Art to be in Lynden Library and in printed form in January 

WHATCOM — The Whatcom County Library System celebrates the talent of young artists in the community with a reception for the Whatcomics exhibit and publication. It will be on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Lynden Library, 216 Fourth St. 

The annual Whatcomics program began in 2007. Teens submit artwork in many styles including pen-and-ink, colored pencil, paint and digital. Artists who are accepted for publication receive a copy of the printed Whatcomics. This year’s original artwork will be on display at the Lynden Library in January.

This program is headed by WCLS Teen Services Coordinator Tamar Clarke and promoted countywide by WCLS and the Bellingham Public Library. “Whatcomics gives teens a chance to contribute — to share their passion, talent and artwork,” said Clarke. “Publishing their artwork helps teens gain confidence in their work.”

This year, the artwork selected for the cover of the publication was created by 11th grader Payton Elefson, who decided to submit two of her illustrations after seeing a copy of a past Whatcomics at the Ferndale Library.

“Being selected for the cover of Whatcomics is really exciting,” Elefson said, “I submitted what I thought were my best works to Whatcomics, hoping that I would get in. I had no idea that I would even get a shot at becoming the cover of Whatcomics!”

The Elefson cover art selected “is essentially the prototype promotional art for my little webcomic called ‘Dimensional Wars,’” she said of her illustration.

Her colorful piece was chosen by a committee that included the WCLS teen intern, Giordanne Panis, a South Whatcom Library patron whose illustration “Venus” is included in Whatcomics 2019. Blaine teen Alex Sebastian’s work “Yuri” is included, with a portion of the piece featured on the back cover of the publication.

Artwork was received from teen patrons at nine of the ten WCLS library branches, the WCLS Bookmobile, and all three BPL libraries, including “May I Have a 10th Serving,” by Bellingham youth Raya Stiles.  “Witnessing such a wealth of talent and creativity from young people across Whatcom County gives me hope for our future,” said WCLS Youth Services Manager Thom Barthelmess. “These are teens who see their world clearly and express that vision with self-assurance and candor.”

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 from Jan. 1 through March 15, 2020, online or through any of the WCLS library branches. Visit for more information.