The LoHi, or Lower Highland, area of Denver has become renowned for being the city’s independent and cultural district. Thanks to the Highland Bridge – completed in 2006 – the LoHi district is now easier to access than ever, contributing significantly to its blossoming popularity. Visitors can now enjoy a whole host of restaurants, bars and the nearby Commons Park. We take a look at the best galleries showcasing the rich contemporary art scene in thriving LoHi.
CPAC: Colorado Photographic Arts Center
The Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC) is dedicated to increasing the understanding and appreciation of photography in its different forms through exhibitions, education and community outreach. The non-profit Centre as it stands today was formed in 2011, with the merger of the CPAC of 1963 with the Working With Artists initiative, founded in 2001. CPAC hosts regular events and classes both in photographic appreciation and in technical skills, even offering darkroom hire as part of its local outreach project. Its main collection is a historical overview of 20th century photography and was donated by artists and collectors over the CPAC’s 50 year history. It has grown to include contemporary works from celebrated artists such as Ansel Adams, Max Yavno and Matt Slaby, continuing to champion new talent with its regularly changing exhibitions.
Established in 2006 and now home to a number of both well-known and emerging local artists, Next Gallery has become one of the district’s most popular art spaces for artists themselves. The gallery’s mission is ‘to create an environment for active artists to present and grow in a fostering community’. It challenges artists to experiment while being actively engaged in the dialogue of the artistic community. Next’s list of resident artists reads very much like a who’s who in the Denver art scene and with this growing community of artists, the exhibitions often feature collaborations, interdisciplinary arts and non-traditional media, whilst also retaining respect for more ‘traditional’ form of art.
Next Gallery, 3659 Navajo Street, Denver, CO, USA, +1 303-433-4933.
Pirate: Contemporary Art
For over 30 years Pirate: Contemporary Art has been recognised for its contribution to Denver’s eclectic, alternative arts scene. Its unique model of operating – as a co-op by member-artists – has been copied by many of the other galleries and art spaces in the district, and not without good reason. Pirate has enabled members to experiment more freely with their artwork through mediums including painting, mixed media, sculpture, and light installations. It has housed work from innovative artists who have gone on to achieve national acclaim, including Stephen Batura, Margaret Neumann and Louis Recchia – with the ever changing list of members and artists in Denver, there is always a steady influx of artists worth looking out for.
Pirate: Contemporary Art, 3655 Navajo Street, Denver, CO, USA,+1 303-458-6058.
Ritual Tattoo and Gallery
Art takes many forms and with the increasing mainstream popularity of tattoos and body art, tattooist and gallery owners Missy Rhysing, Sandi Calistro and Rochelle Marion have pushed the boundaries of gallery curating with Ritual Tattoo and Gallery. The gallery opened its doors in 2014 and is in a similar vein to Calistro’s previous Kaze Gallery, showcasing the now merging worlds of art and tattoos. As you may expect, you will be able to get a tattoo at Ritual and most customers will be coming in for this purpose alone. However, the experienced tattooists have combined their love of tattoos and art by including a collection of prints, original artworks, jewellery and other curiosities in their gallery. You will also be able to look over their extensive back catalogue of tattoos during your visit.
Ritual Tattoo and Gallery, 4241 Jason St, Denver, CO 80211, USA, +1 303-455-1558.
Zip 37 is one of the oldest artist-run galleries in Denver, after Pirate. The gallery is split into a front and back room, with the front exhibiting solo or group shows and the back room selling an eclectic mix of funky, affordable artworks from the resident artists. It is home to 17 local artists, including Pat Smith, Zoa Ace and Candace Shepard, who specialise in art ranging from sculpture, painting and print making to mixed media, jewellery and ceramics. The shows in the front gallery tend to run for three weeks, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities for return visits and to explore new art, whilst also having the option of buying small gifts or larger pieces.
Zip 37, 3644 Navajo Street, Denver, CO, USA, +1 720-470-6339.
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