The creative space in downtown Seattle that celebrates art, music, and culture

Martyr Sauce in the heart of the historic arts district of Pioneer Square.

SEATTLE — Founded in 2012 by artist and curator Tariqa Waters, Martyr Sauce is an underground art gallery and cultural institution. This gallery is popular for creating projects base on pop culture with a big message.

“I take things that often marginalize me as a black woman and I reshape those things. The point is to not qualify my art as Black art, it’s American art,” said Waters.

She crosses boundaries between pop culture art forms and projects which feature visual art highlighting issues of equity.

Martyr Sauce has partnered with big institutions like Bumbershoot and The Paramount Theatre and is a Cultural Partner of the Seattle Art Fair. Her work has been featured in numerous institutions and galleries including the Seattle Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, Pivot Art + Culture, and more.

“The use of color, space, and scale that’s the fun part of it for me.”

Waters is dedicated to offering a safe and artistic space for the community. In pre-COVID times, she hosted music performances and audience-engagement events like a pop-up beauty salon at Martyr Sauce.

“I will make sure there will be some love and light, as long there is breath in my body, I will continue doing what I do.”

Her latest exhibition (Yellow No. 5) at Bellevue Arts Museum examines the transactional relationship between culture and consumerism and how they often work in tandem to conceal their connection.

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Angelia S. Rico

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