Fund the Future

The art of adaptation

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

For the Museum of Northwest Art, 2020 was destined to be one for the books. In January, the longtime La Conner-based creative hub on First Street was operating in the black for the first time in a long time, and its mission was intact to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit arts created in the Pacific Northwest—while also supporting artists and integrating education and community into the mix.

Suffice it to say the year has not gone as planned. Acclaimed, well-attended exhibitions and a sustainable business model couldn’t keep MoNA from being impacted by COVID-19. The galleries and museum store only recently reopened since closing in the spring, and although the powers that be have been working behind the scenes to secure stimulus funding to help them through the rough patch, there’s never been a better time for members and patrons to step up to the plate and assist with the effort.

Enter the Museum of Northwest’s Art’s 28th annual Art Auction, a fundraiser that gives people a chance to give back to the arts by purchasing art. In prior years, the event was also a swell excuse to get dressed up, peruse and bid on works by both well-known and up-and-coming Northwest artists, mingle with fellow partygoers, and enjoy good food and wine while doing so.

You can still do most of these things while watching MoNA’s first online auction and getting in on the action from the comfort of your own home when the five-day virtual event comes to its conclusion on Sat., Sept. 12. There are no tickets or associated fees to register and bid this year, but participants will need an internet connection. (There’s probably no need to don fancy duds, but if it puts you in the right frame of mind then go for it.)

“Our goal is to make this as easy and as enjoyable as possible,” executive director Joanna Sikes says. “We all share a legacy of understanding the importance the arts play in our lives; 2020 is a year when we face a new normal and need to support each other as we move forward in our personal and cultural experiences. MoNA needs your support now more than ever. We can continue to stay vital through your bidding and donations to ‘Fund the Future 2020.’”

During the live online event, “Fund the Future” will provide a simultaneous opportunity to support MoNA’s educational programs, exhibitions and permanent collection stewardship by making 100 percent tax-deductive monetary donations after the auctioneer invites viewers to raise their virtual paddles and donate anywhere from $50 to $10,000.

But before that happens, participants need to register to preview the works and get involved on the museum’s website. Bidding begins for the first of two silent auctions at 8am Thurs., Sept. 10, the online live program will commence at 6pm on Saturday, and a last call on bidding for the silent auctions takes place through Sunday.

“We hope this new format, driven first by necessity, but now anticipated with great enthusiasm, will allow us to continue this great tradition,” MoNA Board of Trustees member say. “Please open your hearts (and pocketbooks).”

You’ll want to do the same for the Burlington-based Skagit Children’s Museum’s 17th annual “Chair-ity Auction.” The fundraiser will follow a similar format and conclude the same night as MoNA’s big event, with a virtual auction offering not only fine art by the likes of Jennifer Bowman, Ron Farrell, Roger Small, Kevin Paul, and others, but also items such as a Samish Island Getaway and a $1,000 home improvement package.

“Your support is even more critical this year, since the museum facility has been closed since March 16,” organizers say. “We have still been busy with our Museum Explorers Preschool, providing virtual content on our new CMSC YouTube channel and social media, and providing activity kits, scholarship birthday parties and resources to the community.”
Solidifying the fact that the Skagit Children’s Museum is adept at the art of adaptation, supporters can also bid on a selection of treats to pick up in advance of their own watch parties, and take part in the annual “Dessert Dash” while sitting in their own living rooms. After all, everyone deserves a treat for investing in the future.

For more details about the Sept. 12 virtual art auctions, go to or


ALLIED ARTS: An annual “Whatcom Artist Studio Tour Showcase” shows from Sept. 4-6 at Allied Arts, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The exhibit features various works by WAST participants in advance of the annual event in early October. Gallery and thrift store hours are 11am-4pm Tues.-Fri. for the foreseeable future. Safety guidelines are in place.
For more info:

ARTWOOD: Hours are currently 11am-5pm Wednesdays through Fridays, and 11am-6pm Saturdays at Artwood Gallery, 1000 Harris Ave. Please wear a mask when entering the gallery; gloves will be available for guests who need to handle the merchandise.
For more info:

