Arts Scene in the San Juan Islands
One of the many reasons to visit the San Juan Islands is to experience the vibrant arts scene. Whether fine art, crafts, theatre, or other performance art, the Islands have attracted an accomplished and varied community of artists who share their work in many different venues.
Browse galleries and outdoor markets offering colorful paintings, fiber art and jewelry. Listen to world-class musicians at the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. Enjoy moving performances at San Juan Island Community Theatre’s Shakespeare Under the Stars. Or, hear talented local poets read at Lopez Island’s intimate library. Whatever your interests, you’ll discover a vast range of artistic offerings and activities on your visit to the San Juan Islands.
And you’ll find not just a profusion of professional artists, but also a wealth of part-time creativity—here, your tour guide, receptionist, server, or sales clerk is likely to paint, write, or act in their off hours. Musicians. Photographers. Writers. Sculptors. Actors. Stonemasons. Fiber artists. Watercolorists. Woodturners. Ceramicists. The islands’ beauty attracts and inspires artists of all genres, and you’ll find yourself experiencing their works at every turn.
Orcas, San Juan and Lopez each offers a wealth of galleries and studios to explore, and on summer Saturdays, you can sample distinctive local crafts, art, jewelry, clothing, and pottery at these islands’ lively farmers’ markets. On summer Friday nights at the Art Market in Friday Harbor, artists share and sell their creations. Even more dramatic are the community theaters in Eastsound, Friday Harbor, and Lopez Village, whose year-round entertainments range from plays and Broadway musicals to chamber, folk and jazz music. In the summer months, treat yourself to free live music in Eastsound’s village green, at the Port of Friday Harbor, or at Music on the Lawn at the San Juan Historical Society Museum.
Visit artists on their home turf during the Artists’ Studio Tours on San Juan in June, Orcas in August, and Lopez in September. In July, take in the Summer Arts Fair on San Juan Island, and in August, enjoy the Chamber Music Festival on Orcas.
From internationally lauded to creatively home grown, from sophisticated to simple, you’ll discover a range of artistic experiences in the San Juans as wide and eclectic as your tastes.
Current schedules of shows, openings, and exhibitions can be found on the events page.
The San Juan Islands Museum of Art provides quarterly exhibits that reflect the best of the visual arts from the northwestern U.S. and southwestern Canada. The IMA's mission is to connect people with art that inspires, challenges, and enlightens. [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. Coupled with an ever-changing collection of works, the diverse selection of artists and media makes each visit to Crow Valley Pottery unique. 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. [more...]
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...]
San Juan Community Theatre, located on San Juan Island in Friday Harbor, is a state-of-the-art facility far exceeding expectations of what might be found on a remote island. The Theatre offers a broad variety of high-quality, locally-produced events, as well as performances by renowned touring music, theatre and dance companies. The Theatre is active year-round. See the schedule of events on our web site for details on current and upcoming shows. [more...]
Lopez Center for Community and the Arts is a critical part of life on the island. Located on some 7 acres of land in the middle of Lopez Village, The Center has committed the use of some of the land to an outdoor performance pavilion, The Lopez Children’s Center, The Family Resource Center, The Farmers Market, a community garden, and a skateboard park. It sits proudly in the middle of an expansive greensward with drought and deer resistant landscaping. [more...]
The space has been an art gallery since 1985, when Robert Behr opened up a gallery called “Cabazon” (a kind of fish found in the area). He sold it to Whitney Peckman who had a gallery named “Garuda and I” with beads and artifacts from her travels in Bali and Thailand. She sold it and it ran under the same name for many years. Doug Bison opened up “Bison Gallery” in 2009 and left in 2011 to open a gallery in La Conner named “Blackfish Gallery”. The space was vacant in 2012, when Nina Pellar Le Baron decided that someone needed to open up an art gallery there. [more...]
A self-guided tour of 12 working studios with over 31 participants. We are a group of mutually supportive San Juan Island artists who open up our personal studio spaces, often including artistic gardens, to the public for an entire weekend at the end of spring each year. This free community event celebrates the way we work and live. In addition to displaying our work, including sculpture, jewelry, pottery, printmaking, glass, fiber and fine art, we share insights into how our art is created and what inspires and motivates us in our chosen media. [more...]
WaterWorks Galley is San Juan Island’s première gallery for contemporary artwork. Established in 1985 with the concept of showcasing artists based in the San Juan Islands and the Pacific Northwest. The work of the gallery’s painters and sculptors reflect the unique Northwest experience. Artists and their visions evolve and change, stimulated by the changing times we live in. Art jewelry is a new addition to the gallery. Monthly show schedule posted online. Seasonally adjusted hours. [more...]
Yvonne’s work space is a multi media island studio located four miles from the town of Friday Harbor on a beautiful lakeside setting. Come visit to watch and learn about her art glass panels, miniature sculptures (jewelry), and encaustic (beeswax) paintings. Artwork is available for sale and custom commissions always welcome. By appointment or call for studio hours. [more...]
Don't miss this 20 acre outdoor park with over 125 unique sculptures in a beautifully landscaped setting. Various trails are mapped and marked to follow on a self guided tour. Bring your camera! Fun for the entire family, possibly pack a picnic lunch. We have tables and chairs under our large tent during the summer months. Open all year round from dawn to dusk. A per person donation of $5 is requested and children are free. Dogs are welcome! Probably the best attended outdoor event in the islands – over 30,000 visitors a year. [more...]
Featuring works by a handpicked selection of regional fine artists tastefully displayed in a comfortable naturally lit space. Conveniently located on A Street above the Friday Harbor ferry parking lot. [more...]
We are a fine art galley that offers a venue for the native people of the Northwest Coast, the Inuit and Alaskan indigenous artists. We feature master carvers in wood, stone and bone. Our selection of silver, argillite basketry, paintings and ivory will enhance your island experience. [more...]
Enjoy the waterfront walk down to the Port of Friday Harbor, appreciating the Coast Salish "Portals of Welcome" house posts and the many visiting boats from around the world. The carved cedar piece is titled "Interaction" and was created by Salish Coast artist Susan Point as a symbol of welcome and an acknowledgement of the Native presence in the San Juan Islands. [more...]