For more than 35 years, the Traver Gallery has served as a theater for the visual arts, providing space for artists to explore their ideas and share their discoveries with the world.
Artists are at the cutting edge of society. They speak about what is going on in our world in a way that most of us are not able to, and they go places that are sometimes difficult to go. At the Traver Gallery, we strive to go there with them—to allow them to lead us to new and interesting territories.
This same spirit of openness is at the heart of everything we do. Our staff is approachable, knowledgeable, and friendly, with a common goal of making our clients, artists, and community feel like they are part of the Traver Gallery family.
The Traver Gallery opened in its doors on September 7, 1977. The first exhibition featured seven local painters, many of whom had been William Traver's professors at Cornish College of the Arts. The gallery's roster grew, and Traver, who developed his space as "a theater for the visual arts," mounted two to three solo exhibitions each month for artists working in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, clay, and glass.
William Traver has always made it a priority to support artists early in their careers, and many of the artists he worked with early on—Martin Blank, Sonja Blomdahl, Gregory Grenon, Doug Jeck, Dante Marioni, Preston Singletary, Therman Statom, Lino Tagliapietra, Bertil Vallien, and Jamie Walker, to name a few—have subsequently achieved international reputations.
In the early years of the gallery's existence, the well-known arts patron Anne Gould Hauberg asked Traver to curate a Pilchuck Glass show. The same willingness to take on young artists applied to a young art form. He agreed, and continued to host what became an annual exhibition, putting him at the center of Seattle's developing Studio Glass movement. Throughout the years, the popularity of glass has grown immensely—nurtured by Traver and several dedicated collectors—and the gallery has become an international destination for contemporary glass enthusiasts.
Always looking for new ways to support emerging artists, William Traver opened the retail shop Vetri at First Avenue and Union Street in 1995.
Located one block north of the Seattle Art Museum, the Traver Gallery is one of the country's premier exhibition spaces for contemporary studio glass, painting, sculpture, and installation art.