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who we are

Paper Whale is an interactive experience to inspire creatives in the Pacific Northwest. We began by offering the creative community  a voice to contribute meaningful ideas that help create place and protect a unique artistic flavor on Bellingham's Waterfront District.  

our mission

Paper Whale’s mission is to cultivate community in an evolving program of multi-sensory events to inspire and creatively activate placemaking.

the team

Gretchen Leggitt

Co-Founder, Artist

Gretchen Leggitt's art explores a diverse range of subject and medium, evidence of her passion for expansive investigations of the creative world. An avid adventurer and traveler, Gretchen's playful subjects are mused by influential places that have caught her eye along the way. Many of her patterns and landscapes are reflections of her roots in the Southwest, along with the cultural and natural influence of her current home in the Pacific Northwest. She resides, recreates and creates in Bellingham, WA.

Nick Hartrich

Co-Founder, Champion of the Underdog

Nick has spent his 24 years in Bellingham, WA working to inspire and influence creative change in community.  He has worked in global sustainability for change but his heart is deeply rooted locally.  His reckless optimism isn’t everyone's cup of tea, and for those seeking an economically vibrant future that also includes our artists, storytellers and creatives - he is open to activating ideas into inspiring outcomes.  Paper Whale is one such project, and he invites you to participate.

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Tami Landis

Curator, Editor, Community Engagement Strategist 

Tami Landis is an independent curator, organizational strategist, editor, and arts consultant with over 8 years of experience in the museum field, with a focus on contemporary art and craft.  Landis has previously served in curatorial and educational roles at the Western Gallery & Outdoor Sculpture Collection of Western Washington University and the Toledo Museum of Art. Most days you can find Tami supporting Paper Whale, the Open House Art Series, the Bellingham Arts Commission, conducting regional studio visits, curating exhibitions, and casting vision/strategy with various community partners for the future of arts vitality in Bellingham.

Jax Mildner

Artist Mentorship & Education

Jax is a self taught artist living and working in Bellingham, Wa. She believes art is a vehicle for growth and self discovery and continues to evolve her technique and style. Heavily influenced by immersion in nature, her work is a celebration of the natural world and the essential splendor it brings to our lives.

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Amber Nakayama

Content Creator, Artist

Amber is a multi-faceted marketer and self-taught artist with a passion for inspiring others and driving ideas toward optimal potential. Creating and capturing meaningful experiences for others is her life's motto. Raised in California but going on 6 years in Bellingham, Amber is constantly in awe of the beauty of the West Coast, and her paintings reflect that. You’ll find her involved in many projects, such as Paper Whale, which is a culmination of two of her favorite things: Community + Art. Let’s create!




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