Get Out

Whatcom Museum offers art, bird activities when school’s out

Natalia Czerwinski explores the iridescent properties of bubbles as part of a lesson on the iridescence of bird feathers at Whatcom Museum’s 2015 summer camp.
Natalia Czerwinski explores the iridescent properties of bubbles as part of a lesson on the iridescence of bird feathers at Whatcom Museum’s 2015 summer camp. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Whatcom Museum is offering special programs for times when students 7 and older in Bellingham schools are out of class for teacher work days and for spring break.

The first program, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, features a two-hour art workshop with modeling clay that focuses on “clay critters” and basic shapes. Participants will start by drawing animals and then translate their two-dimensional art into 3D sculptures.

For spring break, the museum is offering “School’s Out” art activities April 4-9.

Classes include bird art at Syre Education Center, using the museum’s collection of 500 mounted birds for inspiration (April 6); glow-in-the-dark art (April 7), using special paint to create patterns on black animal shapes; and using recycled and found “junk” materials to make functional objects (April 8).

Cost per class is $3 for museum members and $5 for non-members, plus admission to the museum’s Family Interactive Gallery ($4.50 for children).

Also during spring break is a special “Spring Bird Fling” series of classes and activities focusing on birds, with assistance from members of North Cascades Audubon Society.

“They’re really become great partners,” said Chris Brewer, museum educator and public programs coordinator. “We’ve both realized that its a benefit to us and them, bringing in a lot of people to birding” and combining the Family Interactive Gallery mission of combining hands-on art with science activities.

“You can pick and choose the classes, or do them all,” Brewer said. “We want to introduce them to birding and what fun it is and how they can have them in their yard.”

“Who’s That Bird?” will be 10 a.m to 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 4, and “Spring Nest Fest” will be 10 a.m to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Cost for each workshop is $20 for museum members and $30 for nonmembers. Supply your own lunch; registration is required.

On Wednesday, April 6, a free walk will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Lake Padden with local birder Ken Salzman. Dress for the weather, no registration required. Binoculars are helpful. Meet in the parking lot near the playground.

On Thursday, April 7, a free walk will be from 9 a.m. to noon at Scudder Pond with local birder Paul Woodcock. Dress for the weather, no registration required. Binoculars are helpful. Meet in the Bloedel Donovan parking lot.

From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 9, a “Backyard Birding” class at Syre Education Center will provide information on bird-friendly habitats and the kinds of feeders and nesting boxes that birds enjoy. It’s free with museum admission.

Register for any of the classes through ejdieleman@cob.org, 360-778-8960, or at FIG. Watch the museum calendar at whatcommuseum.org/events/month for additional classes the rest of the school year.

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