top of page

An Afternoon on Pioneer Square

Seattle’s art museums are pricey for the average budget, but you can have a rich art experience exploring some of our intrepid art galleries. Here I focus on Pioneer Square. Several of these galleries have such a range of art that it is almost better than visiting a museum because it is more intimate. But even the small galleries with a single artist are fun to pop in and visit. You no longer need to plan ahead or make an appointment. Friday and Saturday are the best days to go, between 11am and 5pm (but check for small variations).

So I started in the Toshiro Kaplan building to see what had survived the pandemic. I started at the revitalized Center on Contemporary Art, although they wouldn’t let me in because they were having an event! But the exhibition is Tunisian American Rajaa Gharbi. A powerhouse personality and longtime friend of mine, Gharbi says “My art is a search for medicine laughter. “The exhibition is up to the end of October and there will be a celebration on October 7 from 5–8pm and a conversation with Rajaa on October 14 at 6pm.

There are several artist-run cooperative galleries in the Toshiro Kaplan Building each with a different personality. I recommend stopping in at SOIL, Gallery 110 and SHIFT.

SHIFT was featuring “Karey Kessler/ Imagined Topographies of a Vanishing Wilderness” lyrical black and white ink drawings based on topography maps and her own “wandering lines” as she calls them. They connect to her concern about how little wilderness is left on the planet.