An Airbnb that’s an art gallery? As Seattle rents soar, DIY art galleries crop up in homes, garages

Seattle artists are opening galleries in their homes and garages, even creating an art gallery that’s also an Airbnb — part of a growing trend of artists and art lovers finding innovative ways to support art in a city with skyrocketing rents and stagnant art sales.

In the quiet Seattle neighborhood of Magnolia, behind a plain garage door, lies a cutting-edge art gallery. On most Saturdays, homeowners-turned-curators Jillian Strobel and Anthony Sands roll up the garage door, put their sign on the sidewalk and invite curious neighbors and artgoers to check out the small, smart exhibitions at their Strobel & Sands gallery.

In giving over part of their home to art, Strobel and Sands are the latest Seattleites to join a history of Do-It-Yourself galleries. They’re also among a host of artists and art lovers finding innovative ways to support art in a city with skyrocketing rents and stagnant art sales. Some are opening in-home galleries, others converting garages into exhibition spaces and, in one case, remaking part of a home into a gallery/Airbnb whose rental income helps support artists.

And hosting in-home galleries isn’t just about economics. It’s influencing the artists’ works, creating opportunities to be more experimental, spurring conversations and building community.

In-Home Galleries in Seattle

Check websites for hours (some galleries require appointments) and for current or upcoming exhibitions.

SAD Gallery

9761 Third Ave. N.W.


1222 N.E. Ravenna Blvd.

Strobel & Sands

Emerson Garage, Emerson Street between 34th Avenue West and 35th Avenue West

The Vestibule

6312 32nd Ave. N.W., Unit A

At Strobel & Sands, in addition to curating the garage-turned-gallery, Sands is a furniture maker with a background in art and design; Strobel, who has an MBA in arts management and experience in curating and marketing, works in a local architecture firm.

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After moving to Seattle from Los Angeles in 2016, the couple wanted to organize an art exhibition. Strobel laughingly states, “I wish I could be more conceptual about it, but the fact is we couldn’t afford to do anything else. We were thinking about how to create a show and thought, ‘We could have it in the garage!’ It was an a-ha moment.”

Sands adds that these kinds of alternative venues serve a purpose in…

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