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Denver's Art Scene
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Denver’s Art Scene: Galleries, Performing Arts, & More! 

Denver is not only a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s a hub for creatives around the state and country. The robust art scene found in the city draws thousands of visitors each year who are eager to peruse galleries, photograph the city’s architecture, and meet other creatives at exciting events hosted in the art districts. Check out all that Denver has to offer by visiting museums, supporting the performing arts, and engaging with the local community at creative-driven events.

Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities 

Where? 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard

The Arvada Center is dedicated to building a strong culture that reflects the surrounding community, as well as promotes inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. Arts and humanities can bring a great deal of enrichment to the community, as well as serve as an inspiration for those seeking a creative outlet. The center is proud to produce and curate arts, humanities, and education on a national-caliber level. Upcoming theater productions include Noises Off and A Year With Frog and Toad, as well as various classes, camps, and workshops for children and adults of all ages and skill levels.

PRO Tip: The galleries at the Arvada Center reopened on April 5th, featuring a new installation on Spotlight Jeffco. Peruse the three galleries across 10,000 square feet of space. Admission is always free.

Center for Colorado Women’s History

Where? 1310 Bannock Street

This historical museum is dedicated to all of the bold stories, memories, and experiences of the great women of Colorado. The center is home to exhibits, personalized tours, and special events that run throughout the year. This is the first state museum that focuses on the past, present, and future achievements of women across the Centennial State. To give back to the community, the center has scholarship and research opportunities, as well as lectures, school tours, and public programs. Current exhibits include Rumors of Bloomers and patrons can book a guided 45-minute tour to get the full experience.

PRO Tip: Kids get free general admission to the Center for Colorado Women’s History, as well as all other History Colorado museums.

Black American West Museum

Where? 3091 California Street

The mission of Colorado’s Black American West Museum is to promote a deeper understanding of the role that African Americans played in the settlement and ensuing growth of the western countryside. The museum features collections, programs, and exhibits that help to drive this mission and educate the community. While stories of the black cowboys are featured throughout the museum, visitors will also learn about individuals who performed as miners, soldiers, homesteaders, ranchers, blacksmiths, teachers, and many other professions that played a critical role in developing the land as we know it.

PRO Tip: The museum is open on select Saturdays and requires advance registration. There is a maximum of 5 people per 1-hour slot, so make sure you specify the number of people in your party. No walk-ins are permitted.

Clyfford Still Museum

Where? 1250 Bannock Street

Visitors of the Clyfford Still Museum will be met with the legacy of Still himself. His unique artistic vision stands on its own, as does his unwillingness to compromise for either money or recognition. His artwork ranges from outdoor scenes, people, and machinery and over the years transformed into more abstract creative visions that expressed an array of feelings and ideas. The museum is always free to patrons 17 and under and provides educational activities for families with little ones. The youngest visitors, newborn to 14 months old, can join together with their caregivers for an Art Crawl that is offered several times during the month.

PRO Tip: The museum has permanent exhibits, as well as rotating exhibitions. If you can’t make it to the museum in person, check out current and past artwork virtually through the website.

Denver Art Museum

Where? 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway

The Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast. The global collections found within the museum represent dozens of cultures across the world, with over 70,000 works of art in total. Visitors will find African art, architecture, and design, as well as art from the ancient Americas, Asia, and European and American art before the 1900s. Programs held at the Denver Art Museum include artist lectures, gallery tours, and four to six-week classes led by practicing artists.

PRO Tip: Throughout the year, Denver Art Museum offers free admission days so everyone has the opportunity to take in the artwork on display. There are also online opportunities to view and discuss select pieces of art.

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Where? 1201 Bannock Street

Upon entering Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, visitors may notice that the way the museum displays its collections is notably different. Art is arranged in a “salon style” with fine art pieces being placed in the same galleries as decorative art. The museum also uses comparative displays and vignettes to compose its art, which makes for a truly unique experience. The museum transports visitors through 150 years of art, with three collections that include over 4,000 works altogether. The mission of Kirkland Museum is to inspire people through the beauty of art and design and create an approachable space for all.

PRO Tip: In addition to temporary exhibits, the three principal collections at Kirkland Museum are the Vance Kirkland Paintings, International Decorative Art, and Colorado & Regional Art. Take the time to peruse each section to get a full appreciation for the way the museum has collected its pieces throughout the years.

Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre 

Where? 1350 Curtis Street

Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre is more colloquially referred to as “The Buell” and provides the Denver community with first-rate theatrical experiences that feature beautiful acoustical elements. The theater is home to traveling Broadway shows brought to the city by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and is the backdrop for an array of musicals, concerts, plays, and comedy acts throughout the year.

PRO Tip: Parking for The Buell can be found at the 8-story Denver Performing Arts Center parking garage that’s located onsite. Visitors can also opt to use the RTD Light Rail system to the Theatre District Convention Center Light Rail stop.

