Thanks for checking out this post on all things art in Tacoma. Galleries, museums, supplies, schools, shows, events and more will all be covered thoroughly right here.
The goal is to get you the info you need as quickly as we can. The best Tacoma Art Galleries and Museums where you can see some of the finest exhibitions and collections the city has to offer will be how things begin.
Following that we will tell you about the best art stores in your area where you can find all the supplies and materials you need. The top shows and events throughout the year will need to get their own section as well.
You may want to take an art walking tour or check out some of the most creative statues and sculptures around town on a sunny day. Tacoma art classes and lessons deserve a shout out and there are plenty of classes for both kids and adults that are available.
Some of our more experienced readers may not need any lessons so renting art studios near you will be covered as well. Framing shops, dealers, and appraisers will also be discussed as the post progresses. If you are looking for info on the full Seattle metro area you can find it at that link.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Tacoma
If you want to visit the best art galleries and museums in Tacoma you can go to:
- Tacoma Art Museum at 1701 Pacific Ave
- Museum Of Glass at 1801 Dock St
- Tcc Art Gallery at 6501 S 19th St
- Alma Mater Tacoma at 1322 S Fawcett Ave
- Fulcrum Gallery at 1308 Martin Luther King Jr Way
- Throwing Mud Gallery at 2212 N 30th St
- B2 Fine Art Gallery at 711 St Helens Ave
- University Gallery at 12180 Park Ave S
At the Tacoma Art Museum there are over 5,000 works of art on display, much of with has a Pacific Northwest theme. The pieces in their collection range from the late 18th Century to modern times, and USA Today has even named them as one of the “Top 10 Great Places to See Art in Smaller Cities”.
They also provide educational programs for teachers and students plus after school programs. Some would tell you that the Museum of Glass is the most active museum glass studio on the West Coast and every year over a hundred thousand people visit.
Every day they blow glass live for the visitors, and every Friday they give out 100 free admission tickets to small family groups. Some of their annual events include the Northwest Glass Fest, the Fire and Ice Festival, and the Iittala Bird Lover’s Weekend.
The Throwing Mud Gallery is another gallery that focuses on local artists around the Pacific Northwest. They have a great collection of pottery and they have pottery classes for adults in the morning from 10am to 12:30pm and at night from 6pm to 8:30pm.
They also provide pottery painting programs for all ages. The B2 Gallery African Empire Collection is loaded with a rare collection of African works, most of which are from West Africa. They can also help with custom framing, restorations, and private sales.
Materials & Supplies Near You
When you need some new materials or supplies go to art stores like:
- TAM Store at 1701 Pacific Ave
- Tinker Topia at 1914 Pacific Ave
- Clay Art Center at 2636 Pioneer Way E
- Artist & Craftsman Supply at 616 St Helens Ave
- Hobby Lobby at 3130 S 23rd St
- Michaels at 2921 S 38th St
The TAM Store is part of the Tacoma Art Museum where you can find all kinds of art supplies, handmade jewelry, toys for kids and more. Tinkertopia takes reusable materials that we throw away and refurbishes them into unique arts and crafts supplies for kids, instructors, and creators.
They put on workshops and host field trips and private parties for children. There are over 10,000 available items at the Clay Art Center. If you want to buy or sell a used kiln they are the place to go, plus they repair broken kilns and also sell brand new ones too.
Shows & Events
There are some really cool annual art shows and events in your area:
- Fire and Ice Festival in November and December
- Glass Fest Northwest in July
- Iittala Bird Lovers’ Weekend in October
- Día de los Muertos Festival in November
- In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market & Festival in August
We mentioned them earlier but the Museum of Glass is going to be a big part of this section as well. The Fire and Ice Festival takes place every year from the Third Thursday in November until the end of the year.
There will be a bunch of themed activities, demonstrations, and performances for all to enjoy. The Glass Fest Northwest is another event they host along with the Tacoma Art Museum each July.
There will be people blowing glass, all kinds of demonstrations, music, food, drinks, and hands-on activities. The last event they put on that we want to tell you about is the Iittala Bird Lovers’ Weekend each October.
Iittala is a Finnish glass blower who is known around the world and you can watch them create unique glass birds in the museum’s Hot Shop. The Día de los Muertos Festival, AKA Day of the Dead Festival is put on by the Tacoma Art Museum every November.
There will be all kinds of unique Mexican art on display as well as traditional food, music, dancing and more. In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market and Festival is one of the largest Native American art events in the region.
