40 West Arts District ramps up in Lakewood

Photo courtesy 40 West Arts

Photo courtesy 40 West Arts

By Natasha Lovato

The 40 West Arts District (40W) brings the fun this summer with visual delights for the entire family.

Numerous galleries, events and a walking tour down the 40W Art Line  are part of the experience along West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood.

“It’s a great opportunity to come down and see all of our galleries at once while also enjoying light bites, drinks and live music,” said Liz Black, 40W executive director. The walk-able, bike-able art loop features more than 100 murals and sculptures, plus other surprises such as glass-blowing demonstrations.

From 5-9 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, people rally along the famous strip to check out the burgeoning art scene that also includes a thirst-quenching collaboration.


Accompanying 40W at the first Friday events is WestFax Brewing Co., which has its own art partnership. WestFax Brewing recently launched its Summer Artist Series of crowler cans featuring the work of Lakewood artist Noelle Phares.

Phares recently moved from San Francisco, following the urge to mesh the geographical surroundings of Colorado into her abstract landscape artwork. “Geometric flair and bright colors tend to be my artistic signatures. The unique perspectives that my landscapes offer pair well with Westfax's bold and creative take on beer-making,” Phares said. 

An environmental scientist by training, Phares yearns to pursue a specific objective with her artwork. “My goal as an artist is always to remind people how precious the natural world is … with the stark geometric elements in much of my work symbolizing the ever-growing presence of humanity pressing in on what was previously open space,” she said. “As Denver undergoes quick growth on the outskirts of some of the country’s most pristine wilderness areas, it’s the perfect place to ponder these topics.” 

To follow Phares on her artistic journey, check out her website at www.noellephares.com

Phares is joined by dozens of other artists who bring their skills to the westside arts district. Along with the first Friday fun, 40W also hosts a number of other events, including the Colfax Mural Fest in the Lamar Station Plaza on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will include live mural paintings, music by Pandas and People, vendors and brews provided by WestFax. In addition, the Dia de los Muertos celebration in November will feature Aztec dancers, a processional, intricate lighting and of course, artwork for attendees to enjoy. Visit www.40westarts.org for additional information.

Photo courtesy 40 West Arts

Photo courtesy 40 West Arts