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Art and nature inside a museum

Another people-oriented post, this time a profile of the new curator at the Whatcom County art and history museum in Bellingham, WA, and her take on why it’s important to combine art and science within the walls of a museum, and now just by hanging landscape portraits on the wall:

Barbara Matilsky liked the idea of working at Whatcom Museum because she could be the new art curator in the new, state-of-the-art Lightcatcher building.

And although she hails from the East Coast, she thought Bellingham would be a good fit because of her Northwest-friendly interest in showing how art connects with the world at large. “I’m very much interested in art and community,” Matilsky said, ‘”art, nature and community.”

“I learned that art was an avenue into politics, economics, history, everything,” she said. “It can open up a whole new world.”

Matilsky is working on “Vanishing Ice,” a book and exhibit that will explore climate change by contrasting early artists’ renderings of glaciers and icebergs with contemporary photographs shot in the same locales.

Read full profile on Barbara Matilsky.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.

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