The mile high city may be better known for its outdoor culture and nearby winter sports destinations, but it is also a haven for art. There is a wide-spread and progressive art scene throughout the state of Colorado and walking through Denver it is evident that Denver is a city that appreciates art.

Denver Colorado

Denver Colorado

There are institutions, galleries and numerous notable sculptures scattered throughout its streets, among a mix of different styles of architecture. If in Denver, art students should not miss the opportunity to visit the following art-friendly places:

Denver Art Museum 

The Denver Art Museum is one of the most impressive art museums in the country, and is set within a striking contemporary structure. Home to an enviable permanent collection along with revolving exhibits that currently include the works Vincent van Gogh, you could easily spend a whole day at this museum. The facility’s permanent collection ranges from modern and contemporary art to ancient textiles, American Indian art and artifacts, Western American art, Spanish Colonial art and more. Thanks to the area’s history, many of the items on display were created locally over the past several hundred years. Along with its exhibits, the museum also holds classes and talks, many of which are catered especially to students. Admission to the museum is free on the first Saturday of each month.

Art District on Santa Fe

Denver locals know all about the city’s art district centered on Santa Fe Street. Located within walking distance from downtown Denver, the art district is home to over 60 art galleries along with trendy cafes and shops, and is pretty well-known throughout the country. Art students will have the opportunity to peruse through galleries displaying all types of artwork from sculptures, to paintings and photography. The area hosts live events in the form of concerts, talks, tours and festivals on a regular basis, including the First Friday Art Walk, which is held on the first Friday of each month.

Denver Airport

Anyone flying into Denver should take the time to explore the city’s expansive international airport. While many airports include small art exhibits to keep visitors occupied, the Denver International Airport is filled with unique artwork. Best known for its vivid wall murals, there are also several notable sculptures on the exterior of the building. The most well known is of a large blue mustang on its hind legs, and there is also a lesser known statue of the Egyptian god Anubis.

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

Denver’s roots may be in the old west, but the city is a very modern place, and the perfect spot for a museum dedicated to contemporary art. Known as the MCA, the museum does not have a permanent collection, but instead rotates all of its exhibits on a regular basis. This makes it especially popular with locals, as there’s always something new on display. Like the Denver Art Museum, the MCA also dedicates time to educating students, schools and young people about modern and contemporary art.

Guest post contributed by Justin Epley for the Marriott.com – Justin is a freelance writer who enjoys traveling and writing about his experiences. His articles appear on various travel blogs. To find out more about Denver hotels, visit the Marriott website.