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The Schack is for Art Lovers

Everett, WA, at the heart of Seattle NorthCountry, is home to a hidden gem for visiting art lovers and art doers of all ages.

On a cool day, when the mists coming in off the Salish Sea seem to encourage late starts and quiet afternoons, make the Schack Art Center the epicenter of your Everett day trip. Exhibits are always changing, but often focus on the work of artists from the Pacific Northwest. Here, you’ll get a unique museum experience sure to bring you culturally closer to your destination, and the artists who live and work here.

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You’ll be greeted as soon as you walk through the big glass doors with a smile from the day’s docent. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated, she might say, welcoming you to the space. To your left, you’ll see a colorful shop full of beautiful creations by local artisans, from jewelry to garden sculpture. The main floor is bright and open, pulling you forward to explore the current exhibit at your own pace, on your own path. In the loft above the main gallery, the art experience continues into a quieter, more intimate space.

Many are drawn instantly to the back of the room, and who could blame them? The far end of the gallery is an observable working glass studio. Children will almost always run there first, peeking over the low wall. Huge kilns, blazing with fires too hot to look at, line the back wall. Burbling fountains take up the mid-ground. Bustling about in the space remaining, artists work in teams, taking molten globs in and out of the fires, spinning and shaping them on long rods. It’s a fascinating dance to watch as a team, almost wordlessly, works together to transform a hunk of molten glass into a pumpkin or a flower or a simple bowl, always aware of the mercurial nature of hot glass, and the potential for injury.

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There’s a high likelihood you’ll wish you could try that for yourself. With some courage and a little foresight, that’s entirely possible. Throughout the year, Schack offers classes in every medium, including glass. Seasonal “make-it-now” classes offer 20-minute sessions allowing you to work with assistance to create a glass object like a pumpkin or an ornament. Local artists run longer classes in everything from basket weaving to encaustic painting. Youth classes are the perfect activity for children looking to stretch their artistic wings, while parents head out for a bit of shopping and a peaceful meal. The location is ideal; right downtown and an easy walk to some of the best lunch spots around.

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Everett, Seattle’s quieter, funkier northern neighbor, is quickly becoming a haven to artists of all types. Add the Schack to your must-see list as you plan your tour of Seattle NorthCountry. Head over to their website to see current exhibits and upcoming class offerings.

Schack Art Center, 2921 Hoyt Ave., Everett, WA (425) 259-5050

Krista Quinby

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