Where do you find your Inspiration? This is the question asked to nearly all Artists in hopes of their audience learning more about their inspirational connection to the world around us.
I personally find my inspiration from the colors of the sunrise to the sunset. To the clouds in the sky that show a leaping dog seemingly frolicking in the meadows of the blue sky. To the white pastures of newly fallin snow around a bird bath with glistening water not yet frozen allowing the birds to still dance and bathe.
The announcement of Spring is such a glorious and magical expression of the wildlife, wild flowers and potentially wild expressions in the Colorado arts and culture scene; including color, theatre and musical styles.
The Month of May announces to all that not only is the weather beginning to warm but the activities the Summer months provide, are endless and imaginative.
This Friday, May 2nd, 2014 is the First Friday Art Walk kick-off for the Spring/Summer Season. It is also when I like to start plotting out my annual Summer cultural events.
First, get to know your Art Walk Districts. While there are many to name throughout the State of Colorado, we will focus our journey this Friday on our Denver Districts, in no particular order.
Navajo Arts District; located along Navajo Street, South of 38th Avenue; houses five (5) listed galleries and one (1) theatre; Entre Nous Galerie d’Art, EDGE Gallery, NEXT Gallery, Pirate: Contemporary Art, Zip 37 and The Bug Theatre offering an array of artistic styles and price points. A little something for everyone.
Broadway Arts District; located along South Broadway and South Pennsylvania houses five (5) listed galleries; ArtsMyths Studio & Gallery, Barbara Froula Studio Gallery, Gildar Gallery, Ink Lounge Screenprint Art & Workshops, Open Press Gallery.
Please note that several other businesses along any of the mentioned Art Walk stretches may also offer artwork for purchase.
RiNo River North; has been a growing Arts District in Denver and while the galleries are not all centrally located on one or two specific streets, it is a definite must stop and explore. There are ninety-three (93) listed galleries, studios and/or event centers. Just to name a few; Redshift Framing & Gallery, 2266 Broadway; Plinth Gallery, 3520 Brighton Blvd, Weilworks, 3611 Chestnut Place, Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, and Emmett Culligan Design, 3495 Wynkoop Street.
South Denver Arts District; takes us through South Gaylord, South Pearl, South Acoma, South Huron, South Colorado Blvd and East Illiff. There are eleven (11) listed galleries, one (1) coffee house gallery and one (1) performing arts center; Arts at Denver, Guiry’s, Ink Lounge Creative, Artyard Contemporary Sculpture, Bell Studio Gallery, Brushstrokes Studio – Gallery, Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Old South Frame & Gallery, Sand Dollar Gallery, Stella’s Coffeehouse, TANK Studios, The Wild Eye Art and Framing, Willoughby Galleries at the Mall.
East Denver Arts District; located along East Colfax, York Street, Logan Street, E. 17th Street, Downing, 29th Place, and East 23rd Avenue houses sixteen (16) listed galleries and one (1) event center. Abend Gallery Fine Art, Art & Framing at Stapleton/Paint by Wine, Art Garage, AUM Framing and Gallery, Cerriousdesign, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Film Center, Heidi Keyes Art, Groundswell Gallery, Ism Gallery, LEON Gallery and Event Center, Masten Fine Framing, Newspeak 1984, Palemta Productions LLC, Plastic Chapel, The Denver Art Gallery, The Denver Brass.
GT Museum District; aka Golden Triangle; includes the following galleries, museums, music and event centers; Art Institute of Colorado, Art Students League of Denver, Art-Plant, Boarding House Studio Gallery, Byers-Evans House Museum, Colorado Baller, Colorado Convention Center, Curious Theatre Company, Denver Firefighters Museum, Denver Musicians Association, Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Denver Public Library, Door 74 McGuinness Studio/Gallery, Fuel Gallery LLC, Gallery 1261, Goodwin Fine Art, History Colorado, John Jellico Gallery located at the Art Institute of Colorado, Kirkland Museum, and the McNichols Civic Center Building, William Havu Gallery.
Cherry Creek Arts District; located in the heart of Cherry Creek and expanding a bit out from there houses thirty-three (33) listed galleries and one (1) annual arts event. Just to name a few; Cherry Creek Arts Festival July 4th-6th, Clayton Fine Arts, Apolonia Ancient Art Gallery, Show of Hands, Gallerie Rouge focusing on Vintage European Posters and PISMO Fine Art Glass.
