Join Seattle’s Original First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square. Here you’ll find the largest concentration of art galleries in the city. The art walk is free & self-guided, every month from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Check out the October 1st Pinterest Board for all of the upcoming shows and happenings! Missed the art walk? No worries! Most galleries are open for free public viewings all month! Check individual galleries for hours.
About the First Thursday Art Walk
Since the early 1960s, Pioneer Square’s Victorian storefronts and dusty upper floors have provided a haven for gallery owners and artists alike. Today this artistic community is the center of Seattle’s art scene.
First Thursday in Pioneer Square is the first Art Walk in the USA. In 1981 a group of Pioneer Square art dealers printed handout maps, did small-scale promotions, and on the first Thursday of the month painted footprints on the sidewalk outside their galleries. First Thursday soon evolved into a beloved fixture on the local arts calendar.
Today, First Thursday takes place each month in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, from 5 pm to 8 pm, when leading art galleries throw open their doors to introduce their new exhibitions and artists.
The Art Walk in Pioneer Square is enhanced by the dozens of public art installations that can be found when walking between galleries. From the historic Native American Totem Poles in Occidental and Pioneer Square parks to the bright red “Sentinels” on guard outside the new Fire Station 10. A complete list can be found at www.seattle.gov.
Pioneer Square is at the nexus of several transit options. King County Metro, Sound Transit, and Amtrak all crisscross through Pioneer Square daily. The water taxi and ferry terminals are just steps away from the neighborhood. Even the new First Hill Streetcar station is poised to open soon, bringing another mode of transportation to Seattle’s historic hub.
Pioneer Square is also named one of Seattle’s most walkable neighborhoods by Walk Score. It’s easy to leave the car at home and hop on a bus or train to the neighborhood for a day of exploration.
But if transit isn’t in the cards for you, where do you park your car?
During the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square, parking is free in the following garages from 5 – 10 PM. To redeem your free parking on the first Thursday of the month, pick up a voucher at participating Pioneer Square galleries, retailers and restaurants.
Merrill Place Garage (72 S King Street)
Butler Garage (114 James Street)
Pioneer Square Garage (74 S Jackson Street)
Frye Garage (117 3rd Ave S)
Participating in the art walk
To be included in promotions for the First Thursday art walk, your studio, gallery, or venue location must be located within the Pioneer Square Historic District boundaries. In the past, the First Thursday art walk featured an outdoor art fair called Art in Occidental Park. Unfortunately, Art in the Park is no longer managed and individual artists must now find representation with a Pioneer Square art gallery to be featured on the First Thursday art walk. See the Office of Arts & Culture’s calls for artists or contact Pioneer Square galleries directly for representation opportunities.