The Pacific Northwest is world renowned for legendary artists and Whatcom County is home to more than a few. Local artist McKenzie Conner called the Port one day interested in creating a a mural to express the amazing vibes she was experiencing from the Port's newly created pump track. “Pump” celebrates the pump track vibes on Bellingham’s waterfront and mountain vibes of the Pacific Northwest.
The Port partnered with Paper Whale to better connect with the local and regional art community and stimulate ideas for artistic installations and experiences on Bellingham's downtown waterfront. Paper Whale invites amazing artists throughout the Pacific Northwest to Bellingham to discuss how art has been used to create a sense of place. This community art forum included a call for ideas for art installations and interactive experiences to vibe up the waterfront. Paper Whale's first project was a combined effort between artists Jason LaClair, Eagle Borsey, Raven Borsey, and Gretchen Leggitt. This 10-piece installation on the historic Boardmill Building celebrates the living life of the Salish Sea. It honors the Coast Salish ancestors of this land, from Lummi, Nooksack, Samish and Semiahmoo people. As the highway for the Coast Salish people, this body of water has served as transport and a lifeline for over 10,000 years. It is a reminder that for as long the Coast Salish Sea has taken care of us, it is our responsibility to take care of Her. The installation is located on the land of Whatcom: the place where the creeks, rivers, and waters join together.
When the Port started planning The Portal Container Village to improve public access to the water, it was decided a grand entrance was needed to put Bellingham's downtown waterfront on the map. Stacking containers into an archway was a good start, but we needed more, we needed a mural representing all we love about living in a place where the mountains meet the Salish Sea. Enter local artist Sarah Finger. Sarah's artwork had been well received at Kulshan Trackside and a review of her work revealed an amazing artistic vision of Mount Baker and the striking natural landscapes of Whatcom County.
More local art is on the way so stroll around the waterfront and enjoy the art vibes of this amazing community!