Whatcom Magazine

Make.Shift supports arts and music scene

Sierra Hoseid battles Asa Danforth in a friendly jousting competition at the Make.Shift Block Party in downtown Bellingham in August 2015.
Sierra Hoseid battles Asa Danforth in a friendly jousting competition at the Make.Shift Block Party in downtown Bellingham in August 2015. The Bellingham Herald

If you’re a musician or artist of any kind without a home for your craft, Make.Shift Art Space might be your answer.

With an 8,000-square-foot arts space with a stage, multipurpose studios, and an upstairs gallery that rotates the work of local and regional artists, the nonprofit organization is all about helping artists do what they do and celebrating their work.

Make.Shift traces its origins to 2008, when a group of young Bellingham musicians and music fans acquired a biodiesel van that local musicians could use for free if they didn’t have a touring van. Three years later, Make.Shift purchased the business Jinx Art Space on Flora Street and reopened it with the goal of providing an art gallery, art and music studios, and a music venue.

Today, noted artist tenants at Make.Shift include Steeb Russell and Libby Chenault, Jess Flegel, Margot Myers, Aaron Brick and Colleen Harper. Artistic mediums that occur in the studios run the gamut, from quilting to drawing, to painting and boutique fabric imprints.

We don’t charge market rates. Our goal is to be affordable.

Jessica Miller, director

Some of the items made at Make.Shift are available for sale in the gallery during downtown Bellingham art walks held the first Friday of each month.

Jessica Miller, Make.Shift’s director, says studio leases run month-to-month, and while the studios can be full, there’s a waiting list for newcomers.

“We don’t charge market rates,” she says. “Our goal is to be affordable.”

Make.Shift also offers classroom space for rent for artists or musicians who need a place to present a class.

New to Make.Shift is the Xperience Art Project, a free, after-school sketching workshop for students from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays.

In December, Make.Shift, will host its Holiday Make.Sale, an annual do-it-yourself arts and crafts sale. The preview will be 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 4, and the sale will continue noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 5.

Make.Shift also will host a Punk Rock Prom at The Majestic on Nov. 21, and plans to hold a battle of the bands in January.

Make.Shift is also the nonprofit sponsor of KVWV, 94.9 FM, a new low-powered community radio station in Bellingham. The station has been netstreaming its programs, with plans to erect a transmitter.

Make.Shift Art Space

Address: 306 Flora St., Bellingham, across from Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher

Office and gallery hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Online: makeshiftproject.com

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