News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Fremont Abbey Arts Center Opens New Venue in Ballard

February 28th, 2015 by master

The non-profit arts organization Abbey Arts celebrates the opening of a new community venue in NW Ballard it is curating. The new space, known as the Ballard Homestead is located on Jones Ave NW just north of NW 65th Ave. Built in 1923 the new nonprofit venue has been renovated to “host to a variety of distraction-free acoustic concerts and cultural events for people of all ages and incomes.”

This cozy new home-like venue will be host to many small concerts including bluegrass, acoustic, folk and family events. With a beautiful new space, the Seattle community can enjoy a show in an intimate setting with a great full sound. There are many opportunities to bring the young ones along as well. The downstairs area features a living room filled with games like foosball, pool shuffle ball, corn toss, air hockey, creative arts making and more.

The Opening Night will take place March 7th with a celebration from 4-9pm including performances, details below. Abbey Arts will curate events and performances at the Ballard Homestead. Upcoming events are listed on the Abbey Arts website or the Ballard Homestead Facebook page. Folk artist Kris Delmhorst will perform at the Ballard Homestead on March 13.

On March 7th all are welcome to stop by and enjoy music, arts and fun activities at the Ballard Homestead.


4-6p Family Fun & open house with tours, live music, art making, games. (FREE)

7-9pm Acoustic music & arts performances ($5-10 donation)

 All ages, all incomes.

6541 Jones Ave NW in Ballard. Free street parking and lot 1 block east on 23rd.

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New 46th Street mural vandalized

July 30th, 2010 by master

The 46th Street Mural, which hasn’t even seen its final details, was vandalized Wednesday night, a tipster told us. The words “Not Art” were painted in big black letters over parts of the mural. The picture below was taken Thursday morning and sent to us.

By the time we arrived yesterday afternoon, there was no sign of damage.

The issue of vandals striking the mural came up in the comments of our story that ran when a winner for the design was chosen. Leah Eister-Hargrave, 46th Street Mural Committee member, explained how repairs will happen:

Urban Artworks is responsible for maintenance of the mural for one year August 2010-August 2011, after this initial year, maintenance will be addressed by the 46th Street Mural Project committee with negotiations with Urban Artworks to handle any needed touch-ups. A contingency fund will be set up to address any costs associated with the maintenance. A notification system regarding any tagging or defacement will be set up through local community groups, such as FAWN, that have weekly walks through the neighborhood for just such purposes. A detailed record of all paints used and where within the mural they are used will be kept while the mural is being painted. Through continued coordination of our core members of the steering committee and these aspects of care and handling, we feel we can keep the mural beautiful for the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, painting continues apace. This was the first we’d seen of the painted columns:

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evo building gets ‘hairy’ facelift

April 12th, 2010 by master

Robby Delaware sent us this photo of a new mural that was in progress on Saturday on the west wall of evo (122 NW 36th St). 


Molly at evo tells us the design is from one of their vendors, Imperial Motion, and was inspired by the Mustacheo tee in their clothing line.

It will be up for the next couple months and is the first installation of our Living Art Wall that we hope to rotate out every quarter, featuring local artists, partners, and collaborators in hopes of livening up this end of the Fremont strip with a little bit of art for the passerbyers!! 

The mural was completed yesterday and people are encouraged to mug with their own mustaches in front of the mural and post pictures on evo’s Facebook page.  (Thanks to Robby for the tip and photo!)

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Expect the unexpected at Coming Soon…

April 6th, 2010 by master

Passing by, you may have noticed the writing on the wall of 3623 Fremont Ave N, literally.  Big green letters that spell Coming Soon… are kind of hard to miss.  Turns out that Coming Soon… has officially, well, come. 

Coming Soon ext

Owner Jessica Park describes Coming Soon… as a retail pop-up installation space that’s more than just a gallery.  She says, “This is about transforming the space.”  Inspired by pop-up stores in New York City where retailers set up shop for short terms, the concept behind Coming Soon… is to showcase various forms of art in unexpected and ever-changing ways.  One day it might be musicians playing in the window.  Another day might feature a designer’s new handbag collection.  Who will show up and for how long is left for surprise and confusion. 

Coming Soon 

Park adds, “We’re like a theater house and we’re just showcasing these performers.”  Ironically, the first pieces of art that popped up at Coming Soon… are pop-up designs from interior design students.  But don’t wait too long if you want to see them.  A sentence from the writing on the window explains it best – “The temporary is our only constant.”  And you never know when something else is going to pop up.

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Benefit on Saturday explores art and human rights

January 8th, 2010 by master

An art benefit at the Fremont Abbey on Saturday will feature paintings and sculptures from an artist collective in the small Kenyan village of Ngecha.  

WildFlower, by Frederick

The event is being organized by a group of UW students who met the artists during a study abroad trip last summer where they studied human rights theory and worked for local human rights organizations.  Organizer Meri Bauer tells me, “We attended an arts festival that the Ngecha Artist Association directed and were impressed by their passion for art and faith in its power as a force for social, political and economic change.  They told us that in Kenya art is underappreciated, but they each have an innate need to create and their community has come to understand and appreciate their work.”