Museo de las Americas 

Where? 861 Santa Fe Drive

Museo de las Americas is proud to be the premier Latin American Art Museum in the Rocky Mountain region and has been celebrating this integral culture and the artwork it provides since 1991. Pieces range from ancient to folk and contemporary artwork and are designed to celebrate the many achievements of the Latin communities throughout the decades. The museum serves the community by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting diverse Latin American arts and culture through innovative events and programming. Current exhibits include Time and Place and The Mission: Made of Earth and Spirit.

PRO Tip: Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online or at the museum. General admission costs $8 and students, seniors, artists, teachers, and military get in for $5. Admission is always free for members and for children 13 and under.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Where? 1485 Delgany Street

Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 1996 with the purpose of becoming the city’s creative center of gravity and to spark connections and curiosity through contemporary art and the culture it provides. The museum welcomes all audiences and strives to celebrate all voices. Current exhibitions on display include Steven J. Yazzie’s Meandered, Gala Porras-Kim’s A Hand in Nature, and Ken Gun Min’s The Lost Paradise. There are various tours throughout the week, including drop-in tours and group tours. Tours can be adapted to meet a range of group needs and special accommodations.

PRO Tip: The Museum of Contemporary Art is searching for local teen talent to sing, act, or perform in various events and shows throughout the year. Check out the MCA Denver Teens survey to show off your skills.

American Museum of Western Art

Where? 1727 Tremont Place

This local Denver art museum not only features cowboys and expansive landscapes, it also showcases a range of historic and contemporary styles that are intended to take the viewer on a journey. The museum’s mission is to promote the public’s understanding of art depicting the American West and give deeper character and beauty to the individuals and ideas that transformed this space over time. With hundreds of paintings that date back to the early 19th century to the present day, visitors of all interests will find something that speaks to them. The Anschutz Collection was crafted by over 180 artists and is on permanent display at the museum.

PRO Tip: As a Blue Star Museum, the American Museum of Western Art offers free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families. MY Denver Card holders also receive free admission for up to four people.

Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Where? 1400 Curtis Street

Denver Center for the Performing Arts is a non-profit organization that promotes collaboration between community members and local artists while striving to create authentic partnerships that make everybody’s life just a little bit more theatrical and colorful. Through generous support and participation, DCPA has grown into one of the nation’s largest non-profit theater organizations and continues to support, empower, and showcase the value that performers can bring to this city through the transformative power of live theater.

PRO Tip: DCPA offers six unique experiences, which include its spectacular Broadway touring shows, its Tony Award-winning theater company, its entertaining cabaret, its Off-Center experiences, and of course its educational services that include in-school programs and on-site classes.

Denver’s Creative Districts 

Denver has no shortage of vibrant creative communities. These districts have plenty to do and see, including galleries, studio spaces, cultural attractions and diverse food and drink options.

Art District on Santa Fe

Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe features studios, galleries, artist cooperatives, theaters, museums, murals, and more. At any one time, over 100 artists are represented around the neighborhood. There’s a diverse array of eateries, including Salvadoran, Jamaican, Mexican, and an assortment of flavors in between. The district is known for First Friday Art Walks, as well as outdoor film screenings in the summer and vibrant exhibits throughout the year.

Golden Triangle Creative District

The Golden Triangle Creative District is considered a masthead in Denver and is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks and over 16 galleries and museums. Visitors can enjoy the 25,000 square feet of flowers at Civic Center Park, take in public art, and eat, drink, and shop. Take in the canvases at Clyfford Still or peruse records and vintage clothing at local eclectic shops. A few of the popular destinations within Denver’s Golden Triangle include the U.S. Mint Museum, Curious Theatre, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, and the Denver Art Museum.

River North Art District

RiNo is one of Denver’s most vibrant and engaging communities. The district’s mission is to champion arts and local entrepreneurialism by offering affordable creative spaces, as well as providing educational programming for all ages. The neighborhood began as a grassroots movement by local artists who wanted to connect with like minded organizations. Now the area features a concentration of creative businesses that include architects, art galleries, designers, illustrators, painters, photographers, sculptures and so much more.

Tennyson Street Cultural District

Denver’s Tennyson Street Cultural District is located between 38th and 46th Avenue and is a collection of small businesses, contemporary art studios, tattoo shops, and jewelry galleries, as well as world-class restaurants that showcase the neighborhood’s diverse heritage. In addition to the thriving art scene found here, the district is also home to popular green spaces like the Historic Elitch Gardens and César Chávez Park. To promote community engagement, the district hosts monthly First Friday Cultural Walks, an annual Fall Fest, and other exciting events throughout the year.

Now You Can Explore Denver’s Art Scene!

Now that you know what’s what in Denver’s thriving arts and culture scene, check some museums and art galleries off your list this weekend. The capital city has an array of world-class museums, thoughtfully designed public art installations, and unique art districts to explore.