Edica Pacha

After President Trump was elected, Motus Theater staged a series of monologues with UndocuAmerica about the immigrant experience. And in 2022, the theater company expanded on building that awareness with murals by artist Edica Pacha. Through a P.S. You Are Here grant, Pacha pasted portraits of immigrants around Denver, along with a QR code that directs viewers to corresponding monologues. The murals were unveiled in June to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the DACA program, although two of them, located at public libraries, had to be replaced after being vandalized. That hasn't deterred Pacha, who told us, "This is why I continue to do art about these themes...to educate the greater community and bring greater perspective around these challenging issues."

RiNo Art District

Take a walk around RiNo to see the street art that the Mile High City has become known for. You can always take the Denver Graffiti Tour (a two-hour paid, guided tour on weekends) to get to know the area, but a stroll down the alleys and streets works, too. From murals by national talents like Shepard Fairey to works by local legends such as Detour, Casey Kawaguchi, Anthony Garcia, Pat Milbery and more, the neighborhood is a rotating art museum in its own right. RiNo Art District has even mapped out the murals on its website so you can stay updated on what's happening in the neighborhood and plan your trip.

MCA Denver

We can't say enough good things about the Museum of Contemporary Art, which revived the Northside's historic Holiday Theater last year by signing a long-term lease to host productions there. And the museum has shown even more local love this year, celebrating RedLine Contemporary Art Center's fifteenth anniversary with a blockbuster exhibition showcasing works from its alumni resident artists. It isn't often you see an institution like this giving so much space and love to local artists, but the MCA is always quick to recognize Denver talent while also providing inspiration from international and national contemporary artists.

Whether you're going to a concert or just hiking around its majestic landscape, a visit to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is an absolute must for tourists visiting Denver. And while you're at it, here's another must: visiting the Colorado Music Hall of Fame museum, located inside the Red Rocks Trading Post. There you'll see ephemera from each Hall of Fame class since the organization's beginnings in 2011, as well as exhibitions on Colorado musical institutions, including the famed Caribou Ranch studio and musicians such as John Denver, Judy Collins, Dan Fogelberg, Dianne Reeves and more. Be sure to also check out the Red Rocks Performers Hall of Fame in the Visitor Center at the top of the amphitheater for another awe-inspiring glimpse into the venue's storied past.

17900 Trading Post Road, Morrison
Museo de las Americas Facebook page

Denver is rich in Latino history and owes much of its cultural fabric to that community, so what better way to get to know your city than to visit a museum that celebrates Latin American art? Whether it's a First Friday in the Art District on Santa Fe or just a casual Saturday afternoon, the Museo is the place to see and learn about phenomenal Latin American art, from ancient to folk to contemporary. The nonprofit gallery mounts up to five exhibitions a year; its current display, Colombia: The Corn, the River and the Grave, open through August 19, explores how Colombian traditions are clashing with current conflicts around its natural resources.

Denver Art Museum

Most of the time you go to the Denver Art Museum to explore its widespread, awesome collection of art spanning centuries of creation. Other times, though, you could just be stopping in to purchase a present from the gift shop, because the DAM's store is perfect for perusing when you aren't sure what to get someone. There's something for everyone here, including puzzles, books, posters, jewelry, sculptures, pins, mugs, shape-shifting toys, clothing, housewares and more. Need to buy something for someone who seemingly has everything? This is your one-stop shop for kids and adults alike.

Ready for takeoff? Wings Over the Rockies is full of cool artifacts, both historic and futuristic, that celebrate space and provide an ideal escape for technocrats and other geeks. But those who like to stay more grounded will find plenty of amusement opportunities here, too, including a great gift shop and an introductory video by none other than Harrison Ford.

7711 East Academy Boulevard

The Medusa Collective opened in January 2022 and has been mounting stunning exhibitions that showcase local artists ever since. Created by artists Amanda Wolf and Gina Ilczyszyn, Medusa is more than a gallery; it also has nine private studios for artists to rent, as well as an area dedicated to workshops. The next workshop will take place in May with visionary artist Emily Kell, who will lead a class on creating talismans. Opening nights for Medusa exhibitions, which sometimes include live music and fire performers, are always memorable.

7140 Hooker Street, Westminster
Courtesy of Ant Life

What would you do after spending 999 days riding around the world on a bicycle? Jacob Lemanski took a hit of acid and decided to show the world his art: enormous, psychedelic ant farms. A former engineer, Lemanski used his savings to create Ant Life, a private event space that doubles as a gallery for his beloved ant farms as well as his other art, which includes luminescent light spaces, tapestries he calls "space screens," clothing, beanbags and more. Lemanski has kept the spot booked and busy, hosting everything from wedding receptions to psychedelic mushroom events. He hopes to make Ant Life an established brand, and given that Colorado has legalized several psychedelics, he could well be on his way.

2150 Market Street
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Founded by director and curator Hugh Grant in 1996 and opened to the public twenty years ago, the Kirkland Museum isn't just dedicated to its namesake, artist Vance Kirkland, but also to artworks by Colorado artists from multiple major movements, many of whom were contemporaries of Kirkland's. Everything here flows together seamlessly, given that the museum's layout is similar to a living space or series of salons. Here you'll find highly creative sculpture, paintings, drawings, ceramics, fiber art, furniture and more. The entire collection, which also includes international works of decorative art, is worth a visit any time, but the current exhibition, Vance Kirkland's Cosmos, which includes a never-before-seen collection from the influential artist, is a must-see before it closes on May 28.

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