"}
Visual

Big Rocking

Art in the park

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Over the years, I’ve found that the best time to visit the Big Rock Garden Park is when I’m showing it to someone who’s never been there before.

Such was the case last Sunday, when my guy and I met an old friend, Texas, and her two-year-old daughter for an afternoon tour.

Although she’s spent a significant amount of time in Bellingham, Texas told me that not only had she never visited the 2.5-acre sculpture garden, but she’d also never even heard about it.

While taking care not to fault my friend for her lack of knowledge about the evergreen-shrouded art nook, I pointed out that the beauteous haven has been drawing appreciators of both art and nature since the Drake family founded “Gardens of Art” in 1981.

The City of Bellingham purchased the property in 1993, and, since then, a team of volunteers has helped guide the park’s ongoing development. Sculpture Northwest, a nonprofit promoting cultural tourism in the region through the promotion of opportunities to view and purchase outdoor sculptures, also has a hand in helping keep the artistic side of Big Rock Garden Park flourishing.

In tandem with the Sculptors’ Society of British Columbia and the City of Bellingham, Sculpture Northwest has been hard at work in the past weeks bringing a “Tribute to David Marshall” exhibit to Big Rock in time for its annual Mother’s Day blowout.

The exhibit joins the 30-plus permanent sculptures on display at the outdoor gallery and features a variety of pieces by Marshall, a now-deceased Canadian sculptor who was one of the founders of the program of annual exhibits in Big Rock Garden Park more than 25 years ago. (The exhibit also features works by artists who worked with or studied with Marshall.)

Although not every piece was installed yet, our small group managed to get a sneak peek at what viewers who’ll be attending both the opening ceremony May 9 and the Mother’s Day extravaganza May 12 will see. Pieces both gigantic—I’m talking four-plus-tons gigantic—and small in scale adorned a significant portion of the lower space of the garden, and I can report that visitors are in for a treat.

Throughout our foray, which included just about every inch of the park, Texas kept stopping to take pictures of the way the sun-dappled leaves highlighted the bronze, metal and stone sculptures both on the main path and in a variety of nooks and crannies. Our youngest member handily posed in front of anything we wanted her to, giving a “thumbs-up” to those pieces that seemed to move her.

Given the beauty of our surroundings—which were helped by a 70-plus-degree day and oodles of sunshine—we had a hard time leaving, and paused near the gazebo for a while to feed the kid snacks and watch small groups of humans “ooh” and “aah” over the sculptures and the blooms.

Before we left, Texas told me the next time her mom visited, she was going to bring her to Big Rock Garden Park to show off one of Bellingham’s gems. I told her I’d be happy to come along.

SVCR-0604_GritsGlamour_770x150-CW
More Visual...
Voyager
The art of transition

“Thus did Odin establish that all dead men should be burned, and their belongings laid with them upon the pile, and the ashes be cast into the sea…“ recounts the saga of the Norse Vikings.

So perhaps it was no surprise when Steve Jensen’s best friend, dying of AIDS, asked him to…

more »
A Family Affair
Welcome to Tillie Lace Gallery

The first time painter Cooper Lanza and her daughter Morgan entered 1415 13th Street, it was for an opening reception at the former Lucia Douglas Gallery.

Lanza says she was struck by the high ceilings, clean industrial lines and the way the light filtered through the windows at the…

more »
A Child's Touch
Arts in action at Lowell Elementary

With remodels and an expansion, so much at Bellingham’s Lowell Elementary School is shiny and new. That’s nice and all, but the school still needed a child’s touch.

With contributions from all 285 students, the walls and schoolyard at Lowell now have some much-needed color. Three…

more »
Events
Today
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Music Enrichment Project Meet and Greet

4:00pm|Piper Music

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Get Out More Tour

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

Village Books Swinomish 2016
Tomorrow
Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Hiking Basics

6:00pm|REI

Final History Sunset Cruise

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Final BIFT

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Amnesty International Meeting

7:00pm|Community Food Co-op

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Andrew Subin Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Wednesday
Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Wednesday Market

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Lynden Book Club

12:30pm|Lynden Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Brewers Cruise

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

The Gun Show

8:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

see our complete calendar »

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab Bellingham Farmer’s Market Swinomish 2016 Andrew Subin Artifacts Wine Bar