Denver’s Art Districts Make Art Come Alive
Hip galleries, world-class museums and fun First Friday festivals – Denver’s art districts are the pulse of the Mile High City’s creative community. They’ll be a central part of the citywide Denver Arts Week celebration in November – but there’s great stuff going on in these neighborhoods year-round. Get the basics below, and then start exploring!
Art District on Santa Fe
Overview: The Art District on Santa Fe is the hub of the Denver art scene, with the largest concentration of art galleries in Colorado, featuring more than 40 galleries, shops, and restaurants. Art lovers can find everything from traditional art to contemporary and emerging art, including painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, graphic art, and textiles.
Special Event: On the first Friday of every month, galleries attract lively crowds when they open their doors to the public for the First Friday Art Walk. For the more serious art crowd, Collector’s Night is held every third Friday of the month.
Don’t Miss: The Museo de la Americas, with exhibits of Latino art from all areas of Central and South America, is a popular attraction in the neighborhood.
Where To Find It: About 1.6 miles south of downtown on Santa Fe Drive, between 5th and 11th Avenues.
Learn More: www.ArtDistrictOnSantaFe.com
Golden Triangle Museum District
Overview: The Golden Triangle Museum District is a culturally stimulating neighborhood that is home to eight of Denver’s museums, in addition to more than 50 galleries, fine art studios and specialty stores.
Special Event: Free First Friday Art Tours take place in the Golden Triangle from 5 to 9 p.m. every month. The free GTMD Art Bus shuttles participants around the neighborhood to all of the gallery and museum openings.
Don’t Miss: The Denver Art Museum, featuring the Hamilton Building, designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, is a Denver Arts World landmark. The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art and the new Clyfford Still Museum round out this artsy neighborhood’s main attractions.
Where To Find It: The triangle is made up by Lincoln, Speer, and Colfax and the museums along 13th Avenue, directly south of downtown Denver. (Some parts of the Golden Triangle overlap with Capitol Hill neighborhood).
Learn More: www.GTMD.org
River North Art District (RiNo)
Overview: Just north of downtown, you’ll find the newly christened River North Art District, which goes by the catchy nickname RiNo – the district has even adopted a Rhino design for its official insignia. RiNo is 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.
Special Event: RiNo opens its doors on the first Friday of each month. Dozens of galleries will stay open late, creating a festive, fun atmosphere for RiNo locals as well as curious art-lovers. Check www.rivernorthart.com to see what locations are participating.
Don’t Miss: Get all the insider info needed to get to know this fun new neighborhood. Head to www.rivernorthart.com.
Where To Find It: This neighborhood is located along the Platte River Bike Path just north of Coors Field and LoDo (Lower Downtown).
Learn More: www.RiverNorthArt.com
Cherry Creek North
Overview: Cherry Creek North is Denver’s premier shopping and dining neighborhood, boasting 320 independently owned shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and spas. It’s got a stimulating ambiance that attracts Denver’s creative types.
Special Event: One of the largest art celebrations in the country, The Cherry Creek Arts Festival, takes place every 4th of July weekend. For three days, the neighborhood transforms itself into one of the largest outdoor galleries, treating visitors to live music, performance art, and fine food.
Don’t Miss: Cherry Creek North is packed with public artwork, many of which have been created by local Denver artists. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find something new and intriguing.
Where To Find It: About 3.5 miles from downtown Denver in the proximity of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Avenues, from University to Steele Street.
Learn More: www.CherryCreekNorth.com
Overview: Belmar is Lakewood's exciting new downtown neighborhood -- a 22 square city block pedestrian district that recreates the ambiance of an old town village center, but with a distinctively contemporary flair. There are a number of galleries, art spaces and festivals that make Belmar one of the hippest spots in Denver.
Special Event: As its name suggests, Festival Italiano Food & Wine Festival at Belmar features plenty of food and wine, but also boasts dozens of artisan vendors from the area who will sell ceramics, sculptures, paintings and much more.
Don’t Miss: Through partnerships with design, business professionals, artists and students, Belmar Block 7 has been created to serve as the center for a synergy of artists and designers in the Denver art community. Seven individual storefronts and one main gallery house a dynamic schedule of exhibits and events.
Where To Find It: Located at Wadsworth and Alameda, Belmar/Lakewood is located 10 minutes west of downtown Denver, 30 minutes from the Denver Tech Center, and 50 minutes from Denver International Airport.
Learn More: www.BelmarColorado.com
Tennyson Street Cultural District
Overview: In Denver’s Highlands neighborhood, west of Downtown, discover the burgeoning creative scene of the Tennyson Street Cultural District. The neighborhood boasts a growing number of art galleries, where you can spend an afternoon browsing antique prints, photographs, and paintings from local artists. You’ll also find a few live music venues and some great Italian and Mexican food.
Special Event: Tennyson’s First Friday ArtWalk features music, food, wine, art and community. Galleries, shops, restaurants and more all contribute to an invigorating atmosphere.
Don’t Miss: This great documentary on the Tennyson Street Cultural District’s happening arts scene: http://artontennyson.blogspot.com/2007/09/tennyson-street-artwalk-documentary.html
Where To Find It: In the Highlands neighborhood between 38th and 45th Avenues along Tennyson Street.
Learn More: www.TSCD.org
Navajo Street Art District
Overview: The Navajo Street Art District is tucked away in the Lower Highlands area of Denver. With amazing galleries, fine dining, great performance art, and ample parking, it's truly one of the best kept secrets in town.
Special Event: Navajo Street's First Fridays are picking up steam, with every month bringing new shows, artists, and art lovers to this happening spot.
Don't Miss: D Gallery is a new art gallery located at 36th and Navajo Streets, showcasing Denver artists in the areas of contemporary, impressionism, abstract and realism. A new show starts every first Friday so you won't see the same artist on display for more than 30 days.
Where To Find It: On Navajo Street in the Lower Highlands, between 35th and 37th Streets, just a few minutes' drive from Downtown.
Learn More: www.NavajoStreetArtDistrict.com
Get more info on Denver Arts Week at www.DenverArtsWeek.com.