Seattle Museum Month:
The Arts & Culture-Lovers Tour

Seattle Museum Month, February 1-28, offers Seattle visitors staying in one of our 60+ partner hotels an unbeatable value: 50% off admission at our 40 museum partners, including many of Seattle’s most popular attractions.

You can go to as many museums as you like during your stay, and up to four people staying in the hotel room are eligible to use the discount, so it’s perfect for trips with friends or family. You’ll find the entire list of museums on seattlemuseummonth.com – but how to choose? Let’s dive in and I’ll try to make some suggestions according to your interests.

Today’s topic is: arts & culture immersion! Here are some of my suggestions if you enjoy art.

Seattle Art Museum, or SAM, has been the center for world-class visual arts in the Pacific Northwest since 1933. In the heart of downtown Seattle, light-filled galleries invite you to wander through permanent collections and special exhibitions. SAM’s diverse holdings include Asian, African, Islamic, European, Oceanic, American, modern and contemporary art, and decorative arts and design. Visitors especially enjoy the remarkable Native American galleries and the charming Porcelain Room.

Olympic Sculpture Park is SAM’s free outdoor art experience. In summer, it’s packed with dog walkers and joggers and strollers (both kinds) but in winter you can enjoy the art with more solitude. The collection includes large works by Richard Serra, Roxy Paine, Jaume Plensa, Louise Bourgeois and Alexander Calder. It might be brisk weather in February, but you might also enjoy some beautiful clear views of Elliott Bay and the snowcapped Olympic Mountains.

One of Seattle’s top visitor attractions is also one of its most artful. Located at Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass is bursting with color and light and offers a comprehensive look at the work made by Dale Chihuly, one of the world’s living glass art masters. It never fails to delight with its rooms of glass, impressive suspended sculptures, and colorful garden.

Glass enthusiasts will also want to plan short trips east, to Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM), and south, to Tacoma for the Museum of Glass. A center for craft and design, BAM is currently presenting Glasstastic!, a biennial focused on Northwest artists working in glass. In addition to interesting special exhibitions, a highlight of visiting the Museum of Glass is the chance to watch glass artists at work in the Hot Shop Amphitheatre, located inside the 90-foot tall steel cone.

From the Seattle waterfront, a 30-minute ferry ride to Bainbridge Island (walk on as a foot passenger for ease and savings) and a short stroll will bring you to BIMA, the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.  Admission is always free, but even without the promise of saving on your admission cost this small gem of a museum is a worthy excursion for an engaging look at the art and craft of the Puget Sound region, in an impressive LEED Gold building. An onsite café is great for a lunch break, or walk a bit further into town for numerous tasty choices. The ferry ride is another iconic Northwest experience, offering fantastic views of the Seattle skyline and Elliott Bay.

Also free, the Frye Art Museum is another gem, located just east of downtown Seattle. Established in 1952, the museum is now known for contemporary art exhibitions that explore the issues of our time, and thought provoking programming.

And not least, Washington state’s oldest art museum, the Henry Art Gallery, beckons you to the University of Washington campus. Don’t let its age fool you, the Henry specializes in presenting world-renowned contemporary artists and nurturing emerging talent. My tip: don’t miss Light Reign, the Skyspace by acclaimed artist James Turrell. This immersive installation is one of my favorite contemplative spots in the city.

Learn more about Seattle Museum Month at seattlemuseummonth.com and watch this space in the coming weeks for suggestions for families, history lovers, and seekers of the unique. With 40 museums, we’ve got something for every interest.  See you in February!

About the Author

Tracey Wickersham

Tracey Wickersham is the Director of Cultural Tourism at Visit Seattle. In her off hours she’s the host of a weekly music program on KBCS 91.3 FM and a board member at 4Culture, supporting arts, heritage, public art and historic preservation in King County. She lives in West Seattle with her husband, one headstrong elderly Australian Cattle Dog, heaps of books and music, and an unwieldy garden.

More Posts By Tracey Wickersham
Tracey Wickersham

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