My Visit to the Cascadia Art Museum

Discovering Cascadia Art Museum in WA

There’s a certain charm to visiting an art museum that not only celebrates its region but also breathes life into long-forgotten artists. Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting the Cascadia Art Museum, an iconic landmark in Edmonds, Washington, that serves as a beacon for art lovers everywhere.

The Cascadia Art Museum opened its doors in 2015 and today boasts a collection of over 200 artworks. Nestled in the heart of downtown Edmonds, the museum is strategically located at 190 Sunset Avenue, adjacent to the town’s ferry terminal and train station. It’s remarkable to think that this building, which once housed a Safeway grocery store in the 1960s, has now been transformed into an art oasis. Thanks to the Echelbarger family’s dedication and a passion for the Pacific Northwest, the space underwent a significant retrofit, blending modern design with the region’s eco-consciousness.

Delving into Cascadia’s Rich History

Cascadia Art Museum Mural Info

The Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds, Washington, has quickly established itself as a cornerstone for art from the Pacific Northwest region. This institution’s history is deeply rooted in the Pacific Northwest’s artistic tradition and the vision of its founders.

1960s: The Initial Structure

Before the museum came into existence, the site at 190 Sunset Avenue was home to a Safeway grocery store built during the 1960s. As the years went by, this building was eventually slated for demolition and redevelopment.

2012: A Vision Emerges

In 2012, the Echelbarger family acquired the property. Rather than proceeding with the building’s slated demolition, they chose to renovate and modernize it. The retrofitting efforts showcased the building’s timber frame and introduced wood elements from the Pacific Northwest, emphasizing the region’s eco-consciousness.

It was during this transformative phase that Lindsey Echelbarger, who had been collecting Northwest artists’ work for decades, conceived the idea of a museum focused on Pacific Northwest art.

2015: Birth of the Museum

Cascadia Art Museum Expo FramesOn September 12, 2015, the Cascadia Art Museum was officially inaugurated. It started its journey with an exhibit in collaboration with the Northwest Watercolor Society. This marked the museum’s commitment to showcasing art from the region, specifically from the period of 1880 to 1962. Within its first year, the museum successfully hosted six main exhibitions and saw its membership rise to over 600, reflecting the community’s deep appreciation for its mission.

Today: A Commitment to Regional Art

The museum emphasizes Pacific Northwest art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This era, especially the years prior to 1930, has been notably overlooked by many collectors and museums. The Cascadia Art Museum strives to fill this gap, with curator David F. Martin highlighting the unique influences from Native American and East Asian cultures that are evident in the region’s art.

Today, the museum continues to shine a spotlight on the often overlooked art of the Pacific Northwest, ensuring that the contributions of regional artists from the past remain accessible and celebrated for years to come.

Unique Collections and Exhibits

  • Primary focus on Pacific Northwest artwork from 1880 to 1962.
  • Over 200 artworks borrowed and leased from various collections.
  • Annual and quarterly gallery rotations.
  • Unique blend of Native American and East Asian cultural influences.

During my visit, I was enthralled by the Cascadia Art Museum’s commitment to resurrecting the forgotten art of the Pacific Northwest. The region’s art, as curator David F. Martin aptly points out, is distinct due to its rich influences from Native American and East Asian cultures.

Cascadia Art Museum Expo InsideVisitors to the Cascadia Art Museum will be delighted to find works from notable artists such as Lance Wood Hart, Peggy Strong, and John Matsudaira, to name a few. And if you’re keen on exploring more about Pacific Northwest art, don’t miss out on the curated exhibits by David Martin from the Martin-Zambito Fine Art gallery in Seattle.

A Seamless Fusion of Art and Leisure

For those seeking a seamless fusion of art, dining, and leisure, the Cascadia Art Museum does not disappoint. Sharing its space with the upscale 190 Sunset eatery and Scratch Distillery, visitors can indulge in food, drinks, and art, all under one roof. I fondly recall my visit last month, where I spent a mere 10 dollars and immersed myself in the art world of the Pacific Northwest. The museum’s smaller scope was indeed refreshing, allowing for a more intimate and enriching experience.

Visiting the Cascadia Art Museum

Cascadia Art Museum Location
Planning a visit? Check the cascadia art museum hours and mark your calendar for any upcoming cascadia art museum events. And if you’re passionate about art and culture, consider exploring cascadia art museum jobs to be part of this thriving community.

Getting to the museum is a breeze, whether by car, train, bus, or ferry. And with free three-hour parking available at the Salish Crossing lot, visitors can take their time exploring the Cascadia Art Museum and its surroundings. I went to visit it by car, and is important to mention that they have a parking place that can be used for 3 hours with the Cascadia Art Museum ticket.
If you come from Kingston, you can check when is next ferry available to or from Kingston in our main page.

Final Thoughts

Cascadia Art Museum SouvenirsMy trip to the Cascadia Art Museum was a testament to the vibrant art culture of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a visit to this museum is a must. From its rich history to its captivating collections and its seamless blend of art and leisure, the Cascadia Art Museum is truly a gem in Washington.