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Seattle's Underground Arts Scene: What to Check Out

Picture of Sarah Lantz
Sarah Lantz
Updated: 15 December 2016
Seattle has a dynamic and multi-media art scene, known for its quirky gum wall and the earthy Fremont Troll grasping a Volkswagen Beetle. From graphic novels and pop surrealist art to cinephiles and music fanatics roaming the streets, you’ll find all sorts of things to check out in Seattle. Here are some of our favorite underground art spots to hit up.

Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery

Sharing its space with Georgetown Records, Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery has every comic book and graphic novel in print that Fantagraphics has published. They’re an independent publishing company for comics and have an established niche for illustrated media that’s outside the realm of superhero graphic novels that the behemoth companies Marvel and DC publish. Publishing exquisite, eloquent, and expressive comics, Fantagraphics’ artists show that comics can be just as moving of an art form as film, literature, or poetry.

Linda Hodges Gallery

Showcasing West Coast artists as well as new artists upstairs at their BLUR Gallery, the Linda Hodges gallery is a contemporary art space that specializes in paintings, photography, and sculpture. Artists include Lucinda Parker who paints exuberantly abstract paintings of mountains, and Michael Paul Miller who paints apocalyptic-like paintings, as he is fascinated by the idea of human perseverance. The BLUR Gallery often showcases artists like Justin Duffus, whose paintings have a familiarity and lose movement to them – never quite definite, like memories.

Linda Hodges Gallery, 316 1st Avenue South Seattle, WA USA +1 206-624-3034

Richard Hugo House

A friendly house for writers located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Hugo House hosts events where authors and poets from the Seattle area can share their work. Events include ‘Wage Slaves: Tales from the Grind,’ where writers Anastacia Renee Tolbert, Bruce Barcott, Kate Lebo, Sam Ligon, and Brian McGuigan share their tales from retail and commerce, tackling issues of racism, parenting, and the labors of love and life, and ‘Cheap Beer & Prose,’ where various authors share their writing and you can sit back with a cold one.

Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse

Bringing together performers, teachers, audiences, designers, directors, and community members to create theater, sate bold imaginations, and provoke conversation and curiosity, Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse is a smaller and lesser known yet fantastic theater that mostly produces modern plays. Productions include Bad Jews, a fierce comedy about family, faith, and choosing your identity, and Amadeus, a retelling of Mozart’s life as Vienna’s hardest-partying musician slash celebrity.