Everyone needs some inspiration in their life these days, especially with the current stressors of the world we live in. Our team here at Corken + Company felt this guide to exploring Denver art and culture would be helpful to any who need some new and fresh inspiration in the Denver area! It’s split into two days for multiple options for fun!
Explore Denver’s street-art scene, which covers unexpected canvasses, like buildings, throughout neighborhoods like River North (RiNo), and the Highlands. As a result, many of Denver’s neighborhoods are emerging with their own signature events like First Friday art walks and hipster flea markets.
Meow Wolf, the wildly popular immersive art experience that started in Santa Fe has made it’s arrival in Denver. Convergence Station is a venture into “fantastic realms of story and exploration”. Tickets are now available for this whimsical art installation.
After a voter-approved mandate in 1998, much of Denver’s coolest art moved outside of museums. One percent of any capital improvement project over $1 million in the city is set aside for the creation of public artwork. The result is an abundance of exquisite open-air pieces all over Denver. To see this art in person, check out the Colorado Convention Center on 14th Avenue and California Street to see “I See What You Mean,” by Lawrence Argent, a 40-foot-tall sculpture otherwise known as “The Big Blue Bear.” This well-known art piece is a perfect photo opportunity.
Just a short walk away at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, stand two 50-foot-tall figures dancing with each other. This installation is part of Jonathan Borofsky’s “The Dancers.”
A few blocks away, you’ll see the jagged edges of the Daniel Libeskind-designed Hamilton Building that jut out over 13th avenue. This building is hard to miss part and is part of the of the Denver Art Museum.
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum houses Western art, contemporary works and very popular traveling exhibitions. One of the museum’s must see exhibits, is the collection of the indigenous arts of North America. This exhibit represents the artistic works of nearly every tribe across the U.S. from prehistoric times to now. At this point you’re probably ready for lunch. Luckily, the museum has two new restaurants, including a collaboration with celebrated chef Jennifer Jasinski called The Ponti.
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Next, visit the new location of the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art in the former studio of Vance Kirkland, one of Colorado’s most distinguished painters. In 2016, the studio moved from its original location a few blocks away to the art-rich Golden Triangle area, where it reopened in March 2018.
Across the street, the Clyfford Still Museum, dedicated to the legacy of one of the most important painters of the 20th century, is one of only five one-artist museums in the nation.
For music lovers
If you have an obsession with vinyl records and music, head over to Twist and Shout, a famed indy music store selling new and used music.
With more than 40 galleries compose the largest concentration of art galleries in Colorado, The Art District on Santa Fe is Certified Colorado Creative District. Stop in at the Museo de las Americas, a unique museum highlighting both traditional and contemporary Latino art and culture.
The River North Art District, or “RiNo,” is another Certified Colorado Creative District. The district features a lively community of furniture makers, sculptors, edgy artists and culinary pioneers. In addition to the art, if you happen to be in RiNo on the first Friday of any month, take part in the First Friday Art Walk.
For book lovers
Continue your artsy adventure the next day with a morning stop at Tattered Cover’s historic LoDo location. This multilevel bookstore, holds thousands of volumes covering every topic under the sun. They even have a selection of Denver- and Colorado-centric books. Tattered Cover’s cafe is an excellent spot for a quick breakfast or coffee before you carry on with your exploring.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Just around the corner from Tattered Cover, you’ll find one of the favorites of Denver’s art scene — the MCA. Like the Hamilton Building, The Museum of Contemporary Art is hard to miss with its sleek design that contrasts with the red brick style of the area. Inside, you’ll find five exhibits devoted to innovation and creativity. At the museum’s rooftop garden and café, enjoy a coffee and pastry while high above the city. On your way out, browse the eclectic books, music and clothing at the Shop MCA on the first level.
Find more Denver art to explore at: