I had the privilege of attending Denver, Colorado’s First Friday Art Walk, located in Denver’s Art District on the Santa Fe. Art walks introduce people to local artists by giving local artists a chance to display their works. I particularly enjoyed this art walk compared to many others that I have attended. What really made this art walk notable was the full community support and effort that was put in to make this an enjoyable experience.
“Only at art walks can you comfortably walk up a creepy and dim flight of stairs and find art.”
While walking down the street you could just feel the creative atmosphere! The sidewalk was filled with people and I was pleased to see a child attending as well, since I believe exposure to art is vital when a child is young. Every corner I turned there was something new to see. One corner you came upon a band playing and another corner brought you into people lined up for the food trucks, which took up two blocks.
Only at art walks can you comfortably walk up a creepy and dim flight of stairs and find art. I love that. Not only am I able to explore some pretty amazing old buildings but the excitement of reaching the 2nd floor and finding art is wonderful. What was a living room now showcases the artist’s favorite pieces. Basically, a person simply walks from one building to another and views as much art as they can handle. Many of the galleries that we stumbled upon had walls filled with art making it hard to view it all. What also makes art walks special is that many of the artists are available to speak with which is a great way to engage the artist with the public and the public to learn from the artist.
Various types of art could be seen ranging from oil paintings to jewelry. Anything type of art you could create and dream up was there. My favorite gallery was Mai Wyn Fine Art. The artist, Mai Wyn, created oil paintings on stainless steel, which is the first time I have seen that medium used. In the hands of Mai Wyn, stainless steel becomes a stunning backdrop for earthly elements. The idea of mixing an industrial element with paintings of natural materials creates an amazing work of art. There were aspen trees with bright yellow leaves and amazing landscapes that made you want to visit the location. The shiny surface of the steel and the smell of the oil paints helped to make each piece stand out.
“In the hands of Mai Wyn, stainless steel becomes a stunning backdrop for earthly elements.”
During our time exploring, we ran into a little enclosed courtyard with a DJ and a booth selling food. People made themselves comfortable on lawn chairs as they gathered their strength and enjoyed the music. It was a little haven before wandering the streets for more art. The courtyard offered a perfect place to discuss what you had already seen.
Sadly, there just wasn’t enough time to sample all the art, but what I did experience was worth the trip to Denver. Luckily, Santa Fe District runs the First Friday Art Walks every month, ensuring plenty of time to see the different galleries. We were very impressed with the free shuttle services. This shuttle dropped and picked people up at certain locations throughout the event. It is a great service for those with difficulty walking and, since parking is nearly impossible in downtown Denver, being picked up at a parking lot was perfect. We had a very friendly driver and hostess who pointed out all the important spots and made the ride enjoyable.
Art is meant to be experienced and it’s meant to be felt. Art shouldn’t be hidden inside some closet but allowed to affect those who view it. It is also important to support your local artists and to find out what amazing talent is located in your own neighborhood. That is why art walks are so important. These events educate the public, unify a community, and promote a feeling of culture. I truly enjoyed my first Denver Art Walk and it was a pleasure to experience the culture and art in the Santa Fe district.
“Art is meant to be experienced and it’s meant to be felt. Art shouldn’t be hidden inside some closet but allowed to affect those who view it.”
For more information on Denver Colorado’s Art District on the Santa Fe click here: http://www.artdistrictonsantafe.com/
Written By: Kristy Trowbridge