Whether you admire fine art, want to watch master craftsmen at work or long to make your own creations, the Kitsap Peninsula is the perfect destination for an art-filled getaway.
The region’s natural beauty and open spaces have long inspired artists, leading to a vibrant arts scene that includes exceptional museums, galleries and art walks, as well as studios where you can watch artists at work and take hands-on classes.
“No matter what part of the peninsula you’re visiting, there is a gallery for you to see,” said Johnny Walker, owner of Almost Candid Frame & Fine Art. The Kingston gallery features internationally renowned Max Hayslette among its artists.
Brooke Dalton and Holly Duggan, co-owners of Poulsbo’s Liberty Bay Gallery, said a trip to the Kitsap Peninsula is a great way to discover interesting local and regional artists. Poulsbo’s Front Street boasts galleries that represent at least 300 artists. Among them is Liberty Bay Gallery’s Bonnie Block, a local wildlife photographer who won the national 2016 Audubon Photography Award Grand Prize.
“A lot of people come here to go shopping for art because the pricing is so good,” added Duggan.
Bremerton’s diverse arts district at Fourth Street and Pacific Avenue includes Collective Visions Gallery, which hosts an annual competition and show for Washington state artists with more than $10,000 in prizes. The artist-owned gallery also presents a gala opening during first Friday art walks.
Community art walks are a popular way for visitors to check out the Kitsap Peninsula’s art scene and a great place to take out-of-town guests.
The festive atmosphere isn’t limited to galleries, said Suzanne Droppert, owner of Liberty Bay Books in Bremerton and Poulsbo. Most businesses offer art, music, and refreshments.
“It’s a big happening night. Everyone’s having a great time and there’s all kinds of art,” she said.
The Kitsap Peninsula is home to world-class museums, including the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, which features frequently changing exhibits of regional fine artists. The Suquamish Museum showcases the tribe’s ancient traditions, including carving and weaving. Don’t miss the display of intricately worked cedar baskets.
There are plenty of opportunities to watch Kitsap artists at work. Marit Bockelie operates an antique press at The Bremerton Letterpress Co., creating cards, posters and other original works. Bockelie always has a DIY opportunity during monthly art walks. In Silverdale, Lisa Stirrett Glass Art Gallery works out of a historic building, where visitors can see her unique sensibility come to life in molten glass. Both studios offer classes, as well, including a make-your-own holiday gifts session at Stirrett’s Nov. 12.
Inspired? The whole family can create art at Kitsap Mosaics & Bistro, a walk-in Poulsbo studio that offers a variety of projects appropriate for all skill levels. Across the street, the 20-year-old Dancing Brush Ceramics Painting Studio is another great place to craft one-of-a-kind gifts. Both are also fun for girls’ nights out and girlfriends’ getaways.
21st Annaul Art in the Woods Studio Tour, Nov. 11-13
Kitsap Regional Library, artist-in-residence thru November
Bainbridge Island Studio Tour, Dec. 2-4
CVG 10th Annual Juried Art Show, Jan. 21 – Feb. 25
entry deadline Nov. 18
Plan Your Arts & Culture Getaway Today! Visit the VKP website and Lodging page to learn more about options for your mid-week or weekend getaway to the Kitsap Peninsula. Choose from romantic waterfront suites, family and pet friendly hotels, cozy B&Bs and Airbnbs.
Monthly art walks:
Bremerton, First Fridays, 5-8 p.m.
Bainbridge Island, First Fridays, 6-8 p.m.
Charleston District, Fourth Saturdays, 12-8 p.m.
Gig Harbor, First Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Port Orchard, First Fridays May – Oct., 5-8 p.m.
Poulsbo, Second Saturdays, 5-8 p.m.
Other regional galleries include:
Amy Burnett Gallery, Bremerton
Bainbridge Island Arts & Crafts
Carrie Goller Gallery, Poulsbo
Front Street Gallery, Poulsbo
Island Gallery, Bainbridge Island
Sidney Museum & Arts Association, Port Orchard
Verksted Gallery, Poulsbo
The Birdnest Gallery – Gig Harbor
Ebb Tide Co-Op Gallery – Gig Harbor