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Explore Denver’s Rich Art Culture on Foot with the Art Lover’s Walking Tour

It’s easy to look around downtown Denver and be captivated by all the art that surrounds the city. From giant pencils, and life size cows, to murals around every corner and painted pianos lining the streets there is something for all artistic tastes. Denver’s art scene is thriving, and thanks to Denver’s Imagine 2020 plan there is so many different types of work to explore, and mostly for free. Step outside and enjoy the 300 days of sunshine in the mile high city, while taking in the breathtaking pieces of local and international artists. This Art Lover’s Walking Tour of Denver is just slightly over two and a half miles and includes some of Denver’s most iconic pieces across the city including many here at the Colorado Convention Center. Take an afternoon and get to know all of the beautiful art Denver has to offer.

 

Santa Fe Art District
Santa Fe Drive between Alameda Ave and 12th Ave
Denver, CO 80204
www.artdistrictonsantafe.com

Start your tour in the bustling Santa Fe Art District. The street is lined with 60+ galleries showcasing artwork of all shapes and sizes and across all artistic disciplines.  If you are looking for even more excitement visit the area on the First Friday of any month to experience the street filled with people, live music, great food, and of course amazing art work. After you’ve had your fill of galleries keep heading north to get to the next stop of the walking tour.

Denver Art Museum
100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
www.denverartmuseum.org

The next stop is the Denver Art Museum. Head east onto 13th Ave., turn north onto Acoma Street and the museum will be on your left. This is Denver’s largest art destination. The art here spans across all styles and eras.  Get lost amongst ever changing art exhibits on the multiple floors of the museum. If you are looking for a low cost art tour there several sculptures outside of the building, including the” Big Sweep”, by Claes Olden burg and Coosje van Bruggen, or first Saturdays are free to attend and kids under 18 are always free.

Denver Public Library

10 W. 14th Ave. Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 865-1111
www.denverlibrary.org

Take a short walk to the next stop on the tour by heading back out onto 14th Ave. and then heading east to visit the Denver Public Library that will be located on your left. The iconic building was designed in 1990 by architect, Michael Graves, a world leader in design and architecture. Head into the library to see the 130 yard long, “A Rolling Historical Landscape of Colorado and the West” by Edward Ruscha. This 70 panel piece highlights Colorado’s voices of the past. There are also various pieces outside of the building including Donald Lipski’s 21 foot pinto horse on a huge red chair called, “The Yearling” and “Lao Tzu” another enormous sculpture, 16 tons to be precise, that is done by Mark di Suvero.

Colorado Convention Center
700 14th Street
Denver, CO 80202
www.denverconvention.com

To get to our very own Colorado Convention Center, and next stop on the tour, head northwest through Civic Center Park (this park is home to many fountains, statues and gardens of its own to admire) and turn left onto 14th Ave to find the Colorado Convention Center and the famous Blue Bear, “I See What You Mean” by Lawrence Argent. This 40 feet curious bear peeking into the building was named one of Denver’s most photogenic places. Once the awe wears off (and the camera is full of pictures) be sure to take a step back and take in the entirety of the beautifully designed building by architect Curtis W. Fentress. With over 26 art pieces both inside and out of the building there are many opportunities to admire local art. More information about all the pieces can be found at here.

Denver Center Performing Arts Complex
950 13th St.
Denver, CO 80202
www.denvercenter.org

The final stop of this tour is the Denver Center of Performing Arts complex. The complex is located just up the street on 14th from the Colorado Convention Center. Welcoming you to the center are two giant sculptures, titled “Dancers” by Jonathan Borofsky. These 60 foot tall dancers look like they are in a state of perpetual movement, represent the charm and beauty of performance art. Make sure you take time to walk through the Denver Center Performing Arts Complex, to enjoy more sculptures and the beautiful architecture of the building.

If you would prefer a guided tour the Colorado Convention Center’s Walking Public Art Tour is a free tour lead by some of Denver’s art experts. Get the answers about the Colorado Convention Center’s interesting pieces as well as learn more about the public art selected to reflect Denver and Colorado’s culture on this fun and educational walking tour. Upcoming tour dates include Sunday, July 12, Sunday, July 26 and Sunday, August 16. All tours are from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Be sure to register here.

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