Pirate: Contemporary Gallery
3655 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211
Created in the 1980s, Pirate: Contemporary Gallery put Denver on notice that edgy art was worth a look, and it simultaneously helped put the Highlands neighborhood on the map of Mile High City hipness. With a core group of artists, the works here are eclectic and ever changing. The venue is renowned for its annual Dios de la Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration, as well as a variety of colorful events. Hours: Friday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. Check the website for additional gallery shows.
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
1311 Pearl Street
Denver, CO 80203
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another art venue as fascinating as the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art. With 3,300 objects arranged within 5,000 square feet, it can be initially overwhelming. But allow time to explore…the venue manages to present a vast array of intriguing furniture and interior accessories from 1880 -1980. A variety of styles range from art deco to the aesthetic movement. The gallery has added a Colorado-focused collection, including a retrospective of its founder, painter Vance Kirkland. Careful visitors are welcomed (no children under 13; ladies, watch your humongous designer bags), as intricate, interactive displays often require attentiveness and deliberate movement when viewing.
PISMO Fine Art Glass
2770 E. 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
Recognized with national retail and craft-gallery awards, upscale PISMO has been a staple in Cherry Creek North since the 1990s. It’s so popular that sister sites have sprung up over the years in Aspen, Vail and Beaver Creek. Whether it’s glass beads, vases or free-form work, the vibe here is high-end and contemporary, yet the service remains friendly, helpful and down-to-earth. PISMO has expanded its collections into furniture and paintings. Try to hit an opening here – events are as sumptuous and upbeat as the surroundings.
The ArtDistrict on Santa Fe
Santa Fe Drive, between Alameda and 12th Avenues
Denver, CO 80204
We hate to cop out and suggest an entire area of multiple galleries, but The ArtDistrict on Santa Fe presents some of the brightest talents, most interesting works and downright fun events in Denver. Art on display includes sculpture, collage, embroidery, assemblage, ceramics and photography. SPARK Gallery is the mother ship, a cooperative effort with artists that participate in juried exhibits and teach at local schools. Take advantage of First Friday art walks – and you can always grab chow at area restaurants while you’re there.