Downtown – LoDo Arts District; is located in the original “renamed” Downtown Denver area, as Lower Downtown, now known only as LoDo.
This area takes us along Curtis Street, Delgany, 17th Street, Wazee, 13th Street, Larimer Square, 15th Street, Auraria Campus, 14th Street, Boulder Street and Little Raven; houses nineteen (19) listed galleries and two (2) convention/event centers; just to name a few; Great Western Art Gallery, David Cook Fine Art, Denver Center for Performing Arts, Emmanuel Gallery, MCA Denver (Museum of Contemporary Art), Larimer Arts Association, Platte Forum, Robischon Gallery, Sloan Gallery of Art and Visions West Gallery.
OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTS: Colorado Convention Center is accepting applications for the ART DENVER – November 14th -16th, a national celebation of the visual arts at the Colorado Convention Center with an Artist Application Deadline of May 15th, 2014. Email VisualArts@CherryArts.org. Produced by the Cherry Creek Arts Festival.
This year the Denver Chalk Art Festival will be held May 31st – June 1st, through the streets of Larimer Square and 14th Avenue. This is a specktacular event that allows the streets of Denver to be transformed into works of art; fun for the entire family.
Arts District on Santa Fe; is located along Santa Fe Drive, Kalamath and Inca, 6th Avenue to 14th Avenue offers a diverse group of artistic styles that includes some live music at local watering holes along the path of your First Friday experience. There are nearly seventy (70) galleries listed and mixed along these streets that are either co-ops, independent artist studios, businesses or coffee houses and rentable event centers that showcase local Colorado artisans. Just to name a few; Abesedarian Gallery, focusing on book arts, work on paper, assemblage and collage; Artists on Santa Fe is a combination of several artist studios; The Chicano Humanities and Arts Council – CHAC; Brianna Martray, CORE New Art Space a Co-Op Gallery, Icelantic Boards & Skis custom and hand-made skis; Mai Wyn Fine Art; Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts.
An up and coming Arts District that is not currently named, however, for this article we will call it the Valverde Artist Warehouse District. There are several businesses and Artist Studio’s throughout this area as well as the now annual Valverde Bazaar Pop-Up Market.
I attended last years kick-off event, it was a delightful journey of high-quality arts, crafts and food, a definite must attend. The Valverde Bazaar Pop-Up Market is Saturday, May 17th, 9am-4pm, at Eron Johnson Antiques, 389 South Lipan Street.
You will also find Laurie Maves ART, located at 2590 West 2nd Avenue, Unit 5, Denver, 80219, in the Valverde Artist Warehouse District.
This long time known Denver Artist, Laurie Maves was once located along in the Santa Fe Arts District but felt the need to expand her artistic expression by finding a new comfortable expansive studio in Denver’s newest Arts District.
And finally, the longest running Art Walk District in Denver is Tennyson Street located between 38th Avenue and 45th Avenue. It is still considered Denver’s “Mayberry” neighborhood where businesses and residents know each other by name.
Tennyson Street Art District; houses thirteen (13) listed galleries and one (1) theater/event center; 44T Artspace at Metro Frame Works, Bridging Hope Gallery, EvB Studio, Ooh! Aah! Jewelry, R2 Studio & Gallery, Tyg-Art & Wine, Kirk Norlin Studio + Gallery, Lapis Gallery, Sports Optical, T Gallery @ MODesTEA, Tenn Street ART, The Nature Photography Gallery, The Oriental Theatre.
Denver’s Arts & Culture Scene has a lot to offer. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as we all know, there is more than meets the eye with any encounter.
Be open to the Artistic Experience; Be open to becoming a first time collector of the arts or as a continuing collector of the arts. You can’t be steered wrong when the art speaks to you.
Please Note: the gallery and events listings were collected from some of my favorite “go to” on-line sites; www.ColoradoArtSeen.com and www.Colorado.gov
Enjoy your artistic journeys. Be a tourist in your own city. Stay tuned for my upcoming Friday Experience on Annual Artistic Adventures, as we only hit on them briefly with this First Friday experience. Cheers, here’s to seeing you along the artistic beat.