Art News

Five Psychedelic Art Galleries to Check Out in Denver

"Psychonaut," by Stella Strzyzowska, is on view at Threyda.
"Psychonaut," by Stella Strzyzowska, is on view at Threyda. @threyda
Colorado's legalization of marijuana caused many visionary artists to move to Denver, hoping that they'd find a scene free from a rigid mentality of what constitutes fine art, says muralist A.L. Grime. As a result, Denver has many galleries showcasing psychedelic paintings and digital art, dripping with fractals, that you won't find in more established arts cities such as New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

After a toke, there's almost no better activity than exploring galleries — especially ones filled with art that seems to be made for high people, by high people. Even if you don't get high, the works in these galleries can provide a similar effect. While Denver also has psychedelic immersive installations such as Meow Wolf's Convergence Station and Lighthouse Immersive's Immersive Frida Kahlo, it's always rewarding to show some love to local creatives and curators.

With 4/20 on the horizon, it's high time to visit some of Denver's psychedelic galleries. Here are five that are good places to start:
click to enlarge "App Food," by Yusk Imai. - @RYANJOSEPHGALLERY
"App Food," by Yusk Imai.
@ryanjosephgallery
Ryan Joseph Gallery
2647 West 38th Avenue
The curatorial team at Ryan Joseph Gallery really knows what it's doing, and you could find the next Salvador Dalí in the mind-bending works here. The gallery leans toward surrealist works imbued with mysterious meanings and intentions, created by both local and international artists. An excellent solo exhibition by Brazilian artist Yusk Imai closes on Wednesday, April 13.
click to enlarge "Lady of the Fertile Underground." by Rose Drummand, in Visionary Muses. - @THREYDA
"Lady of the Fertile Underground." by Rose Drummand, in Visionary Muses.
@threyda
Threyda
878 Santa Fe Drive
Not only does Threyda host a collective of visionary artists, but it also sells apparel, usually emblazoned with the artwork you'll find here. Threyda's current exhibit is Visionary Muses, which celebrates the "divine feminine" with stunning works by artists such as Rose Drummand, Emily Kell and Ashley Spero. Don't miss upcoming exhibit Flow and Behold, which will showcase such famed visionary artists as Randall Roberts, Morgan Mandala, Krystleyez and Sweet Melis. And watch for the next First Friday, when the gallery comes alive with live painters and DJ sets.
click to enlarge This 10-by-10-inch painting by Bryce Silianoff is one of many hanging in Minis. - @THE.MEDUSA.COLLECTIVE
This 10-by-10-inch painting by Bryce Silianoff is one of many hanging in Minis.
@the.medusa.collective
The Medusa Collective
7140 Hooker Street, Westminster
Local artists/muralists Amanda Wolf and Gina Ilczyszyn launched their gallery, the Medusa Collective, at Westminster's new rail-station development area in December, and it's been full speed ahead since then. The current show, Minis, offers miniature canvases from talented locals, with the works varying from psychedelic abstraction and mandalas to still life and pop art. The gallery rotates its exhibits monthly, and also hosts workshops and rents studio space. Artists can submit to be part of the next show, Fungi Kingdom: A Mycelium Themed Experience, until May 2.
click to enlarge You can always find psychedelic art at Mirus Gallery. - COURTESY OF MIRUS GALLERY
You can always find psychedelic art at Mirus Gallery.
Courtesy of Mirus Gallery
Mirus Gallery and Art Bar
1144 Broadway
Mirus not only has some of the city's best opening-night parties, when artists are invited to bring their equipment and doodle while DJs play, but also some wild art. Its latest show, Super Future, explores NFTs and digital art with surreal abstract pieces, but we're really looking forward to Bond Truluv: Access Granted, which opens April 29. Truluv describes his work as inviting "viewers to embark on an abstract journey through their own subconsciousness, blurring the boundaries between reality and fiction, the analog and the digital world.”
click to enlarge Art for IRL's Solar Punk exhibit by Thomas Dubois. - @IRLART__
Art for IRL's Solar Punk exhibit by Thomas Dubois.
@irlart__
IRL Art
2601 Walnut Street, Unit 230
This speakeasy gallery is a must-see for those trying to understand the trendy intersection of cryptocurrency and art — and the work isn't hard on the eyes, either. IRL, which has been ahead of the curve on NFTs for some time under the leadership of Annie Phillips, regularly hosts exhibits that include virtual and augmented reality and digital art; it also hosted a gallery for the crypto convention ETHDenver earlier this year with its Solar Punk show. Catch a glimpse of the art of the future at the latest metaverse show, ARCHITEK, which IRL describes as "more than a gallery; it's a lifestyle." What's more psychedelic than diving into a whole new universe?
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Emily Ferguson is Westword's Culture Editor, covering Denver's flourishing arts and music scene. Before landing this position, she worked as an editor at local and national political publications and held some odd jobs suited to her odd personality, including selling grilled cheese sandwiches at music festivals and performing with fire. Emily also writes on the arts for the Wall Street Journal and is an oil painter in her free time.
Contact: Emily Ferguson