Seattle Erotic Art Festival encourages the creation, enjoyment, and purchase of erotic art–sparking conversations to ignite personal and cultural evolutions.”

-Seattle Erotic Art Festival Mission Statement

It began with a need. To create a place to celebrate, discuss and support pieces that were rarely seen in mainstream galleries and museums. A desire to showcase stunning erotic art. We dreamed of sexy people in a lush environment devouring amazing art, of an event that joyfully encouraged people to be as open and expressive as they wanted to be. And we brought it to life.

Over 20 Years of Art

The first Seattle Erotic Art Festival was produced in 2003 by the Pan Eros Foundation (formerly the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture) and held at Town Hall in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. A jury of local artists selected hundreds of pieces of art that were enjoyed by more than 1,000 art patrons.

In 2004, we moved to the Consolidated Works. This larger space allowed us to add erotic films, curated by Festival Director Anna Hurwitz, and performances to the Festival’s offerings, as well as a Festival Store.

By 2005, our audience had tripled, art sales had become phenomenal, and our Festival Store became a vital marketplace. This year’s films were curated by Kathryn Albright/Sex on Screen.

In many ways, 2008 was the year we began to expand as an event. We moved to the historic Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, beside the famous Space Needle, and hosted a lavish one-night gala.

In 2009, we produced four full days of “Indulging the Senses”, with 300 works of exhibition art, thousands of pieces in the popular Festival Store, the premiere of our Literary Art Showcase, dazzling performance and installation art, and our first wildly successful (and free) Sunday Open House.

In 2010, we returned to the Seattle Center. We proudly presented our first-ever stage show production, sharing the glittering story of the Cabinet of Curiosities. Perhaps most exciting of all? Tickets sold out on Saturday night to thousands of excited guests.

In 2011 and 2012, we moved to Fremont Studios. We partnered with 3 Dollar Bill Cinema for the return of erotic films to the Festival after a three year hiatus. The Literary Art Exhibition flourished with popular poetry art tours and our first ever Literary Art Anthology.

We held our first annual fundraiser, an intimate and elegant soirée. We produced our second annual Launch Party, which grew from 300 to 900 attendees. We participated in Arts Crush, a month-long county-wide arts festival. And we concluded 2011 by producing Seduction, Seattle’s sexiest Halloween party, with over 1,500 attendees.

In 2012, our 10th Anniversary, we launched our first ever member program, the prestigious Art Activist Society. We unveiled our highest honor: the Masters of Erotic Art. We forged exciting new partnerships with Nude Nite and The Dirty Show, and participated in the Fremont Fair and Seattle Pride.

In 2013, we reevaluated our goals as a festival, and occupied the decadent and intimate venue of the ShowBox SODO. We focused on our mission: …to encourage the creation, enjoyment, and purchase of erotic art … and we exceeded our Festival sales goals, selling nearly 30% of the exhibition art.

In 2014, we returned to the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, a venue with a rich and artistic history, where we expanded our offerings in all Festival categories of art. The Literary Anthology and Showcase continued to grow as we welcomed more short works and performances.

In 2015, our goal was to fill the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall with as much performance art as we could throughout the whole festival. Performance artists such as Gender Tender tailored ambient performances to the visual art exhibition.

In 2016, we introduced Rm. 1618 and Aaaahz! to create more interactive opportunities at the festival. Artist Rose Adare, as a guest curator, showcased Revolution in Restraint, an art festival within the Festival.

In 2017 we celebrated our 15th Anniversary. We welcomed artist, educator, and performer Midori, who performed her piece Kimono 2: What We Wear, “a challenging interactive performance exploring the layers of identity and internalized expectations…of Japanese American woman today.”

The 2018 Festival featured the Touch Gallery Sculpture Garden, an interactive experience where participants were blindfolded and invited to experience sculpture through touch rather than sight. We also introduced our Aerial Stage, allowing for a spectacular showcase of aerialists and rope performances.

In 2019 we celebrated our first year at our year-round home, Gallery Erato – at last we had somewhere to display our growing collection of art once the festival doors closed for the weekend! The festival itself continued in the Exhibition Hall, and we welcomed a stunning line up of Performance Curators, including Imani Sims, LoLo Ramone, Isaiah Esquire, Adra Boo, Randy Ford, and Shay Tiziano.

In 2020 we struggled to find a way to still honor the effort and work of the artists who had submitted art in record breaking numbers, and to still showcase and celebrate erotic art, while contending with the pandemic. We created the SEAFsomes – three small events hosted at Gallery Erato, which allowed us to limit attendance and mitigate risk.

In 2021 we were ecstatic to return to the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, the Halloween weekend adding a playful and slightly spooky atmosphere. The Realm of Decadent Delights, a salacious escape room experience, unfolded in the Aaaahz! space. On Sunday we extended our hours and celebrated the holiday with the Cyberotica dance party.

In 2022 celebrated our 20th Anniversary! We brought back Film after an extended hiatus, and launched the Pan Eros Film Festival (PEFF). A sumptuous collection of international short films were shown at the SIFF Theater, and a provocative collection of silent films were projected onto the walls throughout the weekend at SEAF. We also welcomed a selection of our Literary Artists to the Main Stage for readings that got the blood racing.

In 2023 we are looking forward to turning 21, and celebrating another year of glorious art, stunning performances, evocative writing, and stirring films. We unveiled the Erotic Movement Lab (EML), a day long series of workshops providing the opportunity for attendees to be art through embodied movement and dance. The EML joined the Pan Eros Film Festival with offsite events running concurrently with the main Festival.

In 2024 we celebrated 22 years of erotic art, writings, films, performances, and education. This is the year of expansion! We increased the number of performances on and off our stages. The Erotic Movement Lab added a second day of workshops. Our Large Scale, Interactive, and Immersive art department tripled the number of exhibits within the Festival.