The result of that encounter was the creation of PAUSE, an art program that aims to explore the connection between art and human rights and to join together the communities of Seattle and Ngecha.  The benefit on Saturday is from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Fremont Abbey (4272 Fremont Ave N) and showcases 130 pieces from the Kenyan artists.  Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.  All proceeds from sales of the art will go to the Ngecha Artist Association. 

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‘Bridge Talks Back’ stops audience in their tracks

September 27th, 2009 by master

People driving through Fremont yesterday may have wondered what was going on at the Fremont Bridge.  There were people carrying colorful signs dressed in colorful shirts.  The bridge was laced with colorful pennant strings.  Despite the parading and fanfare, it wasn’t a protest.  This was a celebration.

Bridge Up

Bridge Talks Back” is the result of artist Kristen Ramirez’ summer-long residency inside the northeast tower of the Fremont Bridge.  For the past three months, she collected sounds from in and around the bridge, as well as Seattle residents’ stories of it, and compiled them into a sound art project that honors the historic Bridge through all of its daily rhythm and noises.


For the installation’s opening, sixteen different horn players were stationed inside the bridge’s four towers.  As cars began stopping for the bridge to go up, they played a piece composed by Fremont-based trombonist Tom Yoder.  

Bridge Up signs

The recording of various sounds, from cars and horns to birds and bells, were then played over the structure’s overhead speakers.  Each time cars sat idle for the bridge, nearly one hundred performers engaged in choreographed fanfare with handmade signs.   


The public art project was commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs from the Seattle Department of Transportation’s 1% for Arts Fund.  The audio composition will continue to play over the bridge’s speakers during daytime bridge openings from now through April 2010.  You can also hear those recordings, as well as those of residents’ bridge stories, by calling 1-800-761-9941.

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Fremont Bridge art project opens tomorrow

September 25th, 2009 by master

Update: It’s not too late if you’d like to be part of the celebration.  Interested performers must be available from 12-4pm.  There will be a check-in tent on the Queen Anne side of the bridge near The Nickerson Street Saloon.

Whether they intend to or not, cars and pedestrians stopped at the Fremont Bridge on Saturday will witness the opening of artist Kristen Ramirez’ public art project.  “Bridge Talks Back: A Sound Artwork” is the result of her summer-long residency inside the Fremont Bridge. 


Between 1-4pm, drivers waiting for the bridge to go up can expect to sit back and enjoy choreographed fanfare each time the bridge opens.  One hundred performers and musicians have volunteered to be part of the celebration, and 16 different horn players will play out of the structure’s four towers.  A sound collage will blast over the bridge’s sound system, and will include clips of boats, birds, bells and the bridge itself.

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Luminata lights up the first night of fall

September 22nd, 2009 by master

Hundreds turned out to participate in the annual “Luminata” lantern walk around Green Lake on Tuesday night.  Organized by the Fremont Arts Council, the procession celebrates the autumnal equinox.

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For the past few weeks, local artists lead a series of workshops where people could learn to make their own lanterns.  Above, artist Leslie Zenz adjusts the bodice to her illuminated bird costume. 


It took two full weeks of 8-hour days to create “The Bird and The Mayor”.  The cane and paper luminaria were originally created to be worn by stilt walkers as part of the Arts-A-Glow festival in Burien earlier this month.


This impressive “Dragon” also took weeks to make.

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People of all ages were invited to participate in the parade. 


Handmade art lanterns were carried by both hand, boat and with this “big catch”, bikes. 

Music and singing could be heard all along the promenade.  The festival concluded with hot cider and treats.  Happy Fall to everyone! 

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Center of the Universe gets a ‘SPACE’ lift

August 25th, 2009 by master

For nearly 2 weeks, the galaxy has been appearing afoot at the corner of N. 36th and Evanston Ave N.  It’s the result of passionate – and tireless – efforts by Project Manager and Lead Artist Jessica Randall.  She comments, “This is the real center of the universe”.

ArtSPACE has been in the works since 2005 but it it took a year just to get the permits approved.  It wasn’t until the summer of 2007 that they finally got lift-off for SPACE and construction began.  Several artists have contributed to the art display, from glass planets and lighting fixtures to out-of-this-world benches.  (Photo by Kirby Lindsay.)  

Jessica says the reaction from passers-by have been remarkably good, with people complimenting the work and expressing their thank yous.  “I must represent something people want to see more of.”  She adds that hopefully there will be many more community pieces like this to come.  If all goes smoothly, the art installation should be completed by next week. 

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Fremont Arts Council tidies up storage

August 10th, 2009 by master

Over the last few weeks, volunteers with the Fremont Arts Council have been thinning out an art storage area under the Ballard Bridge. If you look through the fence, you can see relics of former Solstice Parades, Trolloween, the Moisture Festival and Circus Contraption.

We found Maque daVis with the Fremont Arts Council under the bridge Sunday afternoon. “I am cleaning up the space in regard to the city telling us that the neighbors don’t like the looks of the storage yard,” he said. He’s been carting away any art pieces older than 3 years. “We will be decorating the outside fencing over the next month or two, in hopes that we fit in with the upscaling of the neighborhood,” he said, calling it “urban camo.”

He said other non-profits, like the Sunday Markets and Sustainable Ballard, have also used the storage space over the years, but now the city wants to charge them a fee to stay. “(It’s) a bit disappointing,” he said, noting the Arts Council doesn’t have much money to spend for storage rent.

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