Add a little outdoor art to your Colorado experience

Jam packed with an endless amount of outdoor activities, Colorado is widely known for hiking, biking, floating and just about anything else that involves the mountains. But don’t forget, there are also 18 official Creative Districts in the state. Outdoor thrill seekers might also appreciate the strong local art scene that Colorado has to offer. So why not merge the two? Below is a taste of the unique arts and cultural offerings that you shouldn’t miss this summer.

 Photo: Dennis Maloney

Photo: Dennis Maloney

The Greeley Blues Jam

June 9-10

The weekend kicks off Friday, June 9, with free pre-festival activities in Historic Downtown Greeley, which includes performances by Rev. Billy C. Wirtz and Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal. After that, there will be blues bands in 14 bars and restaurants in the surrounding downtown area.

The following Saturday includes sounds from The Grace Kuch Band and Walter Trout. The Colorado Blues Society has sponsored the “Blues 101 Stage,” which will feature some of the best blues performers in the state.

Boulder Plein Air Festival

June 11-18

Plein air painting is all about artists leaving the comfort of their studio in order to connect with nature and craft their paintings in an outdoor setting.

This weeklong festival celebrates the majestic landscapes and scenic cityscapes, and features free workshops and other events. There will be about 20 painters at the festival who will all be displaying their creativity and producing their art on location in Boulder. There will be plenty of surrounding activities such as receptions, exhibitions, lectures and the chance to swoop up a masterpiece that was created in front of your own eyes.

BLUEBIRD Art + Sound, Snowmass

June 30-July 2

BLUEBIRD Art + Sound is a new art and music experience that is coming to Snowmass. The weekend starts Friday night with a ticketed music performance by the True Story Band and Drive-By Truckers on Fanny Hill.

Saturday and Sunday are free to attend and there will be an interactive exhibition in Base Village known as the BAS Art Experience. The BAS Art Experience will include everything from virtual reality exhibits to still paintings.

Art on the Streets Launch Party, Colorado Springs

July 7

For almost 20 years, Art on the Streets has enlivened public places in downtown Colorado Springs with an exhibit of art and sculptures from around the world.

The event will feature 12 new exhibits. Live music and walking tours start at 5p.m.

Local artists, national and international artists will all have pieces on display, including artists from Italy, Brazil and Germany.

The Telluride Art + Architecture Weekend

July 15-16

Telluride is full of local architects, designers, artists, chefs and more. Attendees will be allowed to hang at each of the 10 venues for a sneak peek into the works of each artist. The weekend will include exhibits, performances and tastings of both food and wine.

The two day, self-guided tours will include new and historic homes and one creative venue each day. With ticket purchase, you will receive a guidebook, which presents information about each tour stop.

 Photo: UMS

Photo: UMS

The Underground Music Showcase, Presented by Breckenridge Brewery, Denver

July 27-30

Known for bringing a compelling variety of music to the Denver area, the Underground Music Showcase is now in its 17th edition. Spread throughout four days, this event will showcase nearly 400 local and national performances, scattered across an array of lively venues throughout the Mile High City.  The main stage is at 363 S. Broadway.

 Photo: Dylan Hochstedler

Photo: Dylan Hochstedler

CRUSH, Denver

September 15-17

CRUSH is a weeklong celebration of art, beautification, creativity, and culture in Denver’s RiNo Art District. It was founded by Denver graffiti artist Robin Munro and is known as Colorado’s largest independent graffiti and street art project.

Last year was the first year the event was held in RiNo, and the result was more than 80 murals that span 10 blocks. CRUSH contributes more street murals each year to Denver’s collection, which has gained recognition both nationally and internationally.

-          Compiled by Dylan Hochstedler