Capitol Hill Art Walk Captures Local Spirit



Capitol Hill Art walk flash sale at Cupcake Royal

Standing as a symbol of both bewilderment and admiration, the Capitol Hill Art Walk represents the undercurrent of confusion and creativity that defines Seattle. Occurring every second Thursday, venues across the Capitol Hill area host pop-up shops and local artists. This event is mainly concentrated on the stores dotted across East Pine and East Pike Street and is a good way to explore the city and meet other art lovers.

The latest Capitol Hill Art Walk took place on Jan. 10 and featured newcomer venue The Reef and the continued fan favorite Scream For Queer Art! This art show takes place in Scream Salon, an alternative hair salon and safe space for all people, and is one of the most well-known venues to stop by during the Art Walk.

“I love to support the artists in my neighborhood and the LGBTQ community,” owner of Scream Salon Nikki Page said. “I just love opening the salon doors for Art Walk… It makes me so beyond happy to be able to share the space with talented people. And luckily I have an epic client and friend that organizes our events so perfectly, so mad props to Kate Barwanger.”

Barwanger and Page’s art show is regarded as one of the foremost pop-up shops to stop by at the monthly event because of their collaboration with local and international artists who highlight the LGBTQ+ community.

There were, however, some immediate drawbacks of the event. For one, it was incredibly confusing to find each store and then to discern what was different from the store’s usual decor and what is unique to the Art Walk. This is particularly true in the case of Ghost Gallery, a meticulously curated shop that displays unique art from local and international artists. The only discernible difference between the gallery’s usual eclectic selection of art and their participation in the art walk was the presence of a bartender and extended viewing hours. This proved to be the case for many of the participating venues and lead to confusion on the behalf of many wandering participants who were not sure which stores were partaking in the event.

While an interactive map is provided on the Capitol Hill Art Walk website, stores are organized alphabetically rather than by location. This is a hindrance for people not accustomed to the format of the Art Walk. To make matters worse, many of the participating stores did little to advertise their involvement and instead depended on the willingness of people awkwardly wandering around the stores in search of the artists.

It would be an improvement on the part of the Capitol Hill Art Walk organizers to have a suggested path clearly defined on their website. Another suggestion would be to advertise more and create a cohesive advertisement that can be associated with the Art Walk. While many of the participating venues did display the poster—featuring a quirky banana with pink paint—it would appear as though the poster changes month to month and is created with little thought to a theme for the event or remembrance of past events. This is made more bewildering by the fact that there is a logo that the Capitol Hill Art Walk website utilizes and adds to the coherence of the event if it were to also be highlighted somewhere on related advertisements.

Despite these issues, the Capitol Hill Art Walk is a promising event that could become one of the preeminent events taking place in Seattle. No other store demonstrates this better than True Love Tattoo and Gallery’s Art Walk collection titled Rainbow Renegades. The tattoo parlor was one of the most lively venues participating in the Art Walk and demonstrated the potent power of bringing together different artists and artistic mediums in one space. Amidst the music from DJ Jimi Jaxon, people connected through the language of art and the joy associated with embracing their community.

Taylor may be reached at
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