Each August the Washington State History Museum plays host to this event and the art market is loaded with cool stuff you can buy.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
When you want to buy something new or learn the real value of something in your collection you can go to art dealers and appraisers near you like:
Proctor Art Gallery provides works made by regional and local artists in a wide variety of mediums. They have a layaway program and you can pay via instalments if necessary. B2 Fine Art Gallery from our main list also sell art and offer art appraisal.
If you are reading this on a sunny day why not go on an art walking tour:
Every Third Thursday from 4pm to 7pm you can check out the Tacoma Artwalk. There will be creative works from artists around the city on display as well as live music, food vendors, and an art market.
On that same Third Thursday you can walk from one place to another in the museum district where the local museums will offer free or discounted admission. Every Saturday you can meet at the Museum of Glass store as the staff there takes groups along the Thea Foss Waterway and fill you in on the art and architecture in your area.
Sculptures & Statues
Another good way to enjoy nice weather would be to check out some of these statues and sculptures in your area:
- Proper Role of Man & Fish Statue at 2306 N 30th St
- Statue of Earthquake Hero Kid at N I St
- The Family at West End at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
- New Beginnings by Larry Anderson at the Federal Courthouse
You can find the Proper Role of Man and Fish Statue just outside of Slavonian Hill in Old Town. Larry Anderson created that one as well as the Statue of Earthquake Hero Kid which was dedicated back in the early 2000’s.
Clare Shaver created The Family which is located at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Larry Anderson was a busy man as he also created New Beginnings which you can find at the Federal Courthouse.
Tacoma Art Classes
Whether you are trying to find lessons for kids or adults some of the best Tacoma art schools and classes can be found at:
- Dazed and Reused Artworks at 2607 6th Ave
- Tacoma Metal Arts Center at 3833 6th Ave
- Hilltop Artists at 602 N Sprague Ave
- Uncorked Canvas at 1121 A St
- Open Arts Studio at 109 N Tacoma Ave
- Tacoma Glassblowing Studio at 114 S 23rd St
There are more than 30 art workshops at Dazed and Reused Artworks which include, painting, clay sculpting, jewelry making and more. They host paint and sip parties, private events, and have paint party club memberships for adults 18 or over.
Members get free studio time and discounts on classes. Jewelry making and metalsmithing are the focus of the Tacoma Metal Arts Center. They have classes for adults 18 or over and have a studio on site that you can use.
Glassblowing, flameworking, mosaics, and fusion are some of the skills the instructors at Hilltop Artists can teach you. They have after school classes for kids 12 and up as well as Summer Glass Art classes.
Open Arts Studio has classes for drawing and painting, pottery, beading, sewing, and plenty more. They have day or night classes for adults, summer camps for kids, and homeschool programs.
Museum of Glass from our main list also offer classes for all ages.
Studios For Rent Near You
When you are ready to start your next project you can rent art studio space at:
- 1120 Downtown at 1120 Pacific Ave
- 1120 Hilltop at 1120 S 11th St
- Court House Square at 1102 A St
- Tacoma Arts Community Center at 1102 S 11th St
- McKinley Artist Lofts at 3524 McKinley Ave
Tacoma Metal Arts Center from art school list also has studio for rent.
Some of the top shops for art framing in Tacoma are:
- Artco Crafts & Framing at 5401-401 6th Ave
- Tacoma Frame Makers at 3011 6th Ave
- Proctor Museum Quality Framing at 2712 N Proctor St
There are a variety of ready made frames and mats in all kinds of styles and sizes at Artco Crafts and Framing. They give free estimates on custom framing and can help with canvas stretching or conservation framing.
Some of the available services at Tacoma Frame Makers include custom framing, picture hanging and installation, fine art reproduction printing, and fine art restorations. Other places we have listed throughout this post that also do custom framing include B2 Fine Art Gallery, Hobby Lobby and Michaels.
Just so you know we have also written about:
- Galleries, Museums, & Schools in Spokane
- Galleries, Museums, & Schools in Portland
- Galleries, Museums, & Schools in Boise
- Galleries, Museums, & Schools around the Pacific NW
Have Fun Enjoying The Tacoma Art Scene
Well, we tried to cover the full art scene near you to the best of our abilities. We listed the best galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers in your area.
If you made it this far you probably love art as much as we do. You can let us know about any of your own tips and tricks in the comments at the end of the post, or please also let us know if we got anything wrong or if anything we posted is no longer relevant.
Have fun going to the galleries, museums, buying supplies or doing anything that has to do with art in Tacoma!