your ideas for local family-friendly events, hikes or day trips at 360-756-2805 or at

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