Orcas Island Arts Scene
Orcas Island’s main village, Eastsound, has been honored by ArtPlace as “One of America’s Top Twelve Small-town ArtPlaces” for being “exceptionally successful in combining the arts, artists, and venues for creativity and expression with independent businesses, restaurants, and a walkable lifestyle.” For many Orcas Island artists, from musicians to actors to painters, sharing and selling their work is a way of life.
If you’re more interested in ceramics, Orcas Island is a great place to go. There are three potteries on the island—Crow Valley Pottery, Orcas Island Pottery, and Olga Pottery—each with its own feel and fascinating history. Each one has several rooms of ceramics, and two have waterfront locations so you can catch some great views while visiting.
At Orcas Island Artworks, you’ll find jewelry, fiber art, paintings, pottery and much more, all created by more than 40 local artists. If you’re looking for art and sculpture check out the shops and galleries in Eastsound. These offer everything from impressionistic and abstract paintings to handmade jewelry, photography and woodworking. Or call ahead to visit the Lambiel Museum, a private collection of works by San Juan Islands artists. Kinetic sculptor Anthony Howe displays his moving sculptures at several locations on the island, including a sculpture park just outside Eastsound—call ahead to make sure it’s open.
For a creative getaway, sign up for an art class taught by some of Orcas Island's most accomplished artists. One- to three-day workshops are given through individual artists, or at some of the islands art studios, including Orcas Art Studios, offering life drawing workshops, plein air painting classes, pastels, ink and more. The Funhouse Commons offers many creative workshops for kids.
Theater and music are thriving on Orcas. In March, “the play’s the thing,” when the Orcas Island Shakespeare Festival features performances throughout Eastsound. From performances of the Metropolitan Opera broadcast live from New York at the Orcas Center and plays at the Grange, to the world-class Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival and rock, jazz and folk bands at local bars, there is always something to inspire and entertain.
Current schedules of shows, openings, and exhibitions can be found on the events page.
Orcas Island Artworks is currently located at 217 Main Street in Eastsound, also known as the old library, while their historic building in Olga is repaired due to a fire. A treasured Orcas Island destination for visitors and locals alike, the Artworks offers one of the finest selections of local art and crafts in the San Juan Islands. The co-op represents over forty Orcas Island artists and craftspeople, working in pottery, sculpture, jewelry, glass, wood, paintings, prints, wearable art, fiber and more. Established in 1981, the gallery is one of the oldest cooperatives in the country. [more...]
The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is dedicated to the highest standards of musical excellence, through creative programming and Festival-related events throughout the year. It is our mission to share stimulating musical experiences with all midst the beauty of Orcas Island, creating Classical Music with a View!
Aloysia Friedmann, Artistic Director and Jon Kimura Parker, Artistic Advisor [more...]
Create an artful vacation with a painting or drawing workshop on beautiful Orcas Island with it’s idyllic setting of Crow Valley pastures and glorious mountain and ocean views.
Our workshops are run by locally and nationally known art instructors. Among them are Gage Academy’s teachers Terry Furchgott and Mitchell Albala. [more...]
The oldest pottery in the Northwest, it is located on West Beach only 3½ miles from Eastsound, in an area of old growth cedars and Douglas fir, on a 100-foot high bluff overlooking President's Channell. When you turn off the main road onto the long driveway into the woods, you feel like you are going into a fairyland. As you enter the parking lot you will notice a sign for the 'Foot Path' that leads you down into the yard. There you will find different pathways to go on to discover this magical place with its beautiful gardens and fountains. It's a whimsical adventure. [more...]
Opened in 1959, Crow Valley Pottery continues to focus on artists creating original works in a variety of media. Potters Jeffri Coleman and Michael Rivkin anchor an exciting gallery unmatched in the islands for its breadth of artists, with an ever-changing collection of works in diverse media. The summer show series is a "must do" while on Orcas. The "Annual Garden Show" each June ushers in the beginning of the summer season. The Gallery is open 7 days a week, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Valentine's Day through New Year's Day (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas). [more...]
The Orcas Center is the focal point on Orcas Island for community theater and the performing arts, presenting both local and professional artists. Over 40 performances a year has this center teeming with artistic activity. The facility features a 213 seat theater, a multipurpose community room, a fully equipped kitchen, offices and a beautiful lobby that functions as a gallery for the visual arts. [more...]