Ed Bereal at The Lightcatcher, Sh’Bang, Country Line Dancing, and The Buffalo Celebrates 20 Years!

Trish Harding and Studio UFO hosts the 14th annual PAPA Exhibition from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at the gallery in Bay Street Village, 301 W. Holly St. The purpose of this Plein Air Painting and Art paint out is to promote public awareness and appreciation of in Bellingham in general. The work will be exhibited and sold at this Downtown Art Walk. New this year! Plein Air painters gathered at Bellingham’s new Waypoint Park on the old Georgia Pacific Mill location, where there is a painting opportunity from every vista including the boats in the public waterway, the old stacks and tanks left at the industrial site, south hill, and downtown. Details: www.studio-ufo.net, 360-319-6115.

This weekend, Sept. 6-8, the Lookout Arts Quarry, 15 minutes south of Bellingham, will once again host Sh’bang!, a weekend of art installations, workshops, carnival games, wood-fired sauna, trapeze zip-line into the lake, all flavors of eye-candy, a water slide, puppet shows, storytelling, and well over 100 eclectic live bands, DJs, VJs, and genre-defying performances. Sh’bangers are invited to join cowpokes, pirates, mermaids, elves, aliens, and fanciful characters of all kinds to roam throughout seven interactive themed zones enveloping five stages. Countless creative surprises have been planned for Sh’bang’s 12th year. Some highlights to expect include: parades led by the Chaotic Noise Marching Corps, swimming in the pristine quarry to the music of Baby Gramps, downhill contraption soapbox derby race escorted by Yogoman’s rhythms, superstar punk troubadour Jason Webley’s wacky floating Flotsam River Circus, an all-star Saturday night circus featuring performers from around the globe, High Step Society’s dance-inspiring electro swing, Parts Per Million aerial piñata pandemonium, Sunday’s Aquatic Circus on the Water, and a raucous late-night neo-burlesque cabaret sandwiched between legendary acts from Intuitive Compass, Hot Damn Scandal, and Three for Silver. Full weekend camping passes range from $110 early bird pre-sale to $160 at the gate. Daily passes are also available. Parking passes range from $30 to $55 (for oversized vehicles) or but attendees get free parking with the “clown car discount” if they fill their vehicle by carpooling (http://bit.ly/shride19). Children and families are absolutely welcome and there are plenty of activities for kids—but leave your dogs at home to protect wildlife and festival goers. No dogs. More info and tickets are available at www.shbangfest.com, as well as on Facebook nd through instagram (@shbang_fest). Nestled among alder and fir just south of Bellingham, the Lookout Arts Quarry is a land restoration project, artist residency community, and festival site—complete with wetlands, forests, and a former rock quarry full of clear rainwater. Influenced by the circus-minded artists who own and operate “The Quarry,” Sh’bang builds community through radical involvement and spontaneous artistic exploration.

A family fun Fiestas Patrias to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with music, activities, food games and more takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Ferndale’s Pioneer Park. There’ll be lots of activities, food and many vendors, plus music from Zona Calida, Tierra Alegre, and Mariachi Mi Pais. Entrance fee is $3; free for kids. Visit www.nwwhccweb.com to learn more.

While you’re in town, the Ferndale Arts Commission invites the community to celebrate the end of summer with an all-ages Chalk Art Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Griffintown Park on Second Avenue, just north of Washington Street. (The park is named in honor of Agustus Griffin, an early Ferndale pioneer. Griffin died on Feb. 11, 1909.)

