Whatcom Museum gets grant for climate change exhibit

The Whatcom Museum has been awarded a $35,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation in support of its 2013 exhibition on art and climate change, titled “Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art 1775-2012.”

The exhibition has also drawn significant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as individual contributions garnered through an online campaign.

Museum directors said the exhibition is one of the most ambitious projects they have ever undertaken. Its works explore the artistic legacy of the planet’s frozen frontiers threatened by climate change, according to the museum.

“The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation grant both validates and enables the ideas embodied in ‘Vanishing Ice,'” said Patricia Leach, the museum’s executive director, in a press release. “It signals that we’re serious about mounting a show that has both local relevance and global reach.”

The show will open in the museum’s Lightcatcher building in fall 2013.

Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville said the exhibition was exciting for both the museum and the city.

“I’m happy to see that the show is becoming a catalyst for community-wide participation,” Linville said. “It’s a testament to Bellingham’s growing status as a model of sustainable living.”

As a companion to “Vanishing Ice,” the museum will host its second “open hanging,” in which artists are invited to submit artwork on a particular theme. “Nature in the Balance: Artists Interpreting Climate Change” is the subject for the 2013 show, which opens next summer.

All entries that meet the criteria are exhibited, and the show is not juried. More information will be available in October.

The museum can be reached at 360-778-8930.

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