Artist Spotlight focuses on interesting artists, upcoming exhibitions, and articles about art and those who love it or create it.

Discover new ways to stretch your imagination, be introduced to new artists, their exhibits, and books to read about them. Expect to excite your mind. Comments are very welcome! -- Rosemary Carstens

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Denver Lights and City Nights: Celebrate Arts Week in the Mile High City!

Philip Hyde
Friday night a group of us toured four arts districts in Denver, CO, to celebrate First Friday and kick off what promises to be an exciting, fun-filled DENVER ARTS WEEK from November 5-13. I’ve focused here on galleries, but there’s a plethora of cultural events going on, from opera to the 33rd Starz film festival, a scavenger hunt, restaurant and hotel bargains, and special museum exhibits, plus a long list of theater happenings.

We began in the Golden Triangle Museum District near Denver’s Fine Art Museum, parking in the Cultural Complex Garage at 12th Avenue & Broadway, an easy base for walking around to visit some nearby galleries, including:
The Camera Obscura Gallery
Michelle Mosko Fine Art
William Havu Gallery
Walker Fine Art, which will feature a panel discussion DADASPEAK: Shutter Shift, dedicated to changing technologies in photography, Nov. 11.
After a glass of wine, we boarded our bus and headed for the Art District on Santa FeMore than 50 galleries, shops, and restaurants span several blocks in the heart of one of Denver’s oldest, predominantly Latino communities. If you can’t make it there during Denver Arts Week, explore the area during the holidays when many of the galleries light the walkways with traditional luminaries—it’s a great area to uncover special gifts!
Mimi Carnevale
Next up, Tennyson Street Cultural District. I had not known about this area, described as a “funky yet sophisticated urban neighborhood” that used to be a streetcar corridor in the late 1800s. It’s smack in the center of the Berkeley neighborhood in Northwest Denver and unique locally owned shops, restaurants, and art galleries abound. The streets and shops were crowded with people enjoying an unseasonably warm November evening, with live music playing on the street and even a hair salon sporting fine art and champagne. The energy level was high and the art a mix of sophisticated and eclectic.

Jumping back on our bus, we headed for the River North Art District (RiNo), where more than 60 artists live and work in an area of industrial buildings

Susan Zwick
undergoing a renaissance journey of their own. Here you’ll find architects, art galleries, designers, furniture makers, illustrators, painters, media artists, photographers, sculptors and an array of studio spaces to discover. We visited two and especially loved seeing both the working spaces and a local residence. The Ironton Studios & Gallery, owned by Jill Hadley Hooper (an artist and illustrator herself) and the co-founder of RiNo, welcomed us with a roaring open fire to warm ourselves by as temperatures chilled, and series of studios where artists’ work was on display, including some fabulous puzzle tables and metal sculpture—there’s a real sense here of craft in process. Across the street we toured Weilworks an innovative three-story gallery and residence exhibiting some new work by Tracy Weil. Climbing the circular stairway to “heaven” to view the night lights of Denver from a spectacular perch, I also spotted numerous works by artist Susan Zwick.

What an evening! And we didn’t even scratch the surface of all that Denver has to offer when it comes to fine art. In many ways, the urban scene in this terrific city is a collection of villages, communities in which people live and work and surround themselves with highly developed cultural events and, at its heart, world-class theater, opera, and symphony—enough to keep any culture vulture such as me busy every day of the year! If you are local, get out there this week. If you live elsewhere—it’s time to visit this exciting City on the verge of the incomparable Rocky Mountains.

For more info: Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau

Rosemary Carstens


Andi O'Conor said...


Thanks for such a beautiful reminder of the great art available to us in this area. We're so lucky to live in a place with great natural "art" (the mountains) and such interesting studio art as well.

Your blog is a treasure.


Gail Storey said...

You transported me with this stunning piece into the heart of Denver's fine art scene! What a gifted writer you are, and your talents serve your brilliant artistic sensibility.