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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.

Noisy Waters Uptown Block Party
Thursday, June 6,  4:00 - 8:00 PM

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Thank you, Bellingham! Over 450 of you showed up to celebrate the Noisy Waters Uptown Block Party to help us celebrate the dawn of five new murals coming to Bellingham.  This FREE event showcased:

  • 2023 Noisy Waters 2nd Place "People's Choice" winner, Emily Beaudoin (Calgary, Canada) - painting live

  • Interactive family painting on Bellingham's 2nd mobile mural led by Leigh Montague

  • Live DJ with BF Knowhere: 4:00 - 6:30 PM

  • Live music with Bellingham's hometown Hot Tomatoes: 6:30 - 8:00 PM

  • Food truck from OVN wood-fired pizza

Date: Thursday, June 6  |  4:00 - 8:00 PM

Location: Chuckanut Builders, 1000 N. State Street, Bellingham

"Drawn In" with Jessa Gilbert
Wednesday, May 8  |  2024

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Squamish, BC based artist, Jessa Gilbert, is an established muralist and backcountry guide. She has been commissioned for public murals with YETI, Burton Snowboards, Salomon Freeski, Stance Socks, Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC), Fox Racing, Trek Bicycles, and the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) - just to name a few!  Based on her latest production "Drawn In", a short film created between Antarctica and her art studio, Jessa Gilbert showcased the parallels and overlaps between exploration and creating art.  

 

​​Keynote: Jessa Gilbert

Live Artist: Kat Houseman

Non-alcoholic Karma Bar provided by Banter.

"Protection of Lucid, Creative Space" with Rockland Art Residency
Wednesday, April 3  |  2024

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Rockland Art Residency is designed to be fertile ground for creatives. Rockland carves out space for artists to engage deeply in their creative process by removing obstacles and providing basic needs. Using “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”, Rockland offers the basic and psychological needs of food, shelter, rest, belonging, and freedom of time and space. The residency’s intimate community allows the residents to be together in solitude as they discover more about themselves as an artist

 

​​Keynote: Jodi Rockwell and Shawn Landis, Rockland Art Residency

Live Artist: Free Borsey (Tsux'vilum)

Non-alcoholic Karma Bar supported by Julian & Company

"The Stegosaurus on the Dashboard" with Jed Dunkerley
Wednesday, March 6  |  2024

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Born in Nashville, Seattle-based artist Jed Dunkerley has a long history being a polymathic creative.  He's taught art at Franklin HS since 2004; shown his environmentally-themed paintings with Linda Hodges Gallery, and now Koplin del Rio.

 

Dunkerley performs original music with bands the Robot Sunsets and Gods of Silicon, curated the Smoke Farm summer arts festival in Arlington, given public art tours for the Seattle Channel's Art Zone, the Out of Sight exhibition, and SAM, MC-ed events and done set design with dinner theater Cafe Nordo.  He has made public performances and installations with arts collaborative PDL, created a lecture series at the Grocery, painted a mural at and done online drawing classes for the Burke Museum, painted signage for MoM and Vito's, worked as a commercial animator, and was a founding member of the Canoe Social Club, where he ran a figure drawing session for 7 years. He's convinced that creative communities make everything better. 

Keynote: Jed Dunkerley

Live Artist: Darcie Gray, Artist

Non-alcoholic Karma Bar supported by Kombucha Town

Fire & Story
January 18, 19, 20  |  2024

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Three nights.  Three wood-burning fires.  Fifty artists presented a variety of performances and curated storytelling experiences. A truly unique experience.

More than 4,000 attendees joined Paper Whale around a collection of artistically designed sculptural fire pits dispersed across Bellingham's Waterfront. These fires illuminated a stage for poets, authors, performance artists, Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribal members, cirque, fire dancing, comedy, live blacksmithing, glass sculpting, puppets, acoustic musicians and so much more! A gathering of light and warmth during the darkest days of the year.

"Passion to Purpose" with Hunter Leggitt
Wednesday, Nov 8  |  2023

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Hunter Leggitt Studio is a multi-disciplinary experiential design firm based in Denver Colorado.  The studio has an extensive knowledge and background designing and building high-end custom homes, cutting-edge festival stages, large-scale art and immersive installations, event production and creative direction, and custom fabrication, engineering, and construction.  Armed with an extensive roster of global resources, the studio is capable of concepting and producing the wildest of concepts imaginable.  
 

Leggitt shared his transformative journey in which his hobbies, communities and daring leaps of faith have forged a vast body of creative accomplishments, from DJing at world-class venues, design-building awarded projects, to producing expansive multi-sensory experiences at Burning Man.


Keynote: Hunter Leggitt, Hunter Leggitt Studio

Live Artist: John Gialanella Design

Non-alcoholic Karma Bar supported by Instinct Builders

"Skiing Washington's History" with Jason Hummel
Wednesday, Oct 4  |  2023

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Some 20,000 years ago glaciers ruled continents. Over the next 2,000 years, these great ice sheets receded, and revealed the Cascade Mountains as we know them today. Change has continued to the present time, rapidly gaining pace. One artist has captured that story in a time capsule. Join Paper Whale as we see how these peaks came to be, exploring their history and stories with Jason Hummel, a writer, skier, and photographer. Dive into the philosophy of chronicling these places over 25 years through his Glacier Project, etc., and experience how our environment is changing through the eyes of a visual artist.

