sculptor & printmaker

John Osebold

From the moment you set foot in Seattle, you can feel it: art is everywhere.

The thriving arts scene is a priority in this city—in fact, Seattle has been recognized for having more arts-related businesses and organizations per capita than any other metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts. Musician and performer John Osebold is one of the contributors to this creative city. Read on for a look at the city through his artistic lens.

Q&A with John Osebold

When you have a day off, what do you like to do?

I like to go see shows. That’s the best part of living here: there’s no shortage of good art to see. On the Boards is one of the best places to see outstanding local and international work. First Thursday Artwalk in Pioneer Square is an embarrassment of riches. I like taking in good music and sounds at Gallery 1412, catching a film at Central Cinema, going swimming at Madison Park, or driving to Snoqualmie Pass or Mt. Rainier for an easy hike. I still love to visit Pike Place Market, and since I work downtown, I can go there for lunch. I don’t even have to have a day off!

Is there anything about Seattle that you think would surprise visitors?

Seattle is probably most famous for the weather, particularly the rain. Yes, it rains a lot here. There are moody clouds. But that kind of drama covers the landscape in mystery. Delicious mystery. And when that brief summer window turns Seattle into paradise, everyone here embraces it completely. It’s like Hanami in Japan, when the cherry blossoms open for just two weeks. It’s extremely temporary but we celebrate it day and night. There’s a good life lesson in there somewhere.

Do you have a favorite place to perform?

I love Annex Theater because I feel so uninhibited on their stage. The Rendezvous has the Jewelbox Theater, a lovely little space. ACT’s Bullitt Cabaret is a beautiful room with changeable seating.

Has living is Seattle influenced your work?

Without a doubt. As a kid growing up in Alaska, I thought Seattle was magic and I still do. I love living in the city—I live in the Mt. Baker neighborhood—and when you need to rejuvenate, all you need to do is get out to the Olympic Peninsula or the Cascades or the San Juans. Even going down to the pier or driving across the Aurora Bridge or seeing the mountains on a clear day reminds you you’re in a great spot. These landscapes and the city-nature juxtaposition shows up in my work all the time. And living next to the ocean is a major influence. Seattle’s a jumping off point for the spirits to get to the Pacific.


Interview by Jess Van Nostrand, 2012.

Photo taken at the Mount Baker light rail station.



John Osebold performs a song on the autoharp.



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