Wanted: Ed Bereal for Disturbing the Peaceruns Saturday, Sept. 7, through Jan. 5 at Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher,  250 Flora St. It’s the first retrospective exhibition featuring the work of Bellingham artist Ed Bereal, a consummate draftsman and object maker. Born in Los Angeles in 1937 and raised in Riverside, California, Bereal was a child who grew up in the shadow of World War II and the segregation and racism that afflicted his immediate community. In the face of this, he was accepted into the renowned illustration program at Chouinard Art Institute and went on to make significant contributions to the arts of assemblage and performance burgeoning in Los Angeles in the 1960s.
A shift in his work came in the summer of 1965 during the Watts Rebellion when he was confronted by 10 National Guardsmen, including one pointing a machine gun at him. This profound experience prompted Bereal to step away from making commercially and critically successful artworks and move toward engaging members of his community in social justice work through guerrilla-style street performance. Now living on a farm in Whatcom County, Bereal processes his life’s experiences through a spectrum of provocative imagery and narratives in paintings and installations he terms “political cartoons.” Many of Bereal’s more recent politically charged paintings and installations show a recurring motif of “Miss America,” as he examines racial inequity, gun violence, corporate greed and political power structures. These issues came into sharp relief for Bereal during the Watts Rebellion and persist at the forefront of our national discourse today. In the companion exhibition catalogue, essay contributor Vernon Damani Johnson, professor of political science at Western Washington University, writes, “Bereal forces us to think about the real place, in terms of our humanity, that the American ideal represents for those on the margins in the artist’s home country, as well as for peoples around the globe.”
Now in his eighth decade, Bereal describes a newfound freedom in his practice. He feels unrestricted in the multilingual approach that allows him to express a range of ideas through pop art, abstraction, painterly realism, appropriated imagery and assemblage. This freedom is visible in his most ambitious project to date, “The Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Shown for the first time, the sprawling 40-foot-long installation is a visual manifestation of his uncompromising and unapologetic political and social vision of contemporary American society. His work contains thought-provoking messages that address identity and racial inequity, violence and war, and political and corporate power.
Bereal’s work has gained wider recognition at institutions such as the Getty Museum; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Cuba’s Havana Biennial. At the age of 82, the artist has never had an expansive solo museum exhibition and the Whatcom Museum is proud to organize his first major retrospective and accompanying catalogue. For insights into the art, take the first Curator’s Gallery Tour from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday with curator Amy Chaloupka. Artist Ed Bereal will also be in attendance. Details: https://www.whatcommuseum.org, 360-778-8930.

WB-20 Celebration!
Personal note: I was at the 3B Tavern two decades ago, when I met John Goodman, who was excited about opening a bar that would play live music “for people our age,” which, at that time, meant the target audience was age 40 and over. It’s hard to believe that it was 20 years ago that Wild Buffalo opened its doors at 208 W. Holly St. to provide Bellingham with some of the best in local, regional, and nationally acclaimed musical artists – and it continues to do so to this day! To celebrate, Wild Buffalo founder John Goodman, and current owners, Craig Jewell, Joey Crahan, and Lee Huffman are collaborating to put on an all afternoon live music event dubbed, “WB-20” from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8.
The lineup includes some of the first musical performers who graced the Buffalo stage back in 1999. Prepare to enjoy some good old rock and roll along with plenty of original music mixed in, alternating performances between the main stage and a smaller “Acoustic Oasis” inside the Buff. The patio will be open out front and there will be food vendors on-site throughout the day, along with other neighboring eateries offering to-go food that you can bring in.
The schedule:
Noon: The Walrus 
1:30 p.m.: J.P. Falcon Grady – acoustic
2 p.m.: The Atlantics 
3 p.m.: James Taylor (not that James Taylor, our James Taylor) acoustic
3:30 p.m.: The Chryslers 
4:30 p.m.: Steve Webb, UnoManBand (formerly of Men Without Pants) – acoustic
5 p.m.: ReDux
6 p.m.: Below Average Productions – acoustic
7 p.m.: The Fat James Band featuring Chris Eger
8:30 p.m.: Badd Dog Blues Society with Special Guests
Tickets and more information at: https://wildbuffalo.net/event/wild-buffalo-20-year-anniversary/

The marvelous choreographer and dancer Pam Kuntz once again offers a county line dance lesson for beginners through advanced dancers from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at the Firehouse Arts & Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.
Here’s what Pam says:
Warning…this is not your “normal” line dance class.
Class fee of $15 includes one drink ticket for the Cafe (beer, wine, tea or soda)
The first hour will be basic and beginning line dances, second hour will be intermediate and advanced dances
Wear soft-soled shoes, socks, or bare feet only
Dress to impress or to sweat…either one works
We won’t just be dancing to country!
Cost is $15; proceeds from class go to the Tabetha Fox Clark Scholarship at Western Washington University.

Break out your 10-gallon hats, your poufy skirts, and your dancing boots and join The Bellingham Festival of Music for its fourth annual BBQ Ribs Cook-off at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at the Squalicum Boathouse.
This now traditional End of Summer party and fundraiser for the Bellingham Festival of Music will feature two expert chefs, previous winners of the cook-off, plus a new chef to the culinary showdown who will compete for your votes for the most succulent ribs.
Fill up on beer, wine and finger-lickin’ sides. Enjoy fine fiddle music by the Clean and Friendly String Band. Then, after dinner swing your partner and do-si-do the night away with expert square dance caller John Hatten. Note: Square dancing and related attire are optional, of course. For tickets, please call 360-739-6189 or email sallychapman@comcast.net.

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