Tacoma Gallery Tour: 4 Locations to Look at Local Artwork

Vibrant paintings, elegant jewelry, finely crafted potteryand more await you on this local gallery tour in Tacoma. Photo credit: Carolyn Osborne.

Tacoma has a rich art culture with impressive museums like the Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Glass where you can view world-renowned artwork. But where do you go if you want to dive into the local art scene of your very own community? If you’re looking to view and purchase artwork made right here in town, venture out and explore four of the area’s small galleries featuring work from local artists.

Creative Forces Gifts and Sundries

Start off your tour in the heart of downtown Tacoma at Creative Forces Gifts and Sundries.

If you’re looking for a gift and want to support the local art community while you shop, Creative Forces is the place to go. Nestled in the lobby of the Hotel Murano, this art gallery is packed full of work from more than 50 local artists. Opening Creative Forces was owner Carolyn Osborne’s high school dream. An artist herself, Carolyn always wanted to create her own space to support local artists. Elegant jewelry, blown glass pieces, paintings and unique sculptures are just the beginning of what you’ll find here. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a friend or want a beautiful piece of art to display in your home, Creative Forces Gifts and Sundries will not disappoint.

Browse the work of over 50 local artists at Creative Forces Gifts and Sundries — there is something here for everyone. Photo credit: Carolyn Osborne.
Browse the work of over 50 local artists at Creative Forces Gifts and Sundries — there is something here for everyone. Photo credit: Carolyn Osborne.

During your visit, be sure to look around and enjoy the unique art displayed in the hotel itself. The lobby and guest room floors are almost like a museum, featuring a large collection of glass art from around the word.

1320 Broadway
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-227-8871

Monday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

*Complimentary parking is available for customers in the 15-minute parking area outside of the hotel lobby.

The Art Stop

Less than a mile away from Creative Forces is your next destination: The Art Stop on Broadway.

While Broadway street in Tacoma may be hustling and bustling on Thursdays during the farmers market, it is quiet and unassuming on any other day of the week. Tucked in amongst the businesses lining this street is LeRoy family jewelers, marked by a large, old-fashioned neon sign hanging above the entrance. Passersby may miss the smaller sign in the window advertising The Art Stop, an art gallery run by the family-owned and operated jewelry store.

The Art Stop on Broadway is more than meets the eye. Browse a large selection of work by talented artists in this jewelry store that doubles as an art gallery.
The Art Stop on Broadway is more than meets the eye. Browse a large selection of work by talented artists in this jewelry store that doubles as an art gallery.

Inside you’ll find a large collection of jewelry in glass cases, but there’s more here than first meets the eye. Nestled amongst the jewelry cases are tables full of pottery, woodwork, sculptures and more.

Not all the artwork is from local artists, but the easy-to-find cards on each display give you the name and location of each artist, pointing out works from all around the Pacific Northwest, everywhere from Lakewood to Whidbey Island. Don’t miss out on the finely crafted goods here, which range from porcelain ceramics and fused glass to metal sculptures and handmade clothing.

940 Broadway
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-272-3377

Tuesday – Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Throwing Mud Gallery

A two-mile drive (or walk) along the Tacoma waterfront on Schuster Parkway will bring you to Throwing Mud Gallery, located in Old Town Tacoma. The space functions as a gallery, ceramics studio and classroom, where you can not only view local artwork but make some art yourself.

The shelves in the gallery are stocked full of pottery of all sorts. Beautiful mugs, serving bowls, decorative wall hangings and vases are just a few examples of the wide range of ceramic work available for purchase. You’ll also find a variety of other art forms, including a large collection of handmade jewelry, as well as woodwork, garden art, photography and other crafts. Shoppers can enjoy everything from handmade wooden toys to decorative wine stoppers.

A potter lover’s paradise:, Throwing Mud Gallery offers a fine selection of pottery and other crafts as well as a chance to try your own hand at the ceramics wheel. Photo Courtesy: Throwing Mud Gallery.
A potter lover’s paradise:, Throwing Mud Gallery offers a fine selection of pottery and other crafts as well as a chance to try your own hand at the ceramics wheel. Photo Courtesy: Throwing Mud Gallery.

If you’re looking to get artsy yourself, Throwing Mud Gallery offers studio space and ceramics classes for customers of any skill level. You can choose to paint ready-made pottery, learn how to throw a bowl on a wheel, or try out more advanced techniques under the guidance of an instructor. Check out Throwing Mud’s website for more information.

2212 N 30th Street
Tacoma, WA 98403
253-254-7961

Monday: Noon – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Proctor Art Gallery 

A quick trip up to the Proctor District (a bit over a mile) will bring you to Proctor Art Gallery, offering a large collection of fine art.

When entering the store, you’ll likely be greeted by one of the 20 or so local artists featured in the shop. Each artist staffs the gallery a few times per month, so there is always someone on hand to answer your questions and tell you about the art on display. These friendly faces provide a great personal touch at this last stop on your gallery tour.

A large collection of paintings and photography line the high ceilings of the shop with other forms of art mixed in, including jewelry, pottery, glass, metalwork and sculpture. Be sure not to miss the small room in the back where you can sort through shelves of matted prints and racks of cards to take home a sample of some of your favorite artwork.

Fine art abounds at Proctor Art Gallery. Stop in to visit with the artists who staff the gallery themselves to give the ultimate gallery-viewing experience.
Fine art abounds at Proctor Art Gallery. Stop in to visit with the artists who staff the gallery themselves to give the ultimate gallery viewing experience.

3811 N 26th St
Tacoma, WA 98407
253-759-4238

Monday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Experience More of the Tacoma Art Community at the Third Thursday Art Mingle

Touring these four galleries is a great place to start if you’re interested in supporting artwork made by the members of your local community. However, if you like what you saw and are interested in getting more involved in the Tacoma art scene, you won’t want to miss the Third Thursday Art Mingle, which is a great way to experience all the art museums, galleries and shops that Tacoma has to offer. All four of the galleries listed above participate in the monthly event, along with almost 30 other businesses. Learn more about the Third Thursday Art Mingle here.

 

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