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Seattle Arts & Culture

Look here for places, destinations, and attractions in Seattle-area and the Northwest.

Art Museums - Art Galleries - Art & Culture Walks - Misc. Resources - Artist Resources - Artists & Writers - Drama & Theatre - Musical Arts - Dance - Schools & Academies - Arts Organizations

Art Museums

  • Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Seattle's premier art museum has two locations, one downtown and the other in Volunteer Park up on Capitol Hill. The second was the original SAM location, but is now called the Seattle Asian Art Museum and houses SAM's large and prestigious Asian art collection. If you're visiting Seattle, both of these museums are worth a visit. Free on the first Thursday of every month and for seniors (62 or older) on the first Friday of every month.
  • Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM). The original Seattle Art Museum building, at Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, now housing the museum's Asian art collection. Free on the first Thursday and the first Saturday of the month, and for seniors (62 or older) on the first Friday of the month.
  • Bellevue Art Museum (BAM). The Bellevue Art Museum is currently closed, although efforts are underway to reopen it. Donations to help BAM reopen are welcome.
  • Tacoma Art Museum (TAM). Located in downtown Tacoma on Pacific Avenue. Features a permanent collection of Dale Chihuly glass art. Free on the third Thursday of the month
  • Museum of Northwest Art. Located in La Conner, in the Skagit Valley. The permanent collections include works by Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Guy Anderson, Bill Cumming, Richard Gilkey, Dale Chihuly, and other prominent Northwest artists.
  • Museum of Glass. The Puget Sound area has the largest concentration of glass artists in the World. Located in Tacoma, this 75,000 square-foot facility features exhibitions, live glass blowing demonstrations in the Museum hot shop, and innovative multimedia presentations.
  • Henry Art Gallery. UW's art museum, located on campus, at 15th Avenue NE and NE 41st Street.
  • Frye Art Museum -- Located on First Hill. An art museum originally endowed by Charles Frye in his will to house his art collection. Frye had made his fortune in the meat packing business, allowing he and his wife Emma to make many art buying sorties to Europe. If anything, however, this museum is monument to a missed opportunity. That's because Charles and Emma could have purchased boatloads of Impressionist masterpieces at the time for very little money -- instead, they paid exhorbitant prices for works of the most popular artists of the time, such as by Bouguereau, for instance. Still, many of the paintings in the collection are remarkable for the painterly skills that are demonstrated, even if they are a little shallow in other regards. The Frye also hosts many travelling exhibits, primarily focusing on realistic/representational works.
  • 911 Media Arts Center. A non-profit arts center that offers low-cost production equipment, workshops and a screening room for production of indie media. Member-supported crew lists, bulletin boards and networking opportunities for those involved in the creative use of media for communications and artmaking. Open screenings of documentaries, experimental narratives, animation and more. 911 has been the Northwest's premiere media center for close to 20 years.

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Art Galleries

Fine Art Galleries

  • Foster White Gallery. The premier Pioneer Square gallery, representing many of the NW's most notable artists, including Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Dale Chihuly, Richard Gilkey, Morris Graves, Paul Horiuchi, Alden Mason, Mark Tobey, George Tsutakawa, Windsor Utley, James Washington Jr., and others.
  • Davidson Galleries.
  • William Traver Gallery. Located close to the Seattle Art Museum, at 110 Union Street (between First and Second Avenues).
  • Linda Hodges Gallery. Nationally recognized for Northwest contemporary art.
  • Lisa Harris Gallery. Features contemporary Northwest and West Coast-based artists. Located at Pike Place Market, upstairs in the Soames Dunn Building (on the same block as the first Starbuck's).
  • Francine Seders Gallery. Located on Phinney Ridge in Seattle since 1970.
  • Bryan Ohno Gallery.
  • Gallery Mack. The works of regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized artists, including paintings, stone and bronze sculpture, glass art, and distinctively crafted jewelry.
  • Atelier 31. Focusing on contemporary and avant-garde art
  • The Fountainhead Gallery. Located on top of Queen Anne Hill.
  • Delight Hamilton Gallery. Located in the historic Washington Shoe Building, on Jackson in Pioneer Square.
  • Solomon Fine Art. Located on First Avenue, near Seneca.
  • Ballard Fetherston Gallery. Features narrative/figurative and abstract art. Located on East Pine Street on Capitol Hill, near Seattle Central Community College and Seattle University.
  • Kirsten Art Gallery. Eclectic art gallery, featuring meditative art, marine art, blown glass sculpture, ceramics, and art cards. Located in the Roosevelt district.
  • Global Art Venue. Works of local, national and international artists, including hand blown glass, paintings, sculpture, lithographies, prints, and drawings.
  • Specializing in Self-Taught, Folk & Outsider Art.

Photography Galleries

  • G. Gibson Gallery. Photographs and related fine arts from the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries, as well as contemporary mixed-media works.
  • Benham Gallery. Specializes in local and international fine art photography featuring a select group of emerging, mid-career, and established Northwest photographers.
  • Photographic Center Northwest. A school and non-profit gallery. The gallery exhibits emerging, mid-career and nationally known artists working in the photographic medium. Located on 12 Avenue at Marion, across from Seattle University.
  • Flurry & Company. Featuring the photography of Edward S. Curtis, including many historical photographs of Northwest Coast and Alaskan native americans.