GALLERY SYRE: Peruse “David Syre: Envisioning a Better Future” from 11am-4pm Tuesdays through Thursdays (and by appointment) through Nov. 7 at Gallery Syre, 465 W. Stuart Rd. The works Syre created during quarantine have a unique language and message for a better future. Mostly abstract and painted with powerful colors, these recent canvases inspire people to take a leap into the unknown, to think about new forms of living together—and a new world in which humans can coexist with nature again.
For more info:

GOOD EARTH: Works by Jordan Jones will be featured through September from 11am-5pm Thursdays through Saturdays, 12pm-4pm Sundays, and 11am-5pm Mondays through August at Good Earth Pottery, 1000 Harris Ave. No more than six patrons will be allowed inside the gallery at a time, and customers and employees will be required to wear a mask. Gloves and hand sanitizer will be provided for handling pottery, and a sneeze guard/barrier is installed at the cash register. Curbside pickup is also available.
For more info:

FOURTH CORNER: Paintings by Brooke Borcherding can be viewed through Sept. 12 at Fourth Corner Frames and Gallery, 311 W. Holly St. Masks should be worn in the shop, and hand sanitizer will be available.
For more info:

I.E. GALLERY: “Through this Valley” shows from 11am-5pm Fridays through Sundays through Sept. 27 in Edison at i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains Court. The exhibit features plein air paintings and sculptures by Clayton James, plein air pen-and-ink works by Christine Wardenburg-Skinner, sculptures by Ruth Pumphrey, and plein air paintings by Ed Kamuda.
For more info:

JANSEN ART CENTER: View the Jansen Art Center in Lynden’s virtual exhibits including Mike Bathum’s “Emerging Nature 2,” “Through the Eyes of the Beholder” by Malissa Perry and Christen Mattix, a Whatcom Artist Studio Tour showcase, a Juried Exhibit, and the annual “Cup Show” through Nov. 28. When the center gets the go-ahead to open, visit the space at 321 Front Street to see the works in person.
For more info:

MATZKE GALLERY: A variety of paintings and sculptures can currently be viewed from 11am-5pm Fridays through Sundays on Camano Island at Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, 2345 Blanche Way.
For more info:

PERRY AND CARLSON: “Everyday,” featuring new work by Anita Lehmann, shows from 11am-5pm Thursdays through Sundays through September in Mount Vernon at Perry and Carlson Gallery, 504 S. First St.
For more info:

SMITH & VALLEE: Peruse glass sculptures by Dan Friday and oil paintings by Becky Fletcher from 10am-5pm Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 27 in Edison at Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey Ave. The venue is also open weekdays by appointment with free curbside pickup for online purchases.
For more info:

SCOTT MILO GALLERY: Gold leaf paintings and bronze sculptures by Leo Osborne will be featured from 11am-4pm Wednesdays through Fridays through Sept. 29 in Anacortes at Scott Milo Gallery, 420 Commercial Ave. Also showing are landscape and nautical oils by Jane Wall, watercolors by Peggy Woods, landscape pastels by Gretha Lindwood, and underwater sea life photos on metal by Audrey Garbacik. The show can also be viewed online.
For more info:

GUILDED GALLERY: Stanwood-Camano Arts Guild’s “New Beginnings Art Show” will be on display from 11am-5pm Wed.-Sat. through Sept. 24 in Stanwood at A Guilded Gallery, 8700 271st St. NW. The first in a series of ongoing juried shows features new works by dozens of regional artists in a variety of mediums. All works are for sale.
For more info:

WHATCOM ART MARKET: Works by Whatcom Art Guild members can be from 11am-3pm Fridays through Sundays through August at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St. Due to public safety concerns, masks are required for all customers, and hand sanitizer will be provided.
For more info:

WHATCOM MUSEUM: Whatcom Museum’s campus—including the Lightcatcher Building, Old City Hall, and Museum Store—will open Sat., Sept. 19. Meanwhile, the museum is hosting virtual programs designed to educate and engage audiences of all ages; offering a selection of downloadable at-home activities; updating its YouTube channel with curator-led virtual gallery tours, collection highlights, and educational activities; updating articles about the museum’s art collection; offering curbside pickup from its Museum Store, and more.
For more info:

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