Denver, Colorado is home to a thriving art scene. From the Denver Art Museum with its 70,000+ works of art to monthly First Friday events spotlighting the galleries and studios of the city’s seven art districts, the Mile-High City is a wonderland of impressive visuals. Magnolia Hotel Denver is a short, 20-minute walk to the museum, and just blocks from galleries and murals.
Some of Denver’s most unique pieces can be viewed anytime, at no cost. Drive around the Mile-High City and you’ll find publicly commissioned statues and wall paintings interspersed with true street art – paintings and other visual art in highly visible places such as alleys, freeways and underpasses. Far from the graffiti of the 1980s New York, these dazzling murals and other large-scale works are as impressive as the Art Museum’s modernist collections.
Here are a few of our favorites. Be forewarned that non-commissioned artwork can disappear at any time, replaced overnight by a new masterpiece.
“Confluent People” at Speer Blvd. & Little Raven St.
With 300 days of sunshine per year in Denver, it’s no wonder tourists are drawn to the 12 sunglass-wearing figures depicted in this famous underpass mural. The shades literally reflect the people who helped build Denver’s culture and history, from early Native American settlers to artists and revolutionaries. About fifty local students helped artist Emanuel Martinez finish the giant, block-long painting in 2000.
Film Mural – 13th & Osage
Local youth in Denver’s Gang Rescue and Support Project painted this 100-foot “peace mural” celebrating America, Denver and the local community. The wall hosting the mural had been repeatedly covered in gang graffiti. According to 17-year-old mural painter Giovanni Parra, once a mural is in place, taggers won’t touch the spot anymore.
“I See What You Mean” at Colorado Convention Center
Denver’s blue bear is as iconic as Times Square’s Charging Bull – and the Fearless Girl who showed up to challenge the rampaging statue in spring 2017. Artist Lawrence Argent designed the statue after a newspaper photo of a live black bear peering in a local resident’s window, later changing the statue’s color after a printer mistake resulted in a more exciting image.
Chalk Art Festival at Larimer Square
Every summer, Downtown Denver transforms into a colorful canvas for local artists creating temporary masterpieces in colored pastels. The festival is inspired by Italy’s Piazza dell’Arte tradition, which dates to the Renaissance. More than 200 artists participate in Denver’s chalk fest each year, the remnants of their sidewalk paintings washing away at the end of the event.
Stop by one or two of these notable murals, or craft your own walking tour of Denver’s amazing street art. Whether you’re spending a few days in the city on business or taking a weeklong family vacation in Colorado, the area in and around Magnolia Hotel Denver offers captivating sights to please the eye and move the heart. Call 1-866-912-1037 or CLICK HERE to book your room in beautiful Downtown Denver.