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Denver Art District's First Fridays Nights
June 12, 2017
If you're looking for something free to do outside in the city on a Friday night, Denver's First Friday Art Walks are a fun option and happen on the first Friday of every month during the summer most starting at 5 and ending at 10 pm . If you've never been to one and like art, First Friday is a great time when all of the galleries open their doors to host and showcase their current exhibits. You can expect some galleries to offer wine and hors d'oeurves, live music, the local breweries to be open, and food trucks on every corner. Check out one (or all!) SEVEN of the Art Districts Denver has to offer.
ART DISTRICT ON SANTA FE
The Art District on Santa Fe is the hub of the Denver art scene, featuring 60 participating galleries, artist studios and restaurants. With the largest concentration of art galleries in Colorado, art lovers can find everything on Santa Fe from traditional art to contemporary and engaging art, including painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, graphic art and textiles.
GOOD TO KNOW: Every third Friday, the Art District offers Collector Preview Events, a more intimate version of First Friday with an opportunity for patrons to see the art and meet the artists and owners without the large First Friday crowds.
The Golden Triangle 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.
GOOD TO KNOW: The Golden Triangle is home to the famed Denver Art Museum, but also several hidden gems, including the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art and the Molly Brown House Museum.
RIVER NORTH ART DISTRICT (RINO)
Just north of downtown, you'll find the 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 a 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.
GOOD TO KNOW: RiNo is situated along the South Platte River Trail, so it is fun and easy to bike to and around the district. Plus, Coors Field is nearby for a baseball and art extravaganza.
TENNYSON STREET CULTURAL DISTRICT
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.
GOOD TO KNOW: The historic Oriental Theatre is one of the coolest venues in Denver, hosting live music, film, comedy and live performances.
BLOCK 7 ARTS
Twelve minutes from downtown Denver, Block 7 Arts is home to a diverse collection of studios and galleries. Artisans working in fiber, photography, oils, acrylics, digital, textiles, watercolor, mixed media and more can be found on this easternmost block of Belmar. Collectively open for First Friday Art walks from 6 to 9 p.m. throughout the year, this is a fantastic place to not only experience local art, but also meet the artists creating their masterpieces. Free parking!
GOOD TO KNOW: The Belmar Shopping + Dining District is a 22-square-block pedestrian district that recreates the ambiance of an old town village center — but with a distinctively contemporary flair. Enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment at more than 80 local boutiques and national brands in a residential district that locals and visitors love.
NAVAJO STREET ART DISTRICT
This upstart art district is small, but it's growing by leaps and bounds. The best time to see what's happening in the Navajo Street Art District is — of course — on First Fridays between 5 and 9 p.m., with every month bringing new shows, artists and art lovers to this lower Highlands neighborhood between 35th and 37th Streets. There also is Thursday Evening gatherings weekly between 5 - 8 p.m.
GOOD TO KNOW: One of the winners of the Mayor's Excellence in Arts Award, Pirate: Contemporary Art has been a fixture of Denver's art scene for more than three decades, showcasing bold and eclectic art year after year.
SOUTH PEARL STREET
Stroll between the 1200 and 1800 blocks of South Pearl Street on First Fridays (April through December from 4 to 8 p.m.) and check out five galleries, plus many shops hosting local artists, not to mention live music, food and drink.
GOOD TO KNOW: The Sand Dollar Gallery opened its doors in 1975, making it one of the longest-running galleries in Denver.
40 WEST ARTS
Beneath the surface of Lakewood’s unassuming suburban landscape bubbles a lively artistic community, and 40 West Arts is the hub of that community. Easily accessible via West Colfax, the district has more than two dozen public art installations — many of them colorful murals — plus several galleries, multiple performance venues and the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. The n
eighborhood's first Friday art walk is a great way to explore it all.
GOOD TO KNOW: The artists in 40 West Arts use every possible surface as canvases for displaying their art. Walk or drive around the district and you’ll see bus station shelters, industrial garage doors and building sides covered in artistic expression.