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.
Gallery 9 has local arts and gifts from the Northwest Islands. Handmade art can be found in this stunning & chic downtown gallery. From art cards, elegant yoga and art wear, furniture, fiber art, nature photography to painting, jewelry, ceramics, glass, encaustics and sculpture. Almost 35 artists now are represented here! On the way up to the Whale Museum, stop on in and see our changing display of fine contemporary art. Find us at our online store and shop for art gifts from our website at home to feather your nest, body or to give. [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...]
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...]
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...]
Renowned for professional quality productions and unmatchable island ambiance, Island Stage Left's goal is to provide the best theatre for everyone, regardless of their financial circumstance. Join us under the stars every summer for Shakespeare and indoors from September to May for contemporary and classical plays. Admission is free/donations are appreciated. [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 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...]
Founded in 1987 Chimera Gallery is a showplace for Lopez artists and artisans, providing a central location in Lopez Village to display and sell their quality fine art and craft. We are a cooperative gallery with over 20 artists and we have a great selection of painting, pottery, jewelry, weaving, glass, metalwork, journals, botanical art, and more. We hope that you are inspired by our art, as we are inspired by the year-round beauty and peacefulness of Lopez Island. [more...]
The San Juan Islands Sculpture Park is 20 acres of outdoor art. This idyllic setting features more than 100 unique sculptures in a variety of media, from wood and metal, to glass and stone. Artists range from well known to unknown, and there are new additions every year. The park is open all year round from dawn to dusk; a $5 per adult donation is requested. Kids and dogs are free. [more...]
The San Juan Islands Artists' Studio tour is a free, self-guided tour of 13 working studios, including 39 participants all around the island. The artists 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. [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...]
The San Juan County Arts Council is a 501 (c) 3 organization that works to promote and integrate the artistic resources of the county for the creative economic development, education and overall well-being of the community. Public education regarding the arts, supporting existing arts organizations and artists, and creating a complete resource for San Juan County artistic endeavors are our primary goals. [more...]
Visit Paula's studio where she turns porcelain clay on the potters wheel into unique and functional vessels for you table. Established in 1993, the studio offers visitors the opportunity to see a working studio and the many aspects of pottery making. Browse the showroom and view works in progress. Call for hours. [more...]