This fall, the Olympia Tumwater Foundation will host a free art show, “It’s the Art!”, sponsored by O Bee Credit Union, featuring over 50 original advertising artworks created for the Olympia Brewing Company during the 1930s through 1950s.

The brewery and its advertising agency commissioned these paintings—hidden away for decades and only recently rediscovered—and translated them into billboards. The art had to be bold, simple, and eye-catching.

These iconic paintings illustrate the social norms from the Depression era through World War II and the post-war boom. They offer a unique glimpse into the art and advertising processes of the day.

The exhibit has been guest-curated by Art Chantry, a nationally recognized poster artist and art historian, often associated with the posters and album covers he created for Pacific Northwest bands, such as Mudhoney, Mono Men, Soundgarden and The Sonics.

WHAT—It’s the Art! Olympia Beer Advertising Art Show
WHEN—November 4 through December 9, Thursday-Friday-Saturday only of each week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day (closed Thanksgiving Day). Special times for groups available by appointment. On November 16 the show is closed in the morning for a private talk and will reopen to the public from 1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
WHERE—The Schmidt House, 330 Schmidt Place SW, Tumwater
COST—Free (although donations are welcome!)

FOR MORE INFO AND FOR SPECIAL GROUP APPOINTMENTS—visit, or contact curator Karen Johnson at 360-890-2299 or

SPONSORED BY—Olympia Tumwater Foundation ( and OBee Credit Union (

About the Olympia Tumwater Foundation: The Olympia Tumwater Foundation honors both the history and future of Thurston County through its commitment to a wide range of community projects including student scholarships, historic preservation and stewardship of Tumwater Falls Park. Through such civic involvement, the Foundation continues the tradition of philanthropy and responsible citizenship established by the Schmidt family and the Olympia Brewing Company.

The Olympia Tumwater Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

About O Bee Credit Union: O Bee Credit Union (The Olympia Brewing Co. Employees and Families Credit Union) was started February 15, 1955, by Ted McGill, who worked in the bottle house of the brewery. This full service not-for-profit credit union, owned by its members, has five branches located in Lacey, Tumwater, Tenino, Yelm and West Olympia. Membership is open to all Washington residents. Visit for more information about O Bee Credit Union.


330 Schmidt Pl SW, Tumwater, WA 98501
330 Schmidt Pl SW, Tumwater, WA 98501