It’s a sad day for several reasons. First I want to acknowledge the death of George Drake, a longtime advocate for the arts, for the disabled, and for Korean veterans. George died Monday morning, Aug. 31. I will miss seeing him around town, talking with him about the state of the world, and about his adventures. George left intructions to be cremated and have his ashes sprinkled at Big Rock Garden Park, where Sculpture Northwest recently opened the David Marshall Sculpture Gallery, a permanent outdoor exhibit in the city-owned park above Lake Whatcom. Sculpture Northwest, a local nonprofit arts advocacy group founded by George, donated four pieces and five other previously owned pieces were relocated. Marshall visited Bellingham in 1981 to help George, Mary Ann and David Drake create an outdoor sculpture garden on their property, originally named Gardens of Art. The City of Bellingham purchased the garden from the Drake family in 1993 and opened it to the public as a park. For more about this incredibly unique man, go to https://georgefdrake.org/.

In addition, as you may read from my other post, the print publication of Entertainment News NW by my esteemed editors, Mark and Barb Fuller, is coming to a close. I will continue to post on the magazine’s website and its Facebook page, and I dearly hope that some enterprising arts advocate will find it worthy of continuing in some fashion.

Now, on to some events of note:

Downtown Art Walk returns on Sept. 4

Downtown Bellingham Partnership is excited to announce the return of Downtown Art Walk! Join us this first Friday as downtown businesses showcase the creative talent of Bellingham’s art scene.
Each individual business will be participating in their own COVID-19 compliant way, whether that is utilizing sidewalk space for a pop-out, displaying art for sale in their windows, or welcoming in their allowed number of guests.
The dual goals of Art Walk are celebrating our arts community while providing a safe experience. If you plan to participate, please maintain appropriate physical distancing during the evening and wear a face mask.
A map of participating businesses coming soon. Follow the Facebook event to stay up to date.

Whatcom Artist Studio Tour Gallery Showcase

Allied Arts of Whatcom County is proud to host the Whatcom Artists Studio Tour. Participants of this year’s tour will exhibit a wide range of media and will include works from nearly 30 Whatcom County artists, Sept. 4-26. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. You can also see the exhibit online at alliedarts.org/gallery.
Allied Arts is a non-profit gallery, proceeds from sales go to support the arts in our community. For more information visit www.alliedarts.org or contact: Katy Tolles, Artist Services Coordinator at 676-8548 x2 or katy@alliedarts.org.

Labor Day in Birch Bay

If you live in Birch Bay, you know that it’s a great place to spend Labor Day weekend. The beach is terrific for social distancing, swimming, catching crab, and sand-sculpture building. The Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce has put together some fun, family-friendly activities to end what’s been a crazy summer.
On Friday, Sept. 4, there’s a double feature at the Birch Bay Drive-in at the Waterslides–”Grease” and “American Graffiti!”
Saturday features  a free golf cart and bicycle poker run along Birch Bay Drive, with prizes!
Crabbing day is Sunday! Enter your catch in the Crab Derby, and bring your crabs to the Visitor Center to be weighed!
For tickets to the drive-in movies, or details on the events, go to https://birchbaychamber.com/events/.

Fall Harvest Events at Bellewood Farms and Distillery

There have been a lot of challenges and changes this year so there’ll be the annual Fall Harvest Happens activities for free to help encourage our community to get outside and enjoy the beauty of fall on the farm at 6140 Guide Meridian, including bin train rides out to the orchard for UPICK and to the corn maze. Pumpkins will be available starting Sept. 26. Cider donuts, fresh apple cider, and homemade apple pie will be served up in the café and outdoor concession stand. Please check out the farm’s safety practices on our website before coming out to the farm. https://bellewoodfarms.com/upick

Opera Online

Everyone is streaming opera these days which is nice but it is just not the same as going to a live performance, says Mitch Kahn, general and artistic director of Pacific Northwest Opera. You not only miss the immediacy and spontaneity of the performance  but also  the joy of sharing with friends, hanging around in the lobby during intermission, having a drink together and maybe going out to dinner before or after.
Kahn invites the community to join him for a fun night at the opera on Wednesday,  Sept. 9 at 7 pm, when, together, we will watch Pacific Northwest Opera’s 2011 production of “Tosca” in a newly remastered digital edition.
Since the opera is set in  Rome in the year 1800,  make yourself some typical Roman fare and pull up a chair and let’s go to the opera together (virtually)! 
Mitch suggests some typical Roman dishes you can make yourself. (Happy to send recipes!, he says)
Act 1: Carciofi alla romana with a glass of  Cantina Sant’Andrea Sogno Circeo Rosso
Act 2: Pasta  cacio e pepe  with a glass of  Fantini Farnese Montepulciano d’Abruzzo  Act 3: some Tiramisu or Gelato perhaps with a glass of  Banfi San Angelo Toscana
There is no cost to attend and you will not be asked to donate money.  But you will be expected to applaud at the end.
Request a link by sending an email to info@pnopera.org.

Art Auction in La Conner

The Museum of Northwest Art’s 28th Annual Art Auction runs Sept. 9-13. This year, MoNA’s Annual Art Auction will come to you virtually, so you can participate from anywhere. Mark your calendars!
Silent Auction:.Sept. 9 – 11
Live Auction: Sept. 12
Last Call: Sept. 13
Together, let’s celebrate Northwest Art! This special event brings a variety of Northwest artists and artwork, to raise important funds to help support future exhibitions, preserve the Permanent Collection, and help continue transformative art education programs.