Jason Hummel is an adventure photographer, storyteller, and ski mountaineer, currently working on a project to ski all of Washington's named glaciers.

Keynote: Jason Hummel, Photographer

Live Artist: Savannah LeCornu, Artist

Non-alcoholic Karma Bar supported by Backcountry Essentials

Artist and Curator Conversation | Making an Exhibition
Thursday, Sep 14  |  2023

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In a collaborative event of Paper Whale and the Whatcom Museum, please join us as we sit down with curator, Amy Chaloupka, and exhibiting artist, Susan Murrell (based in Eastern Oregon), for a guided tour and conversation revealing a behind the scenes look at art museum exhibitions today.

 

Located in downtown Bellingham at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building, Murrell has transformed the gallery space into a site-specific installation titled Sift/Shift consisting of abstract paintings and dyed sand. Considering herself a landscape painter, the immersive body of work activates the gallery floor and walls as an adventurous, expansive take on the possibilities of artistic landscapes today. While moving through the space and experiencing the complex surfaces and placement of textural colors, Sift/Shift becomes a mediative space to consider our
perceptions and experiences of our ever-shifting natural and built environments.

"Myths and Maya Legends" with Priscilla Dobler Dzul
Wednesday, Sep 6  |  2023

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Priscilla Dobler Dzul is a Tacoma, WA-based artist who lives in Tacoma and Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. She is an interdisciplinary storyteller, focused on reframing the context of America’s colonization of indigenous cultures while examining the structures of power in our domestic lives through multiple craft mediums.​

Keynote: Priscilla Dobler Dzul, Artist

Live Artist: Ivan Colin, Artist

Keynote's accommodation provided by Hotel Leo

Noisy Waters Mural Festival
August 18-20  |  2023

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More 3,000 attendees and 30 artists from across North America gathered on Bellingham’s Waterfront, for a free and all-ages weekend of live painting, a celebration of indigenous art, workshops, an interactive kids wall, mural bike tours, music, parties and inspiration. A curated list of world-renowned muralists complete on 8’x’8’ portable walls on public display. Noisy Waters Mural Festival honors our Coast Salish heritage in two ways: 

  • The Lhaq’Temish word for Whatcom literally translates to “Noisy Water”  

  • Noisy Waters Mural Festival brings together more than 7 unique tribes in hosting the Indigeversal Collective, a program designed to create uplift for artists from Indigenous communities globally.

Visitors and attendees vote for their favorite pieces created at the event and the top artists receive commissions to paint large permanent murals in central Bellingham!

More information here.

Noisy Waters Mural Festival Ramp-Up Event!
Thursday, August 3  |  2023

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We can’t contain our excitement - come join us for this FREE all-ages event, featuring a live DJ, live murals, our very own Noisy Waters Mosaic Hop beer release, OVN pizza, chalk art and more live painting from the Noisy Waters production team.

Location: ROAM Coffee + Beer, 1205 Washington Street, Bellingham

Date: Thursday, Aug 3, 4:00 - 9:00 PM

Live Artists: Taj Williams, Gretchen Leggit, and Luuk Honey

"Flowstate: Self and Community Healing through Art" with Moses Sun
Wednesday, June 7  |  2023

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Moses Sun fuses hip-hop, jazz, afro-futurism, and the black southern diaspora of his childhood into a mix of visuals that blurs the lines between digital and analog art. His interdisciplinary practice comes from the hip-hop ethos of grinding in the studio, creating multiple tracks (series of works) that he remixes into afro-abstractions expressed on various surfaces, screens, assemblage, prints, plywood, and large-scale murals.

Keynote: Moses Sun, Moses Sun Studio

Live Artist: Nicki Lang

Keynote's accommodation provided by Hotel Leo

"A Foot in Two Worlds" with Dan Friday
Wednesday, May 10  |  2023

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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  |  2023

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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: 

  • Aaron Loveitt

  • Sharon Kingston 

  • Nancy Mintz

  • Amanda Salov

  • Ko Kirk Yamahira

The Historical Record
Wednesday, April 12  |  2023 

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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

Paper Whale '23 Launch Party
Wednesday, February 8  |  2023 

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

Paper Whale in 2022

Public Art as a Placemaking Catalyst

Wednesday, November 9  |  2022

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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

Design with Tenacity
Wednesday, October 5  |  2022

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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

Ideas to Action
Wednesday, September 7  |  2022

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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

Pathways in Color: Community Activation Through Art
Wednesday, August 10  |  2022

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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

Invitation & Iteration: Experiences that Connect Art & People
Wednesday, July 6  |  2022

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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  |  2022

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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 Leggitt, Artist

Live Artist: Max McNett

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