By Zoie Jordan –
Denver’s burgeoning arts scene features a wide array of eclectic, uniquely talented artists. Each artist contributes their own unique background, style, perspective, and chosen medium to Denver’s innovative creative culture. Celebrate what makes Denver’s arts scene so special and personal by taking in artists’ works in all mediums!
Street Art, Galleries
River North Art District
River North Art District (or RiNo, as the locals call it) is referred to as “Where Art is Made,” a motto that doesn’t exaggerate. This hip downtown neighborhood is an incubator for Denver’s art crowd and home to an estimated 400 local artists, illustrators, photographers, architects, designers, and other makers. 140 outdoor murals splash the walls of this imaginative, colorful neighborhood, including works from local favorite artist/muralist Thomas “Detour” Evans. Dispersed among these same bustling streets you can find 22 art galleries and a handful of creative collectives and studios visually stimulating for every type of art enthusiast. A couple notable galleries are Dateline, Millers & Rossi, and Helikon. RiNo also boasts the largest concentration of breweries and cideries in the region, making your stroll through the arts scene even more exemplary of Denver’s pride and culture.
Street Art, Galleries
Art District on Santa Fe
Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe is a membership-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose affiliates help make up the highest density of art galleries in the country. Including First Friday Art Walks, the Art District on Santa Fe is constantly hosting their own events and exhibits across its diverse galleries. It is for these reasons that the Art District on Santa Fe is arguably the best place to gallery hop in Denver. If you don’t want to hit them all, one notable gallery to visit is the RULE Gallery, known for showcasing the work of new and emerging artists, and sure to impress. For museums, we recommend highly the Museo de las Americas which was opened 25 years ago in celebration of the diversity of Latino art, culture, and traditions which speaks to the history of the neighborhood. Visit the Art District on Santa Fe’s event website to see if your visit overlaps with any unique celebrations of the local historical culture and creative inventors.
NOTE: The best time to visit RiNo Art District and the Art District on Santa Fe would be on First Friday Art Walk evenings, when from 6pm – 9pm on every first Friday of each month area artists open their doors to the public and allow all art enthusiasts to engage with and interact with their creative pieces.
Golden Triangle Creative District
Coined the “creative, cultural and civic axis of Colorado” by the Golden Triangle of Denver, this arts district is home to some of the city’s most iconic destinations including 16+ galleries and museums, world-class public art displays, architecture, and popular spots to eat, drink and shop. Within these “cultural axes” of Denver, you can find the Denver Art Museum, The Clyfford Still Museum, and the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art. The Golden Triangle takes part in Final Friday Art Walks from June through September, 5pm – 9pm, for which art enthusiasts can check out the restaurants, museums, galleries, secret studios, and storefronts in the district after-hours and engage with the quirky creatives that give The Golden Triangle its personality. Find more extensive Final Friday details here.
NOTE: In addition to taking part in Final Friday Art Walks, The Denver Art Museum is popular for their Free First Saturdays in which they open their doors from 10am – 5pm FREE to all, making art more accessible than ever to Denver’s diverse crowd.
Downtown Denver Area
Art and creativity aren’t only confined within the boundaries of particular districts – you can find creative works in all mediums widely integrated into the streets of downtown Denver any time of year. Notable museums not yet mentioned include: The Museum of Contemporary Art, the Dikeou Collection, and the Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens also stages two indoor galleries dedicated to local artists and are open year-round. If you’re looking to do some gallery hopping or simply visit one or two, galleries we recommend include Robischon Art Gallery (dedicated to established artists), RedLine (dedicated to emerging artists), and Incredible Art Gallery.
Denver Center for the Performing Arts & The Colorado Ballet
Performing arts is often overlooked in the midst of visual and street art you can find out-and-about, but if you can allot an evening to a performance at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) or the Colorado Ballet, we highly recommend it. Shows to keep a keen eye on in the coming months at DCPA include: Indecent (Aug 30 – Oct 6), A Doll’s House (Sept 6 – Nov 24), The Blue Man Group (Oct 22 – Oct 27), The Phantom of the Opera (Nov 6 – Nov 17), and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas: A Musical (Dec 3 – Dec 8). The Colorado Ballet is proud to bring you performances: Don Quixote (Oct 4 – Oct 13) and The Nutcracker (Nov 30 – Dec 29).
We encourage our readers to explore and share their experiences so that we may continue to expand ours! Share your favorite part about Denver’s arts scene below.