The Cascadia Art Museum is the perfect addition to any day trip to the coastal community of Edmonds, just north of Seattle.
The museum is located in a modern building near the ferry terminal and the waterfront and shares the space with 190 Sunset (an upscale eatery featuring local fare) and Scratch Distillery. Food, drinks, and art — under one roof.
Cascadia, which opened in 2015, is a museum in a city that loves the arts. You can’t walk down a given street in Edmonds without seeing a mural or an artists’ supply store. The Cascadia gallery features art from Pacific Northwest artists, many of whom have been forgotten by time, but still deserve due recognition for their work. You can see paintings and sculptures by lesser-known, but unquestionably impressive, artists in a regional oeuvre that you can’t find anywhere else.
The museum offers reasonably-priced admission and its galleries are easy to navigate. I paid 10 dollars at the door and was able to absorb all of the art in the five rooms in under an hour. I found the smaller scope of the gallery to be refreshing, as sometimes trips to large museums or galleries can feel like a marathon walking session or sensory overload.
If most museums are a five course meal the Cascadia Art Museum is a tapas restaurant: a little bit of this, a little bit of that and you leave feeling quite satisfied.
When I visited in September of 2018, I saw an exhibit called “Drama and Design” featuring paintings and stage design by Northwest artists Yvonne Twining Humber and Blanche Morgan Losey. These women were prominent artists who belonged to the Women Painters of Washington, a group of talented artists who banded together to promote aesthetic ideals back when Seattle was considered by East Coast arts elitists to be a frontier town of roughnecks and loggers.
The museum’s gift shop is classy. If you’re in town as a tourist and are looking for a souvenir that’s not a corny postcard or paperweight, you’ll want to pick up a handmade basket, a scarf designed by artists, or a jigsaw puzzle featuring WPA National Parks poster art. The gift shop also has books about Seattle-area artists. If you’re an enlightened traveller who likes to absorb culture from new places, be sure to pick up a book.
The Cascadia Art Gallery sometimes offers live chamber music in the gallery courtesy of Philharmonia Northwest, so be sure to check the museum's website before planning your visit. Note that, if you time your visit right, you can attend for free on the third Thursday of each month as part of Art Walk Edmonds.
Visit Cascadia Art Museum when you’re north of Seattle for a dose of what makes the Northwest beautiful: its arts and culture.
Cascadia Art Museum
190 Sunset Ave. #E
Edmonds, WA 98020
Mon & Tue: Closed
Wed – Sun: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Art Walk Edmonds
Third Thursday: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.