Seattle Art Fair 2016: The Top 6 Satellite Parties

Posted on August 03, 2016, 11:02 am
9 mins


As usual, First Thursday means the new gallery shows are up and it is time to ART WALK in Pioneer Square, but this month things are a liiiiittle different. And by that I mean: BUCKLE. UP.

Thursday is also the opening night of Seattle Art Fair at Century Link Event Center and Out of Sight at King Street Station, and to add to the festivities, other galleries are pulling out all the stops. It’s not a competition; the expectation is that people will be hopping between venues and partying all night. And the weekend will not have even started.

Pace yourselves and hopefully you’ll get to see a little of everything. Below are the top parties on my list for the weekend, including four on opening night.

outofsightOut of Sight at King Street Station

Thursday, August 4 (21+)

King Street Station’s third floor is replete with art once again for Out of Sight. I got to tour the half-finished installation last week, and I cannot wait to see it all finished. (After going gaga over the artist list, I was not disappointed.) If you go on opening night, the party may keep you from fully engaging with the artwork (depending on what time you arrive) but it may bear a repeat visit anyways. There will be performances in the space throughout the month. Opening night, however, will see many performances as well. Check the schedule on the official site for details.

Avid collectors who want first dibs on the work will want to attend the Collector’s Preview, starting at 3pm and going until 6pm, when the opening party gets started. There will be an open bar provided by The Hideout., live music from The Evan Flory Barnes Trio and complimentary treats. Attendees receive free entry to Out of Sight throughout August. Tickets are $100.

The Opening Party begins at 6pm and lasts until midnight, with a no-host bar, dancing, performances and music. Tickets are $50. Get tickets online.


In Context in Pioneer Square

Thursday, Aug. 4 from 5-8 pm

In Context is a satellite exhibition curated by Barbara Robertson and Ann-Marie Stillion, and features over a dozen artists working in sculpture, animation, installation, drawing, video, painting and photography. The opening reception (and the whole show) is free and open to all ages. The exhibit runs through August 7, and there will be a nightly live performance tableau titled “Say La Vie” by artist Mary Welch from 7-8pm.
It’s a nice early party that lets out before the public preview of Seattle Art Fair begins at 8:30pm, just down the street from In Context‘s venue at
220 S. Jackson Street.

streetvalueTreason Gallery presents Street Value at Piranha Shop

Thursday, August 4, 7pm – midnight (21+)

The folks behind Treason Gallery and Piranha Shop put together a very slick satellite exhibition during Seattle Art Fair last year called Gravity Falls. Happily, they are at it again, this time bringing in work from over 30 international artists famous for their work in public spaces. The roster includes Shepard Fairey, Alice Mizrachi, Cheyenne Randall and Joram Roukes, to name but a few. Commercial art fairs naturally focus on more typical gallery art and large installations, so it is nice to have a street-style complement going on literally around the block from Century Link Event Center…but that’s not all. From Treason Gallery:

In addition to the exhibition, selected ‘Street Value’ participants will be traveling to Seattle in collaboration with local foundations and artists to engage the public domain by painting curated murals and non-commissioned installations in several of the city’s neighborhoods, including SODO, Pioneer Square, Belltown and Capitol Hill.

One of the main sites will be the north side of the Richmark Label building in Capitol Hill, whose other sides got a colorful facelift from artists Erik Burke, Yale Wolf and The Reader last summer. The show is up through August 7 at Piranha Shop (1022 1st Avenue South), but it will be worth stopping by the opening to celebrate the art outside, too! Free and open to the public. Check out the full artist list and see examples on the website.

Martyr Sauce Grand Reopening

Thursday, August 4, 8:30pm to 11:30pm (21+)

Artist, curator, fashion plate and all-around gem of a soul Tariqa Waters is reopening her gallery Martyr Sauce in a larger, underground space (102 S Jackson St.), and the occasion definitely calls for a PAR. TEE. It begins at the same time as the public opening of the Seattle Art Fair, so guests can choose to hit it on their way there or their way back.

The party doubles as the opening reception for a solo show by Elizabeth Lopez and will feature live music from The Hollers. Plan ahead and RSVP to info (at) for free entry. (Read about Waters in The Style Fold.)

Opening Reception for Juxtapoz x Superflat at Pivot Art + Culture

Friday, August 5, 7-11pm

The satellite exhibition, Juxtapoz x Superflat, co-curated by Takashi Murakami and Juxtapoz Editor, Evan Pricco, opens Thursday at Pivot Art + Culture, but not wanting to compete with the Seattle Art Fair official opening, the reception is not until the following evening. There is live drawing in the space every day, and on Friday afternoon at 2pm there will be an artist talk with Takashi Murakami and many featured artists. The party at 7pm ought to be an ultra-hip affair, with music selected by Aesop Rock.

No cover. Open to the public.

"Virgo et Mortis" by Handiedan for "Death and the Maiden 2" at Roq La Rue. Image courtesy of Roq La Rue Gallery.

“Virgo et Mortis” by Handiedan for “Death and the Maiden 2” at Roq La Rue. Image courtesy of Roq La Rue Gallery.

Final Opening Party at Roq La Rue Gallery

Saturday, August 6, 6pm-midnight (21+)

Roq La Rue Gallery opens its final show this weekend. [broken heart emoji] Fittingly, the group show for this final month is Death and The Maiden II, featuring lots of work that play with the age old motif, with variously beautiful and morbid results. In another part of the gallery, artist Femke Hiemstra presents a solo show of works, The Sand Castle Battle and Other Tales.

It’s a melancholy affair, as the gallery will be missed, but people can also celebrate curator and founder Kirsten Anderson‘s decision to devote herself full time to her other great passion: wildlife conservation. The reception at the gallery will start at 6pm and go until 9pm, before the crowd migrate to The Pharmacy Bar (located below Temple Billiards126 S Jackson St), until it shuts down at midnight. Come check out a great show and toast one of Seattle’s longest running and unique galleries.


T.s. Flock is a writer and arts critic based in Seattle and co-founder of Vanguard Seattle.