"}
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 Don McLean
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
Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Bayshore Symphony Winter Concert

7:30pm|Central Lutheran Church

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Fairhaven Food Fest

11:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Refugee Talk

2:00pm|Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

Northwest Cancer Summit

2:00pm|Bellingham Golf and Country Club

Sting and Piano Chamber Concert

3:00pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

The Tao of Raven

4:00pm|Village Books

Making time with Oscar

4:30pm

The Irish Rovers

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

MBT LOL Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Tomorrow
Fairhaven Food Fest

11:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Ancestry & Genealogy

1:00pm|Ferndale Library

Make Monday Matter

4:00pm|Everson Library

Library Tour

6:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Yoga for Outdoor Fitness

6:00pm|REI

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Swing Dance

8:00pm|Eagles Hall

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

Northwood Steak and Crab Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Tuesday
Fairhaven Food Fest

11:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Chuckanut Radio Hour

6:30pm|Leopold Crystal Ballroom

Winter Bistro

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Winter Classics

6:30pm|Gretchen's Kitchen

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Loons of the Salish Sea

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

MVHS Jazz

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Geology Underfoot

7:00pm|Ferndale Library

Books on Tap

7:00pm|Maggie's Pub

Gather Round

7:00pm|Honey Moon Mead & Cider

see our complete calendar »

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