Create Denver art market on the 16th Street Mall beats shlocky souvenirs

Denver's touted as a mecca for the creative class, but no tourist would guess at this city's artistic inclinations from a walk along the 16th Street Mall -- sixteen blocks of empty storefronts and shlocky souvenir shopping. But this week, and sadly this week alone, the Create Denver Pop-Up Market at 1600 Glenarm Place shows what this city could do if it got creative with some of those spaces: use them to support, and show, local artists.

This temporary market is filled with pieces by two dozen local artists, all available for sale. And on the walls, there's a "paper garden" of suggestions posted by artists and arts enthusiasts, for how to grow the creative community. Best idea: keep this market open after Create Denver Week ends.

Let's send tourists home with homegrown art, not made-in-China souvenirs.

The Pop-Up Market, which is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Saturday, is just one of dozens of Create Denver activities.

At 7 p.m. tonight, I'll be co-hosting Meet the MasterMinds, a panel discussion featuring a dozen of the artistic entrepreneurs who've been honored with Westword MasterMind awards, who'll be talking about what it takes for the creative class to not just survive, but thrive in Denver. The free program is at 1430 Delgany Street, and a party will follow -- but reservations are required.

You can sign up and find the full Create Denver schedule here.

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