Seattle’s art scene: a (very brief) introduction

On cloudy days it’s tempting to want to stay in and cuddle up with a book and a cup of coffee (and for where to go for that definitely check out Emile’s post), but I’m going to suggest an alternative: this is perfect opportunity to go and check out some of Seattle’s great museums! There are plenty that could be included, but here are a smattering that I strongly recommend:

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM):
You may have seen this guy lurking around downtown…

Courtest of

Courtesy of

But fear not dear readers, he only represents the entrance to the SAM! Located right in the heart of downtown at 1300 First Ave., it is a convenient and awesome way to spend a morning, afternoon, or evening (open ’til 9p on Thursday and Friday!). Even the lobby gives a hint of the greatness to be seen within this museum:

Although this is one of the more pricey museums on my list, it is absolutely a Seattle classic, and I highly recommend it. Their student prices are $11 for general admission or you can pay $17 for the student-priced admission to the Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Gainsborough exhibit (which I haven’t seen yet, but really want to!). The SAM does free first Thursdays (which, unfortunately, was last week), but keep that in mind for future Seattle visits! Last little note about the SAM: there is a SAM art gallery  that happens to be hosting a FREE event tomorrow night! From 5:00-7:00p in the SAM gallery, the opening of an exhibit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the SAM will take place. It should be exciting with lots of new artists showing work (and, again, it’s free to go!).

Okay enough about the SAM. Next recommendation…

Olympic Sculpture Park!
The Olympic Sculpture Park is located right on the water near Seattle Center. It is always (always!) free, and open 365 days a year. It has sculptures that range from the giant to the tiny, and being right on the water provides an even better setting to enjoy the art. If you want to get some outdoor time, but still take in some art, and not have to pay any money… well, I couldn’t think of a better way. Take a gander at this photo snapped by a friend:

Courtesy of A. Kuchinsky

Courtesy of A. Kuchinsky

More than my praise, I figured a picture would probably give you all the convincing you need.

Other great options…
As those two are located downtown and are some of my favorites, I wanted to include them. Want to go a little farther off the beaten path? Try the Frye Art Museum! It is always free! (And no, I never get tired of sharing that fact.) It’s also located near downtown, right across I5 between James and Madison. Also worth a mention is the Henry Art Gallery located on the University of Washington campus. A quick bus ride on the 71, 72, or 73 will take you right there from downtown. Like the Frye, admission is always free (to students, $10 suggested donation for non-students)! And like the SAM, it’s open ’til 9:00p on Thursdays and Fridays. Last suggestion, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, located in Volunteer Park, is another great option. A suggested fee of $5 for students is entirely reasonable, and it also affords you the perfect opportunity of wander the park, see the water tower and conservatory, and experience a little of Capitol Hill while you’re there.

There are even more museums and ways to experience art here in Seattle. Whether you want your art outdoors, in a small intimate setting, for free, or any which way you can get it, there are options for everyone. Perfect for brightening up even the cloudiest of days!


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