Glass Art, Ceramic, and Crafts Galleries

  • Art by Fire. A working glass gallery and glass blowing school located in the heart of Ballard. With 800 feet of upscale gallery and 1000 feet of Hot Shop you can view art work from local artists or watch artisians at work producing their glass art.
  • Avalon Glass Works. A working artistsí studio, hot shop and gallery which has been a West Seattle business since 1993. Next door to Luna Park Cafe in West Seattle
  • Seattle Glassblowing Studio and Gallery. Watch live glassblowing, meet glass artists, and browse through a gallery of glass art. Located in Belltown, on Fifth between Bell and Blanchard.
  • Oh My Glass. Offers work by more than 50 regional glass artists and owner/artist Cindi McManus.
  • Phoenix Rising Gallery: Art Objects for Modern Living. Features work produced by hand in small workshops by experienced and emerging craftspersons in the United States and Canada, including blown and lampworked glass, gold and silver jewelry, ceramics, wood boxes and accessories, and home furnishings. Located on Western Ave., near Pike Place Market.
  • Pottery Northwest. A non-profit clay studio founded in 1966, near the Seattle Center on First Ave. N., that has grown into a large, fully equipped center for the clay arts. Provides studio space, classes, professional workshops, lectures, community programs, and a gallery dedicated to the exhibition and sale of ceramic works.

Asian Art Galleries

  • Carolyn Staley Fine Japanese Prints. Featuring Ukiyo-e and modern Japanese woodblock prints.
  • Kagedo Japanese Art. Specializes in a broad range of fine quality Japanese art and antiques, including ceramics, textiles, bronzes, cloisonne, okimono, studio basketry, scholar's objects, paintings, Buddhist arts, furniture and stone garden ornaments.

Native American Art Galleries

  • The Legacy Ltd. The nations' foremost source of Northwest Coast Native American art and artifacts. Located at First and Madison.
  • Snow Goose Gallery. Founded in 1971, providing quality native art from the Northwest Coast, Canada and Alaska. Located at 8806 Roosevelt Way NE.
  • Stonington Gallery. Fine art from the Pacific Northwest Coast. Located in Pioneer Square, on South Jackson St.
  • Northwest Native Expressions: A Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Enterprise. Largest selection of Native Indian Art in Washington State. Located in Sequim, Washington.
  • Flurry & Company. Featuring the photography of Edward S. Curtis, including many historical photographs of Northwest Coast and Alaskan native americans.

Cooperative, Non-Profit, and Alternative Galleries

  • COCA: Center on Contemporary Art. Features experimental artwork, installations, performance art, multi-media and multi-disciplinary programs, and gallery exhibitions of visual art.
  • Art/Not Terminal Gallery. A non-juried, non-censored venue for Puget Sound area artists to display their work in an attractive gallery setting. The gallery is a completely volunteer organization, sustained solely through the efforts of member artists and other interested parties. The Gallery is run democratically by the members through the direction of a Board. Art/Not Terminal Gallery maintains an open door policy to all artists without censorship.
  • 911 Media Arts Center. A non-profit arts center that offers low-cost production equipment, workshops and a screening room for production of indie media. Member-supported crew lists, bulletin boards and networking opportunities for those involved in the creative use of media for communications and artmaking. Open screenings of documentaries, experimental narratives, animation and more. 911 has been the Northwest's premiere media center for close to 20 years.
  • Consolidated Works: A Contemporary Arts Center. Presenting work by artists engaged in the exploration of theater, visual art, film, music, and other arts disciplines.
  • Artswest: West Seattle's Arts Center. A non-profit gallery featuring contemporary artists of the Northwest.
  • Pratt Fine Arts Center. A studio for the visual arts, located in Seattle's Central District. Offers classes, workshops, and studio equipment access in glass, sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, metalsmithing and more.
  • Jack Straw New Media Gallery. Offers established and emerging artists of all disciplines the opportunity to create and present experimental work involving sound and technology, with the option of integrating any combination of other disciplines including visual and/or performance art.
  • Cultural Development Authority Gallery. On the second floor of the historical Smith Tower. Exhibits a new local artist each month. Exhibitors are selected by a panel of local artist peers.
  • Artists' Gallery of Seattle. An alternative gallery and exhibition space. Artists can rent wall spaces (7-feet wide/13-feet high approx.) or wall panels (7-feet wide/10-feet high) to show their work for $135/month or $100/month, respectively. Space for three-dimensional art display and traditional gallery exhibits is also available. A good way for aspiring artists to get exposure on the First Thursday art walks. A 25% commision is charged on all sales.

