Finding North Denver Art Exhibitions in Unlikely Places

By Jacqui Somen

First Friday on Tennyson used to be a bustling night when local artists and galleries could showcase their work. In the last few years, all but one of these galleries have shuttered, leaving many residents wondering if it’s still possible to get up close and personal with art and local artists in North Denver. The short answer: Yes!

There are several options for those who still want a gallery experience. For instance, the nonprofit BRDG Project, a contemporary art space on Tejon Street, hosts various exhibitions and performances throughout the year. Their upcoming True West exhibition, curated by Michael Dowling, features work by 40 regional artists and explores the “notion of leaving the comfort and safety of the familiar,” according to a release. True West will be on display through March 2.

Ryan Joseph Gallery on 38th Avenue is hosting the exhibition Endings and Continuations, featuring national and international artists, until March 6. 

Jonathan Applegate’s oneLINE mural of Union Station that wraps around the elevator to Hey Kiddo on Tennyson. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Applegate

Artist Jonathan Applegate continues to showcase pieces created with his unique oneLINE method at Tennyson’s last remaining gallery, Future Drawn oneLINE Gallery. Applegate creates intricate hand-drawn or painted pieces using a single line that never crosses or intersects, a method he calls oneLINE.

North Denverites can also find art in less obvious places like the walls of coffee shops, restaurants and yoga studios. 

Wendy Golden is exhibiting her nature photography at Tenn Street Coffee & Books, and Applegate’s oneLINE work appears on murals throughout the neighborhood, including in the first-floor lobby of Hey Kiddo and inside the entrance of Kalaka Mexican Kitchen. Katie Jackson’s Uncaged collection, featuring women “breaking free from their framed prison,” is currently on display at Ohana Yoga + Barre. 

Katie Jackson’s Modern Magic framed art prints Pink Flamingo and Joy, from the Uncaged collection. Photo courtesy of Modern Magic

“I think that seeing art in person will always have a transformative effect, it’s why we buy art to put in our homes,” Jackson said. “Especially when it’s the original and you can see more of the textures created by the materials used by the artist and the vividness of the colors that replications can’t always nail down.”

Art in North Denver has also spilled onto the streets, with murals enriching corners and parks. Applegate’s work can be viewed on a 1,000-square-foot mural in the alley behind Alchemy 365, across from César Chávez Park. 

Many favorite local artists can also be found in digital spaces. Denverites who want to purchase art from Michelle Courier, who ran Westward Gallery on Tennyson for seven years, can still find her work online. Courier said that shutting down the gallery gave her the freedom to paint more, and that social media has become a powerful sales tool.

“Running a gallery has been a tremendous learning experience for me, but my own studio time was cut in half,” Courier said. 

Like other industries, artists and galleries are constantly navigating a balance between the ease and reach of the digital space and the depth and costs of in-person expression. Regardless, art enthusiasts seeking tangible artistic experiences can still enjoy finding art in new and hidden corners of North Denver.

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