Denver’s First Friday Art Walk Offers More Than Visual Art


Posted Tue, Feb 12, 2013



Art Culture Has Many Faces: Signage outside on Santa Fe’s Art District (photo by Stephanie V. Coleman)

DENVER – The Santa Fe Art District has a long history of artists, art galleries and museums of the local community occupying its street. To showcase the recent work being created in the community, the Art District opens all  gallery doors to the public on the first Friday of each month. The Art District is located on Santa Fe Drive, between Alameda Avenue and 10th Avenue. This is a free event and usually lasts from 6  to 9 p.m.

As galleries open, the funky scene fills with live sounds of musicians playing drums on street corners. Voices echo from large crowds walking in and out of galleries. Kids, teens, and adults are all welcome to come out to see a wide variety of media presented. Visual art, such as paintings, photography, ceramics and sculptures are displayed. Most pieces are available for purchase, however, there is no pressure to buy. In addition to visual art, performers such as break dancers and martial artists come out to put on a show.

“It’s the coolest event in town to just hang out. There’s just so much to see and do,” said Laura, an attendee at February’s First Friday event.

Many restaurants in the area welcome art viewers to sit down in between galleries. A few even help sponsor the event. Culinary artists also take advantage of this art scene to showcase their food creations through the trendy food truck. In fact, food trucks have become so popular during this event that Seventh Avenue and Santa Fe Drive is now the designated spot for food trucks to park. People can grab a quick bite while continuing to walk around. Some galleries will offer free drinks and snacks for art viewers as they arrive.


Peace Graffiti: Along Santa Fe Drive between Seventh Avenue and 10th Avenue, walls are covered in graffiti art. (Photo by Stephanie V. Coleman)

Food trucks aren’t the only truck business trending in Denver. A fashion truck called Tour De Fashion, CO parked on Santa Fe Drive to sell clothing and accessories to customers on February’s First Friday event. The co-owners of the truck are Tina Hall and Matthew Haas. They sell pieces from local artisans and designers around Denver. Hall is also a seamstress and former stylist manager for Tommy Hilfiger. She creates some of her and Haas’ original pieces and sells those as well.

“We are currently trying to find the best places to provide a stop and shop experience. Once the spring and summer comes around, we will have a better schedule including farmers markets and festivals,” Hall and Haas said.

 The best way to find the Tour De Fashion, CO truck is to follow them on Facebook and Twitter. They post their locations daily.

If driving to a First Friday event, make sure to gather parking information before leaving. Street parking is free on Santa Fe Drive, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth and 10th Avenues if available. These spots get filled quickly. West High School offers parking for $3 and the money goes toward their students’ cultural programs. Many spots offer $5 parking along Santa Fe Drive as well.

Another popular mode of transportation around the art walk is the free shuttle. The shuttle begins at the 10th and Osage Street at the RTD Lightrail Station and goes south on Kalamath Street and back up north on Santa Fe Drive. The shuttle drives this loop from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. There are several stops along this loop to pick up and drop off passengers who are wanting to get to a specific gallery.


Free Shuttle Stops for Art: Shuttle stop signs are easy to spot on the curbs of South Santa Fe Drive. (Photo by Stephanie V. Coleman)

 Visitor Info:

  •  Santa Fe Art District between Alameda Avenue and 10th Avenue on Santa Fe Drive
  • Free Event from approx. 6 p.m.  – 9 p.m.
  • Free Shuttle runs 5:30 p.m.  – 9:30 p.m.
  • Kids Welcome
  • Website for more Info:

The next First Friday event will be held on March 1, 2013. Check the Art District on Santa Fe’s website to see which artists are participating. Come out and support the Denver local art community by attending.


About Stephanie V. Coleman

Stephanie V. Coleman is a creative writing student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her interests include music, culinary arts, traveling, and sports.

View all posts by Stephanie V. Coleman

5 Responses to “Denver’s First Friday Art Walk Offers More Than Visual Art”

  1. Jen Sasser Says:

    Well written, very informative and nice art! Rockstar status giiiiiirl!


  2. Karen Villanueva Says:

    I love the story. Makes me want to spend First Friday in Denver.
    Well written and exciting and your name in print… NICE!!


  3. Sarah Blithe Says:

    Excellent piece about a great Denver tradition. Thank you Stephanie, for this insightful article.


  4. Adam Coleman Says:

    Excellent article! Very descriptive and makes me feel like I am there. I’m excited to experience for myself on March 1st!


  5. Mike & Jane Coleman Says:

    Very well written. Stephanie is very detailed and it is would let any visitor easily want to visit the art walk.


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