More than 30 art galleries with a range of paintings, sculptures, photography and other visual media are concentrated along six blocks of Santa Fe Drive south of downtown Denver, creating the Art District on Santa Fe.
The district also encompasses bars and restaurants, design studios and specialty shops for a total of almost 60 businesses in what was once a downtrodden area of the inner city.
Extending roughly from Fifth Avenue to Eleventh Avenue along Santa Fe Drive and the parallel Kalamath Street, the district sees most of its activity during First Friday art walks, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Galleries often use the occasion for receptions to launch new exhibitions, with artists and musicians on hand to greet visitors. A more intimate gathering called Preview Night is held the third Friday of every month.
In recognition of the district’s cultural heritage as a longtime Latino neighborhood, many of the buildings are in adobe and bright colors. During the holidays, the galleries set up traditional luminarias along the sidewalks.
Future plans for the area include wider sidewalks, a parking structure, increased signage and gardens.