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The Denver street art scene is well and truly flourishing. You can hardly turn a corner without coming face to face with a mural or installation of some kind.
There is an incredible variety – wild colours, black and white, huge murals, tiny stencils, hyper-realistic and stick figures. I’ll show you a small cross section and where to find them.
Get ready for some serious talent, creativity and (dare I say it?!) Instagram-worthy locations.
The Best Areas to Find Street Art in Denver
At this stage street art and Denver are nearly synonymous. But where exactly IS all the stunning street art in Denver? Well, luckily they’re all pretty central, only a quick Uber/Lyft away from each other.
LONDON STREET ART – Check out my guide to Brick Lane street art HERE.
On 16th Street Mall, the main, borderline pedestrianised, street of Downtown Denver, there are a few murals down the side streets. I probably wouldn’t go poking around any of the alleys in the dark, but in the light of day, have a look for bright colours and see what you can find.
I was just walking to Target when I found the amazing “Greetings From Denver” mural down a side street. That’s always my favourite way to find street art in a city, just wander and look for colour.
Larimer Street, Denver’s most historic block, has got a thing for cats. You’ll find statues of cats everywhere – on the lamp posts, on the bins, on the rooftops. I believe this was done by artist Kelly Monico.
Every year they have a Chalk Art Festival (next is June 5-6th, 2020) on Larimer Square where artists create beautiful chalk paintings all over the streets of Larimer. Definitely worth seeing if you’re visiting in early June.
RiNo – River North Arts District
The RiNo Arts District is THE place in Denver for street art. If you only make one stop for seeing street art in Denver, this has to be it.
Larimer Street is the main street through River North with murals on nearly every inch of available space.
The alley ways between Larimer and Walnut, Walnut and Blake, are also packed full of street art. Pretty much any turn you take throughout RiNo will lead you in the direction of street art.
Perhaps the most famous mural in RiNo, kind of heading out of RiNo really, is the “Love This City” mural on Park and Broadway, between Lawrence and Arapahoe Street. You can see it in the first photo under the RiNo heading.
While you wander around RiNo in search of street art make sure to stop into one of the many coffee shops or craft breweries for a drink. The Denver Central Market is a great spot for a meal, a drink or just some ice cream, right in the heart of RiNo’s street art.
Check out this quick video I made to see a lot more of the murals and street art that cover the River North Arts District.
The Art District on Santa Fe
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Welcome to the neighborhood, @vibeartdistrictdenver! 👋Transforming downtown Denver with a seven-story, sunglasses-wearing pug, they’re committed to embracing the growth of the Art District on Santa Fe by blending our artistic and cultural roots into the vision for a contemporary work environment.🤝 Join the Vibe Art District at their exclusive unveiling during the First Friday Art Walk on June 1! Enjoy appetizers, beer and wine as three local artists create murals on the property. Come watch the progress as the mural is painted live outside and learn about the renovations on the 134,643 sq. ft. building! ✨ #artdistrict #denversartdistrict #artdistrictonsantafe #artindenver #denverevents #buymoreart #artforall #freethingstodo #denverart #denverartist #denverliving #instaart #vibeartdistrict #firstfriday #firstfridayartwalk
Another great part of Denver for street art is the art district on Santa Fe. Not quite as covered as RiNo, but has a different vibe and is definitely worth checking out if you have a few days in Denver.
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The First Friday Art Walk returns this week, and the Santa Fe BID is closing down the street! Join us 5:30-9:30 for gallery hopping in the Art District on Santa Fe. #firstfriday #artdistrict #denversartdistrict #artdistrictonsantafe #art #artindenver #artwalk #freethingstodo #galleries #denverevents
The area has Hispanic roots and is full of artist workshops, galleries and studios. Grab some phenomenal Mexican food at El Taco de Mexico and then head out mural hunting.
The Best Way to See Street Art in Denver
There are plenty of ways to experience Denver street art, from tours to festivals to just wandering around by yourself. Here are a few ideas!
Denver Street Art Tour
The best way to get to know and understand the local street art scene of Denver is to take a tour. There are plenty of different ones. The Denver Graffiti Tour takes 2 hours and shows you around the RiNo Arts District, giving you all the info you need about the artists and neighbourhood.
Fancy something a bit more chill?! How about a street art and CANNABIS tour?! Yep, a bit more unusual. But given that cannabis is legal in Colorado it could make for a unique and interesting tour. Check out the Blaze & Gaze Graffiti Walking Tour here.
Like most other US cities I’ve visited, the Lime Scooters are VERY present. So if you want to cover a lot of ground and see as much street art as possible they might be a good option for you. Download the app, find your nearest scooter and head off in search of some stunning street art.
First Friday Art Walk
On the first Friday of every month between 5.30-9.30pm the Art District on Santa Fe in Denver hosts a loosely organised art walk. There are plenty of food trucks, galleries and workshops are open to everyone and Denver’s best creative talent is on display. A fantastic way to see some street art and more traditional art in Denver.
Chalk Art Festival
Like I mentioned above, there is an annual Chalk Art Festival in Larimer in early June. Over 200 artists take over the streets of Larimer and cover them in bright and bold works of art. There’s a great vibe with lots of local music and great food to enjoy as you view the murals.
There’s a lot to the Denver street art scene and I will update this article as often as I can, but for the moment, hopefully the above gives you a few ideas.
DISCLAIMER – Visit Colorado hosted me during my stay in Denver. However, all opinions are my own and this article was NOT paid for.
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