Explore: Denver’s Arts World

Beyond the Denver Art Museum, this two-day tour allows you hit the highlights of Denver’s thriving art scene, including local and international artists and exhibits. From the bold Clyfford Still Museum to small independent galleries, immerse yourself fully in the Denver art scene.


Clyfford Still Museum
1250 Bannock Street
Denver, CO 80204
720 354-4874
Clyfford Still, considered one of the most important painters of the 20th century, was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists. The museum, Denver’s newest addition to the Cultural Arts District, was founded to promote the late artist’s work and legacy. Still’s estate – 2,400 artworks – has been sealed off from the public since 1980. Located in the area adjacent to the Denver Art Museum, the building is bold and iconoclastic – a perfect fit for an artist like Still. The building’s dense, cantilevered, two-story structure uses a single building material—a highly textured and resurfaced concrete, designed to modify light on both the exterior and interior of the museum. The 31,500-square-foot museum receives copious amounts of natural light, which is filtered into the museum through a clerestory on the second floor.

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
1311 Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80203
303 832-8576
The former studio of one of Denver’s important painters, abstract expressionist Vance Kirkland (1904-1981), the Kirkland Museum has been called “Denver’s most interesting museum.” The museum that bears Vance’s name is by no means the biggest art museum in Denver – but size isn’t everything. Virtually every inch of the walls and floors here are covered in eye-catching art (by both Kirkland and other 20th century Colorado artists) and mid-century modernist furnishings straight out of “Mad Men.” A handy tip – once you’ve made your way through the museum, go back to the beginning and start again. You’re sure to see new, amazing stuff you missed the first time around.

NOTE: The Kirkland Museum is temporarily closed. The museum is building a new 38,500-square-foot facility and relocating to 12th Avenue and Bannock Street. It will be near the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum within Denver’s Golden Triangle Museum District. The new building is set to open in mid-2017.

The Kitchen Denver
1610 Little Raven St.
Denver, CO 80202
720 904-0965
Finish the day off with some culinary art. The Kitchen Denver is a farm-to-table bistro, with a menu that evolves seasonally and reflects the simple and straightforward preparation of comfortable classics. It’s a perfect place to dine after spending a day looking at art.


Art District On Santa Fe
930 Inca St.
Denver, CO 80204
303 292-3455
The Art District on Santa Fe features the largest concentration of art galleries in Colorado with more than 40 galleries, shops and restaurants. It is also home to First Friday Art Walks, where on the first Friday of every month, galleries open their doors to the public, attracting lively crowds. Art lovers can peruse everything from traditional to contemporary art including paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed media, graphic art and textiles. A number of restaurants in the area offer up authentic Mexican cuisine, and local food trucks abound.

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA)
1485 Delgany
Denver, CO 80202
303 298-7554 x205
This gem of a museum proves that contemporary art can be thought provoking and fun all at once. MCA’s modern and elegant LEED-certified building (designed by renowned London architect David Adjaye) stands out amidst refurbished turn-of-the-century brick warehouses, and is easily recognizable thanks to the whimsical pierced heart sculpture (Toxic Schizophrenia by British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster) that stands at the entrance atop a tall steel pole. MCA | Denver features five galleries: Photography, Paper Works, Large Works, New Media, and Projects, each with rotating exhibits – guaranteeing that every visit to the museum offers a new experience. Make your way through the inviting stillness, taking time to linger if a piece catches your eye. Afterwards, spend a little time relaxing on MCA | Denver’s rooftop deck, a hidden jewel boasting 360-degree views of the Denver skyline. Good to know – MCA | Denver is FREE for kids and teenagers 18 and under.

Dikeou Collection
1615 California St., Ste. 515
Denver, CO 80202
303 623-3001
There’s nowhere else you’re going to see a pair of inflatable, 16-foot-tall rubber bunnies, right? One of the Mile High City’s most fascinating art locales, The Dikeou Collection is a private collection of contemporary art, with photography, drawings, sculptures, and installations by more than 25 artists from around the world. Free and open to the public, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

RiNo – River North Art District
3611 Chestnut Pl.
Denver, CO 80216
303 308-9345
Just north of downtown, you’ll find the aptly named 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.

Dinner in Larimer Square
1430 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80202
303 534-2367
Finish off your artsy weekend with a little fine dining in Larimer Square, where some of the city’s trendiest eateries are found. From Pacific Rim fusion to fancy French restaurants, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

See more itineraries: Explore: Mile High Romance | Explore: Shopping for Art in Denver