WCLS celebrates teen artists

Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) is celebrating local young artists with the release of its annual teen art anthology, Whatcomics. Community members can view the art and meet the artists at a 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14 reception at the Lynden Library. During the event, Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) will unveil its new Whatcomics bus, which features select artwork from the publication. Tour the bus during the event and learn how Youth Ride Free on all WTA routes.   

Framed Whatcomics artwork will remain on display at the Lynden Library through the end of February. Following the Jan. 14 publication release, community members can view Whatcomics online at wcls.org/whatcomics or check out the 60-page publication from a local public library. Prior-year publications are also available.  

The program is coordinated by WCLS Teen Services Coordinator Tamar Clarke and promoted countywide. Teens submit artwork in many styles including pen and ink, colored pencil, paint and digital art. Each artist receives a copy of the book. The publication is edited and designed by Clarke, WCLS graphic designer Cynthia French and teen intern Abril Rodriguez.  

“We hope people will leaf through the pages of Whatcomics,” Clarke says. “When they do, they will find a remarkable mix of artistic techniques and themes, revealing a breadth and depth of talent from young artists in our community.” Whatcomics began in 2007 and has grown in size from 31 artists in its initial year to 84 this year.

In partnership with the Whatcom Transportation Authority, teen artwork will be on display throughout Whatcom County bus routes on the Whatcomics Bus. “The Whatcomics bus will be a rolling teen art gallery,” says WTA Community Relations and Marketing Manager Genevieve Carrillo. “This is the first time we’ve featured art onboard in this way. We’re excited to help showcase the fantastic work created by local teens.” The bus will feature 12 pieces of art on its interior ceiling and additional character artwork on the outside. 

In addition to the Whatcomics publication, the Whatcom County Library System publishes a teen poetry anthology every spring called A Forest of Words. Submissions for this year’s anthology are accepted through March 15, 2023, online or through any of the WCLS library branches. Visit wcls.org/a-forest-of-words for more information. 

Featured art: Ava Moreau’s “Raccoon”