"}
Visual

Check it Out

Art and books at the Bellingham Alternative Library

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I was in the basement at Make.Shift haggling over the price of a rabbit head Christmas ornament when I found it.

“How much for this little beauty?” I asked an artist at the 2012 Holiday Make.Sale.

“It’s yours for three bucks,” she offered.

“How about two fifty?” I countered.

“Fine,” she said, “it’s a deal!”  

And just as I started fishing the spare change out of my pockets, I happened to notice a sign on the wall with the words “Bellingham Alternative Library” written on it.

“Hmmm,” I wondered, peering around inquisitively, “do you know if this Bellingham Alternative Library has anything to do with the Bellingham Alternative Library in that house up on North Forest Street?” 

“It’s that same library, all right,” the artist said. “They just relocated.”

And so it was that after five years of irresolutely avoiding the Alt Library at its previous location, I finally mustered up the gumption for a visit.

The first thing that struck me in there was the sheer economy of space. How had they fitted so much quality reading material so neatly into such a tiny, bedroom-sized allotment of space? 

In the education section I rifled through a colorful clutch of life-enriching titles, everything from Lateral Thinking and Eco Mind to Edible Schoolyard and Good Sex Illustrated.

Over in gardening, I found One Acre and Security, Northwest Weeds, Hydroponics Q & A, The Backyard Homestead and GARDEN SASS:  A Catalogue of Arkansas Folkways.  

In the graphic novels and comics section I came face to face with a jumbo-sized hardcover edition of Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland that proved so large, heavy and completely unwieldy that it took everything I had just to wrestle the thing down off the shelf without injuring myself.

Finally, as I made my way to the zine rack, it came to my attention that there was a person sitting behind the front desk.

Turns out, it was Cullen Beckhorn (a.k.a. “Future Man”) the founder of Bellingham Alternative Library—a cooperatively owned, volunteer-run lending institution that currently houses about 4,000 titles with about 500 dues-paying members. 

In conjunction with running the library, Beckhorn owns Neoglyphic Media, a small, independent publishing company and book distributor that specializes in promoting underground comics, art and music by a variety of Pacific Northwest creators. 

Beckhorn’s latest project is producing a full-color, 200-page comic book anthology called Emergence, featuring comics, art and mixed media from a variable cast of established and emerging Cascadian cartoonists who currently inhabit the lush, mountainous coastal zone between Vancouver, B.C. and northern California.  

“Each copy of the book will be assembled and bound by hand from the finest, most sustainable materials available, including locally sourced recycled paper and vegetable-based inks,” Beckhorn told me. “The book itself is intended to be an art piece showcasing some of the most original and inspirational underground creators you have likely never heard of. There isn’t going to be any sort of E-version.”  

To preview and/or pre-order a copy of Emergence go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1022516949/emergence-a-cascadian-comic-anthology

ICU
More Visual...
Paul Havas
A life of painting

Paul Havas, best remembered for his beautiful landscape paintings, was born in 1940 in a New Jersey town named Orange. After receiving his MFA from the University of Washington, he first attracted attention in Seattle for paintings of trucks writer Sheila Farr described as being “Big,…

more »
Winter Wonders
Warming up at Jansen Art Center

If you haven’t visited Lynden recently, get ready for a surprise.

Some of the finest attractions of Fairhaven have opened branches there, including Village Books, two cafes—Drizzle and Avenue Bread—and a brand-new, 35-room hotel in the completely remodeled Mercantile Building on…

more »
Erotica
Your body is a wonderland

Before leaving my house to trudge through the snow and razor-sharp wind to the downtown bus station, I double-checked Tillie Lace Gallery’s Facebook page to make sure the Sunday night reception planned for “Erotica: Nudes and Interpretations” hadn’t been cancelled due to inclement weather.…

more »
Events
Today
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Community Coffee and Tea

9:00am|East Whatcom Regional Resource Center

Ukulele for Everyone

4:00pm|Everson Library

Garden Design Class

4:00pm|Blaine Library

Handmade Pasta Class

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Kombucha and Kefir

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Frankie Gavin

6:30pm|Leopold Crystal Ballroom

Unsettlers

7:00pm|Village Books

Nothing simple about it

7:00pm

Mike Allen Quartet

7:00pm|Unity Spiritual Center

Panty Hoes

9:00pm|Rumors Cabaret

IGN Cascadia Trove
Tomorrow
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Incognito

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme

Pasta Faves

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Between Two Worlds

7:30pm|Make.Shift Art Space

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Bellingham Technical College Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Friday
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

Spanish Storytime

10:30am|Lynden Library

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue

Weird Washington

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Whatcom Humane Society Wine Social

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

PhotoLUSH 2017

6:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Always…Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

And I Remember

7:00pm|Village Books

King John

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

International Guitar Night

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

James Hunter Six

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Borealis Wind Quintet

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow Final Weekend

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »

IGN Cascadia Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Northwood Steak and Crab Bellingham Farmer’s Market Trove Village Books Bellingham Technical College