Torch Songs Art, Poetry, Comicon, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde come to Blaine

Falling Out of the Box is an annual jewelry and metal design challenge and exhibit hosted by the Jansen Art Center Jewelry Studio, 321 Front St., in Lynden.

Core jewelry instructor Judith Gauthier came up with the idea four years ago with the intention to pull together the many talented metal artists in the area, many of whom were her previous students, and invite them to participate in a fun and exciting event.

“I really had no clue if this would be something of interest, but decided to put it out there. The response was great! Every year has been a success and we now have national and international artists involved,” Judy says.

The process requires each artist to purchase a box of components, mostly metal, but with other surprise items, and follow the challenge rules and theme. Each box is identical, and the contents unknown until the artist receives and opens it. One month is given for artists to complete and return their submission.

In 2016, the art focused on using sterling silver, and the theme was “Take a Wrist.” Artists were asked to make a bracelet with the silver, and dedicate it to someone they thought took a risk in their lives (famous or not, living or dead). The first completed box arrived with a bracelet dedicated to all the men and women who went into the city to help after 9/11.

“It was an incredibly moving piece,” says Gauthier, “one that moved me to tears.”  

This year’s theme, “Torch Songs,” is the catalyst for inspiring artists to create a wearable piece of art. Torch songs were popular in the 1940s and ‘50s and primarily dealt with lost love, desired love, or holding a flame for someone.

Registration ended Sept. 1 for “Torch Songs” with boxes going out to artists Sept. 6. A public reception for the event is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18. The judging will take place beforehand, and a People’s Choice will be awarded during the reception; there will be music by Paul Klein and the Firehall Cafe will be open with a full menu. Details: 360-354-3600,

Vermont’s amazing street-theater Bread & Puppet Theater performs “The Grasshopper Rebellion Circus” from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at Laurel Park on High Street, hosted by Bellingham Alternative Library, 519 E. Maple St. The company’s shows, which are politically-charged, are  filled with music, dance and slapstick, with huge puppets made of paper-maché and cardboard.

“The Grasshopper Rebellion Circus” explains and teaches riot and rebellion against intolerable situations with the help of paper-maché weaponry and the appropriately riotous Bread and Puppet Brass Band. Director Peter Schumann, who founded the company in 1963 in New York City’s Lower East Side, describes the show: “Tigers roar, apes drum their chests, horses neigh, and celestial grasshoppers teach ICE agents the basics steps of grasshopper rebellion dancing. A paradise investigation team analyzes the earthlings’ relationship to paradise, while major representatives of Mother Earth attend a festive Puerto Rican dance of liberation from natural and political disaster.”

Suggested donations are $10 to $25 suggested donation but and no one is turned away for lack of funds.

Blaine Community Theater presents “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” directed by Nick McDonald. Performances are at 7 p.m. Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27; and f 2 p.m. Oct 21 at the new Blaine High School performing arts space. It’s the first show in BCT’s resurrectional 2018-2019 season, and they have picked a terrifying tale just in time for Halloween season frights and fun. The show includes an array of actors from Whatcom County, both audience favorites and stage newcomers. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for students and seniors, and can be purchased at the door (cash only), or online at Visit for more information.

Locarno is the Latin project of JUNO Award winning musician Tom Landa. Like him, the music is equal parts Mexican and Canadian. Tom was born and raised in Mexico City, and moved to Canada in his teens. In the mid nineties he formed the Folk Roots band, The Paperboys, who have been touring worldwide for more than 25 years.

Locarno performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at Skagit Valley College’s McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way, in Mount Vernon.

