In case you still think Denver’s art scene is small potatoes compared to other major US cities, it’s time to change your mind. With over 70 art galleries just in Denver alone, plus a handful of major cultural institutions like the Denver Art Museum (DAM), the Mile High City moves away from its “cow town” reputation every day. To add to this, other cultural hubs eye Denver as the next place to set up shop — like Meow Wolf from Santa Fe. The newest addition? The well-known San Francisco art spot Mirus Gallery opening a second location in Capitol Hill at the end of April 2018.
For the last five years, Mirus Gallery has showcased emerging and mid-career contemporary artists in a dynamic gallery space on the West Coast. Exhibitions center on evocative displays that showcase a certain level of artistic expertise and technique. There’s also a playfulness behind Mirus’ approach to an art gallery — the kind of risqué, boundary-pushing experiments that only San Francisco could pull off at first, like hanging dildos from the walls. But Denver is primed for this kind of expansive acceptance and will surely welcome less prudent avenues of appreciating art.
Owner and curator Paul Hemming understands that Denver wants and needs more artsy activities. It seems he has his fingers on the pulse of a certain style of art and culture that revolves around the EDM scene, something Denver is more than familiar with. Hemming is also the owner of Temple Nightclub — a San Francisco dance club that set up a second location in Denver last year. These Mile High outposts are also a part of a larger concept opening in Denver called Zen Compound — of which will also include a co-working space (called Eco-system) and a cafe and breakfast lounge (called Hive).
In an interview with YourEDM in August of 2017, Hemming explained, “the Mile-High City [sic] is a major metropolitan hub and has an eclectic confluence of technology, music, art, entertainment and nightlife. It’s an exploding market with refined tastes, an entrepreneurial spirit and drive. Denver has a highly affluent market with [an] appreciation for creativity and attention to detail.”
The new Mirus Gallery will open on April 27, 2018 with an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m., free and open to the public. The first exhibition features over 23 artists in a group show, including Adam Friedman, Augustine Kofie, Bohdan Burenko, David Choong Lee, Felipe Pantone, Florian, Jan Kalab, Okuda, Tobias Kroeger, Yoh Nageo and Zepha. Okuda painted the inside of International Church of Cannabis in Denver with breathtaking colorful designs using geometry and nature-inspired imagery. For this first group show in Denver, expect a broad range of styles and to encounter art that is “astonishing, extraordinary and strange” — a description attributed to the gallery’s focus based on the meaning of “mirus.”
Mirus is also a part of a larger concept called Zen compound, which eventually also include a co-working space (called Eco-system) and Hive (a cafe and breakfast lounge).
Hopefully, Mirus Gallery will add to the already expansive art scene on Broadway and Capitol Hill in general. There’s no lack of people thirsting for art and artistic experiences in this city right now, and Hemming is quick to quench.
All renderings and photography courtesy of Mirus Gallery.