The Mile High City's Cultural Renaissance is in Full Swing! From the world-class Denver Art Museum to the new Clyfford Still Museum, Denver offers art lovers a cultural feast.

 

DENVER ART MUSEUM (DAM)

The Denver Art Museum, the largest art museum between Kansas City and the West Coast, contains a comprehensive collection numbering more than 55,000 works. The museum is particularly known for its collection of Native American art and artifacts, widely considered the finest such collection in the world. Designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, the new Hamilton Building (completed in 2006) is a work of art in itself, with gleaming edges and unexpected angles inspired by the nearby Rocky Mountains. www.denverartmuseum.org

 

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART DENVER (MCA)

Denver's cutting-edge arts world was given a new home recently in the form of the David Adjaye-designed Museum of Contemporary Art in Lower Downtown. This lovely, modern building houses a constantly refreshed set of exhibits - no visit to MCA Denver is the same. As Denver's first institution devoted entirely to contemporary art, MCA DENVER is housed in a new environmentally sustainable facility. www.mcadenver.org

 

DENVER PERFORMING ARTS COMPLEX (DPAC)

The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the largest performing arts complex under one roof, and the second-largest center of its kind in terms of number of venues and seating capacity. The DPAC houses ten performance spaces on its four-block, 12-acre site, regularly hosting Broadway musicals, classical concerts, ballet, opera, modern dance, drama and more. www.denvercenter.org

 

DENVER'S PUBLIC ART

Great art isn't just in museums in Denver. All over the city, visitors encounter murals, sculptures and other kinds of public art that will delight and inspire. Denver's Public Art Program was established in 1998 as an Executive Order under Mayor Federico Pena, directing that 1 percent of any capital improvement project over $1 million be set aside for the inclusion of art in the design and construction of these projects. Over the past 18 years, Denver has installed over 150 works of art under this program. Don't miss Lawrence Argent's massive Blue Bear (already a Denver icon) at the Colorado Convention Center, or the many Old West-themed sculptures in Civic Center Park. www.denvergov.org/public_art_program

 

CLYFFORD STILL MUSEUM

Recently opened in November, 2011, the exquisite museum showcases the work of Clyfford Still, considered one of the most important painters of the 20th century, and part of the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists. The museum was founded to promote the late artist's work and legacy. Still's estate - 2,400 artworks (roughly 94 percent of his total output) - has been sealed off from the public since 1980. The museum will also contains the artist's archives, including personal letters, photographs, journals and sketchbooks. www.clyffordstillmuseum.org

 

KIRKLAND MUSEUM OF FINE & DECORATIVE ART

The Kirkland Museum's collection of 20th-century decorative arts includes 3,300 works of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Glasgow Style, Wiener Werkstatte, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Art Deco, Modern and Pop Art. Additionally, a major survey of Colorado art history is documented with over 170 artists represented by more than 700 works with a strong focus on the first three quarters of the 20th Century. Also, be sure to view the retrospective of Colorado's distinguished painter Vance Kirkland (1904-1981). www.kirklandmuseum.org

NOTE: The Kirkland Museum is building a new 38,500-square-foot facility and relocating to 12th Avenue and Bannock Street. It will be near the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum within Denver's Golden Triangle Museum District. The existing Pearl Street location will be open through May 1, 2016. The new building is set to open in mid-2017. 

MUSEO DE LAS AMERICAS

The Museo de Las Americas is the only museum in the region devoted exclusively to Latino culture. Taking a Pan American approach to its exhibits, the Museo ambitiously covers a lot of ground, as it collects, preserves, and interprets the art, history, and cultures of the Americas from ancient times to the present. Located in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, the Museo was founded in 1991 and boasts an ever-changing selection of exhibits, not to mention a wide array of educational offerings. www.museo.org

 

ART DISTRICT ON SANTA FE

The Art District on Santa Fe features the largest concentration of art galleries in Colorado with more than 40 galleries, shops and restaurants. It is also home to First Friday Art Walks, where on the first Friday of every month, galleries open their doors to the public, attracting lively crowds. Art lovers can peruse everything from traditional to contemporary art including paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed media, graphic art and textiles. www.artdistrictonsantafe.com

 

RIVER NORTH ART DISTRICT (RiNo)

Just north of downtown, River North Art District (which goes by the catchy nickname RiNo) has rapidly becoming the hotspot for artsy types in Denver, with a remarkable array of creative businesses, including architects, art galleries, designers, furniture makers, illustrators, painters, media artists, photographers, sculptors, and a wealth of studio spaces. The neighborhood's hub is a former dry ice factory that has been renovated into studio spaces, galleries, and classrooms. www.rivernorthart.com

 

MUSEUM OF OUTDOOR ARTS

The Museum of Outdoor Arts is dedicated to bringing the vitality of the arts into the lives of the people of Colorado. A museum without walls, MOA's collection of outdoor sculpture reaches out to both the casual passerby and the serious art critic. It is fully accessible to the public, exemplifying the belief that art is a part of everyday life. www.moaonline.org

 

AMERICAN MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART

A brand-new addition to Denver's art scene, this astounding, 26,000-square-foot museum features masterpieces from the Anschutz Collection, including frontier-inspired works by Frederic Remington, George Catlin and Charles Marion Russell. www.anschutzcollection.org