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Art & Culture Walks

  • Chinatown Discovery: An Asian Cultural Experience. Walking tours led by Vi Mar, Chinese-American and Seattle native, who's been active in Chinatown/International District for many years. She knows the district intimately and has a wealth of information to share about the history and culture of Seattle's Chinese-Americans and other Asian residents. Besides the basic walking tour, three other tours are available, one including a six-course dim-sum lunch, a "nibbling" tour, and another tour including a full eight-course banquet.
  • First Thursday Art Walk. Not a specific tour, as such, but an itinerary that anyone can follow, in which ever order they wish. On the first Thursday of every month, most Pioneer Square galleries remain open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to welcome visitors. Many galleries time their shows so their opening nights are on the first Thursday of the month. The Seattle Art Museum, downtown, and the Seattle Asian Art Museum, in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, are also free all day and open until 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. Just show up and wander around.

    Other Art Walks: Kirkland's art galleries have organized a Second Thursday art walk from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., while Tacoma's galleries and museums have organized a Third Thursday art walk (the Museum of Glass, the Washington State History Museum, and the Tacoma Art Museum are all free on the third Thursday of the month and remain open until 9 p.m.). Ballard has organized the Ballard Art Walk on the second Saturday of every month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. -- for a listing and map of venues, see http://www.ballardchamber.com/April_Artwalk_Map.pdf (PDF file, requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader; it is for the April 2003 walk, but I assume the itinerary and map is still largely accurate). On the same day (the second Saturday of the month, galleries and shops in Fremont have organized the Fremont Art About from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., which dovetails nicely with, both geographically and time-wise with the Ballard event.

  • Art Detour. Tour Artists' studios, in central Seattle, North Seattle, Belltown/Pioneer Square, Ballard, and South/West Seattle. Check site for 2004 schedules and itineraries.

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Misc. Art & Culture Resources

  • Seattle Arts, Entertainment, Recreation, Tourism by the City of Seattle. An excellent link-o-rama to the Seattle area's museums and theaters, as well as dance, music, poetry, and other resources.
  • Art Guide Northwest -- If you're planning on touring the Seattle area's many art galleries and museums, this is the place to plan your itinerary. Includes a "Gallery Walk," which provides a complete directory of western Washington galleries and museums.

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Artists and Writers

  • Paul Heald. Paul was actually one of my teachers back when I sojourned at Cornish for a few years, way back in the late-'60s. One thing I really like about him was that he didn't try to imprint his style on his students, but tried to bring out what was individually true for each person. Paul's site offers a retrospective look at his work, with examples of his paintings for each decade, going back to the '60s (starting with his student days at Ellensburg, his teaching days at Cornish, and onward).
  • Elton Bennett. Noted for his serigraphic prints (silkscreens) of the Northwest coast and landscape (gallery available at site). Bennett was born and raised in Hoquiam. When I was a kid growing up in Aberdeen in the late 50's, he was a friend of my mother (who was also an artist), and was very much a lead member, along with the watercolorist, Perry Acker, of what was a loosely organized but quite vibrant "art colony" in the Aberdeen/Hoquiam area. A nature walk has been named after him in Hoquiam. Born in 1910, Bennett died in 1974.
  • Sea Commander Studios (works of Patrick J. Haskett. Patrick J. Haskett is a "Northwest realist" painter and printmaker who studied under Bill Cumming and Paul Heald at Cornish in the early 70's. We were actually there at the same time for a year.
  • Jane Hammon (Greg Kucera Gallery).
  • Garbl's Writing Center by Gary B. Larsen.
  • The Zealot`s Lore: Steven Jesse Bernstein. A short prose piece, transcriptions from Prison, and more.
  • Steven J. Bernstein: More Noise, Please!. From Sonarchy.
  • City of Art: Home Page of the Street Art Stylists of Seattle (SASS), presented by Larry Nielson (a/k/a Doctor Schlock). Included are links to Larry's other sites, including Silly Streets of Seattle, Masters of Street Art, Seattle's Finest Holiday Lights, Seattle Art Cars, Wild in the Streets, and other kool & kitschy sites.
  • Betty MacDonald Fan Club: Famous for authoring The Egg and I in Chimacum Valley, near Port Townsend, in 1945, in which she introduced the characters of Ma and Pa Kettle. Also author of The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series. See also the page on Betty MacDonald at HistoryLink.org.

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Artist Resources

Artist Live-In or Work-In Studio Spaces

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Theatre & Drama

Threatre Companies

Musical Theatre

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Musical Arts

Symphonies, Chamber Orchestras, and Choral Groups

Opera

Jazz

Music Festivals

For Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, and other "non-classical" music festivals, see the Festivals & Events section of the Music & Entertainment page.

Misc. Music Resources

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Dance Companies and Theatres

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Writing and Poetry Resources

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Art, Music, Drama, and Dance Schools & Academies

Fine Art Schools & Programs

Photography Schools & Programs

Glass, Pottery, & Craft Schools & Programs

Drama Schools & Programs

Music Schools & Programs

Dance Schools & Programs

Misc. Schools & Programs

  • Seattle Parks & Recreation: Arts & Culture. Find out about art, crafts, dance, and other classes, as well as public art displays, multi-cultural activities, and special events at arts and culture venues in Seattle's parks, including the Seward Park Art Studio, Alki Art Studio, Madrona Dance Studio, Seattle Public Theater, ArtsCorps, Pratt Fine Arts Center, and Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.

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Film/Video Festivals & Series

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Arts Organizations

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