Western Washington University students collaborate on proposal for major Bellingham waterfront public art project

A group of people standing in a circle outtside, listening to someone talk, at the Whatcom Waterway Park site

Visiting Art Instructor Werner Klotz and 39 Western art students have been invited by the City of Bellingham (COB) to propose six separate masterplans for a major collaborative public artwork, at Whatcom Waterway Park.

For the past two months, Werner Klotz and his History of Site Specific Art students at Western Washington University have been working with the COB, to design an exciting art installation for Bellingham’s new waterfront park. They are working as if they are already fully-fledged, professional public artists, with a project budget that COB has allocated of up to $200,000.

On March 10, 2016, six student teams will present to the City of Bellingham, at Bellingham City Hall Council Chambers.

Parks and Recreation Director, Leslie Bryson says, the City is very interested in working with Klotz’s students over the next two years to develop public art ideas and integrate them into the waterfront development plan. Using an active service learning model, Klotz’s course will enable six groups of students to contribute ideas to the master plan for the public art to be realized on these emerging sites. 

Klotz and Bryson believe that this project can be an exciting artistic and professional learning opportunity for current and future Art students at Western. Art professor Sebastian Mendes agrees that working closely with a municipality on a real-world public art project is a fantastic way for art students to hit the ground running professionally.

Klotz is no stranger to actively bringing Western students together for public work. In March 2015 his students presented for the planned Cornwall Beach Park. Five student teams proposed public art for the Walkway Over The Water site.

Werner Klotz is an internationally-renowned installation artist specializing in public art. He has major permanent installations at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport; Staten Island Ferry, in New York City; San Francisco; as well as commissions in Germany and Italy.


Contact information:


360 224 2657


COB Park&Recreation Department Project Planer:

Julia Burns


360 7787013


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Press Photo from Site Visit on January 28, 2016

From the right to center : Werner Klotz, Western Washington University, Leslie Bryson, Director, Bellingham Parks and Recreation,  Shannon Taysi, COB, Public Art Program

Authored on

Nov 21, 2017 8:00am