Best Art for Rent 2020 | Get the Gallery | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

If you're really desperate for art to look at, how about renting some on the fly? Joe Clark of Get the Gallery devised the art-rental service to be affordable and easy but handled with care, meaning that after you select something online, it'll be delivered to your door, ready to hang, with the option of having the concierge hang it for you for an additional fee. Prices range from $17 to $49 per month, according to the number and value of the pieces you rent. And Get the Gallery keeps it local by offering art by Colorado artists, another reason to feel good about what you see on your wall.
Courtesy RedLine Contemporary Art Center

RedLine has always put artists first. While the Five Points gallery, studio and event space may be closed, the nonprofit continues to offer solid resources for artists, providing an online list of grants, funds and residencies available now to help creatives in need. RedLine also asks artists to fill out a brief survey on its website, attempting to assess real-time needs. Executive director Louise Martorano is a bright light in dark times, working directly with the community on what can be done right now to meet artists where they are.

PlatteForum has long connected young people from Denver with artists from around the world through residencies, exhibits and workshops. The nonprofit also understands the exceptional challenges that youth from under-resourced communities can face day to day. During these uneasy times, PlatteForum is working to offer information relevant to young artists and their families, starting with a list of resources for the community that includes connections for rental and utility assistance, information about meal and food-access programs, resources for freelancers, youth-specific grants and more.
Brandon Marshall

The music-education nonprofit Youth on Record has served two major functions in the Denver area: hiring artists to teach, and using contemporary music education to keep youth in school. With all of its in-person programming currently shut down, the organization still plans on paying its artists and continuing with some of its virtual programming. That includes My Youth on Record, the podcast where artists share music they created when they were teens. Hosted by Shawn King from DeVotchKa, the program has included interviews with Sunny Jain of Red Baraat, underground rapper Sage Francis, Zac Barnett of American Authors, and Denver rapper Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp.

How often do you think about Colorado and what makes it unique? Why not take advantage of this period of isolation to learn more about the great state we live in through stories documenting Colorado history, places and people? The podcast Lost Highways, sponsored by History Colorado and compiled by folksy Colorado Springs polymath Noel Black and producer Tyler Hill, who traveled around the state gathering information about Japanese internment camps, the African-American settlement of Dearfield and other Colorado-centric sagas, will get you hooked in a minute. You can just feel the hours indoors melting away.

Josh Mattison has made himself a staple in the Denver podcasting scene with his audio magazine Low Orbit (formerly called Denver Orbit). In the fall, he and Shannon Geis dropped a podcast documentary series called The Order of Death, which investigates the murder of talk-radio host Alan Berg, who was gunned down in his driveway in 1984 by members of a white-supremacist group called the Order. The podcast explores the group's ideology, Berg's role in the talk-radio revolution of the early '80s, and how his killers' hateful ideas continue to influence today's white-supremacist movements.

Addiction is a beast. Lives are destroyed. People are forever changed. And sometimes...every now and then...recovery occurs. Colorado Public Radio journalist Vic Vela, an addict himself who spent years smoking crack and doing coke while serving in the press corps at the Statehouse, decided to chronicle people's stories of recovery on a serial podcast he's making with Colorado Public Radio called Back From Broken. The stories he tells, of musicians like songwriter and musician Anders Osborne and baseball player David Mellor, are often depressing — but ultimately hopeful. And whether you're dealing with an alcohol, drug or gambling addiction, PTSD or other mental health issues, these stories offer a rare sense that things can get better.

One of the biggest pandemic-driven stories coming out of the creative community is the plight of performing artists of every ilk who are out of work overnight after entire seasons came to a standstill in the name of social distancing. The Pandemic Collective, a nonprofit company that normally stages horror-inspired theater, has devised a stopgap to keep unemployed theater people busy, with modest remuneration for their trouble. Project Outbreak is seeking submissions of short audio and radio plays responding to themes of uncertainty; the project is recruiting actors and production crews interested in being part of the project as well. If you're none of the above, consider donating to Project Outbreak's GoFundMe page.

Brush up on your writing skills while you're sequestered: The social-distancing-correct Lighthouse Writers Workshop will move its spring events online in real time via the Zoom remote platform for at least a few weeks. Yes, you'll be at home in an easy chair and pajamas while experiencing a live lesson and discussion. Keep up with Lighthouse on social media and/or its website as the organization devises new ways to provide literary experiences online. Write on!

With a constant flow of stressful news coming from all sides, Denver poet Suzi Q. Smith has been there for us, providing art that comforts. From a Twitter feed that offers laughter and truth to an organized online poetry broadcast, Smith uses her platforms to be there for us virtually. The standout is "Poems for the End of the World," a poem-a-day service on her website. Make reading Smith's stark and searing writing a part of your daily routine, and break up the noise of news with some humanity.

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