In 2006 Tom was awarded a Canada Council Grant to study traditional Mexican Music in Veracruz, Mexico. He spent his days learning the jarana — an eight-string guitar — and learning songs from the Son Jarocho repertoire. When he returned to Canada, Tom started working on what would be Locarno’s debut CD in 2009. Since then the band has honed in on their sound and incorporated music from Columbia, African Sukous, Mexican marimba music, Venezuelan joropo, and Brazilian forro. Perhaps where the band shines the most is in the live shows which features Tom on jaranas and guitars, Kalissa Landa on violin, Robin Layne on marimba, congas and timbales, Pedro Mota on guitar and vocals, Aaron McKinney on bass, Liam MacDonald on drums, congas and pandero, Mark D’Angelo on trumpet and Nick La Rivere on trombone. Tickets are $25; reserve at or call 360-416-7727.

2018 celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Bellingham Comicon, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Ferndale Events Center, 5715 Barrett Road.

Special guests are Randy Emberlin, co-creator of Carnage, Amazing Spider-Man, GI Joe, and Dr. Strange; Stefano Gaudiano, The Walking Dead, Daredevil, Gotham Central, Moritat, Elephant Men, Hellblazer, and The Spirit; Bob Smith, previous DC comics Inker, and longtime artist for Archie Comics; Roger Sweet, Mattel toy designer and creator of He-Man; and Rick Hoberg. Bellingham Comicon also spotlights the best of local pop culture artists and writers. There will  be a large selection comics, toys, and related merchandise. Costumed guests will be available for photo-ops for local charities, plus there’ll be a costume contest for all attendees. Kids 7 years old and younger get in free with paid adult. Details:

The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest will offer two days of poetry workshops  at Mindport Exhibits, 210 W. Holly St.

From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 20, Jory Mickelson will teach “Spectacular, Wild, Precarious!” Jory will use Yellowstone National Park as metaphor and structure to examine and reinvigorate your writing. Be prepared to compose new work based on prompts. Also, bring one or two short poetic pieces/fragments that don’t seem to want to come together, and a photograph of an outdoor place you love. Also on Saturday, from 1 to 3 p.m., Maya Jewell Zeller and Laura Read will teach The “American Character & The Personal Pronoun” to help participants generate writing that explores their lives as artifacts of our current national landscape.

On Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon, Jane Wong will teach “Revisiting the Ode,” and from 1 to 3 p.m., Bruce Beasley will teach “Dreams and the Work of Poetry.”

Space is limited and registration is required. All fees benefit the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. Cost is $30 for one workshop or $50 for both workshops offered the same day, paid by check or cash at the workshop.

Register by sending an email to indicating the workshop(s) you wish to take and including your name and a phone number.

Seattle-based singer/songwriter Chava Mirel performs at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Congregation Beth Israel, 751 San Juan Blvd.

Mirel brings a fresh, soulful style to Jewish music. Her melodies and voice infuse the jazz idiom in her songs with themes of gratitude, self-acceptance, balance and responsibility for each other. CDs will be available for purchase at the event.  Visit to read more about the artist and listen to some of her music.Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for members of the congregation, $5 for ages 12 and younger. Purchase online here or call 360-733-8890.

The SpeakEasy poetry series returns with SpeakEasy 22: Animal Beast Creature from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Mount Baker Theatre’s Encore Room, 104 N. Commercial St.

SpeakEasy is an occasional poetry series that emphasizes themed, audience-friendly presentations of quality poetry by Cascadia-region writers. It is co-produced in Bellingham by Luther Allen, author of “The View from Lummi Island;: and Judy Kleinberg. The event is free and Village Books will be there to offer the poets’ books for sale.

Poets Jennifer Bullis, Elizabeth Colen, Paul Hunter, Jeffrey Morgan, Bethany Reid, Kimberly Roe, Ely Shipley, and Sheila Sondik will offer their voices to populate the room with the power of animals – persona, myth, spirit, science, and a deep wildness. More at

Have you ever wondered what it looks like inside a home in downtown Bellingham? Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live downtown between noon and 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, hosted by the Whatcom Housing Alliance. Check out a variety of homes from the renovated, historic Mt. Baker Apartments for low income to new apartments for seniors on the tour. It’s free, but registration is requested through EventBrite on Facebook.