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previous events

We present a variety of events and experiences to inspire creatives and enhance arts and culture in the Pacific Northwest.

"A Foot in Two Worlds" with Dan Friday
Wednesday, May 10

Dan Friday is a member of the Lummi Nation and a Seattle-based glass artist. He has spent the last twenty years working for artists such as Dale Chihuly, Paul Marioni, Preston Singletary, and many others. He has taught at the Pilchuck School of Glass, and has had residencies at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, and the Dream Community in Tai Pei, Taiwan. Friday is a recipient of the 2020 Artist Trust Fellowship and the Discovery Fellowship through the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. His work can be seen in galleries across the United States. (Text by Stonington Gallery in Seattle, WA)

Keynote: Dan Friday, Friday Glass

Live Artist: Bonnie Smerdon

Keynote's accommodation provided by Hotel Leo


Understory: Connection through creativity and fine art
Saturday, April 29

Let us welcome the light of Spring at Canopy Gallery with an art exhibit and party. The show features five regional artists whose work will fill the gallery and spill over into the adjacent working shop space. The visual art will be accompanied by performances, music, and cuisine making for a unique, multidimensional celebration of connection and creation. Paper Whale, Canopy Gallery, and curator Tami Landis are each adding flavors to the metaphorical soup, not to be confused with the soupe à la tomate that will be cooking on an open fire in front of the gallery. 


The Understory is dedicated to finding and celebrating the naturally occurring upwelling of creativity around us, and forming connections between its different branches.

Featured Artists: 


The Historical Record
Wednesday, April 12 

Tessa Hulls shares how the question of what an artist owes the broader world transformed her creative practice, causing her to abandon a successful career as a painter to become a genre-defying polymath using the historical record to illuminate how the present holds the wounds of the past.​

Keynote: Tessa Hulls, Storyteller and Artist

Live Artist: Christopher Hartshorne

Keynote's accommodation provided by Hotel Leo

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Paper Whale '23 Launch Party
Wednesday, February 8 

Our 2023 release party including a gallery showcase of our featured Waterfront Placemaking Proposals.  Joined by the Poet, the Cellist and the Calligrapher we made presented pure magic to a sold out house. 


Paper Whale in 2022

Public Art as a Placemaking Catalyst

Wednesday, November 9

Seattle-based Haddad | Drugan strives to create poetic one-of-a-kind artworks that on one level act as place-making icons but on another are layered with subtler complexities that unfold over multiple viewings.  Explore how sculpture can inspire place at our final Paper Whale event of the year!

Keynote: Laura Haddad & Tom Drugan, Haddad | Drugan

Live Artist: Jax Mildner

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Design with Tenacity
Wednesday, October 5

Electric Coffin is a Seattle-based art duo with a unique flavor for life that has built success on not taking NO for an answer. Sometimes taking the hard way around generates a new side of creativity that isn't seen in the mainstream.  Join  Stefan and Duffy, and learn about experience-based art!

KeynoteSteffan Hofmann & Duffy DeArmas, Electric Coffin

Live Artist: Christopher Remmers

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Ideas to Action
Wednesday, September 7

An entire evening dedicated to your ideas and vision for the Waterfront.  Participants come prepared to share ideas with Paper Whale facilitation.  No idea is too big or too small, we want to hear it all. 

KeynoteNick Hartrich, Gretchen Leggitt and YOU

Live Artist: Sienna Dawn

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Pathways in Color: Community Activation Through Art
Wednesday, August 10

Our most powerful series yet.  Muralist and cultural accelerator, Kaplan Bunce, shares how traditional indigenous artwork plays an influential role in building community through the sharing of culture.  Kaplan has shown with top tier galleries and painted murals in festivals across the nation.

KeynoteKaplan Bunce, Artist

Live Artist: Jason LaClair

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Invitation & Iteration: Experiences that connect Art & People
Wednesday, July 6

Join us as we embark on the story of how a small team of creatives is using large scale art to transform neighborhoods in Vancouver, BC. Speaker Adrian Sinclair of the Vancouver Mural Festival explores a sensory experience in why art is such a powerful conduit to community.

KeynoteAdrian Sinclair, Vancouver Mural Festival

Live Artist: Sarah Finger


Start Small, Dream Big
Wednesday, June 1

The launch of our creative signature event featuring Bellingham's own, Gretchen Leggitt.  We explore the story of how one artist put a big dream into play, piece by piece.  You can too.  Join us for our inaugural launch to the most creative gathering of your month. 

KeynoteGretchen Leggit, Artist

Live Artist: Max McNett

Gretchen Leggitt
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