Boulder has been named one of the artsiest cities in the nation. Combine that with more than 300 days of sunshine, and this is the natural result.
“Art Walks” (as they’re typically called, although they may go by other names, too) allow you to explore a community on foot or bike, while stopping at art galleries and studios along the way. It’s sort of like bar-hopping, but with paintings and jewelry instead of hops and barley.
Art Walks aren’t just about looking. They’re social events, often incorporating live music or entertainment, opportunities to meet artists or watch them work, shopping, food, drinks and mingling. They’re also free and open to anyone (kids included).
In Boulder County, especially in warmer months, you can find regular Art Walks throughout the month. Here’s where to walk for your art:
Editor’s note: Downtown Boulder no longer offers these events. Downtown Boulder First Friday Art Walks
When: First Friday of the month, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Downtown Boulder
Info: The Downtown Boulder First Friday Art Walk is in conjunction with the NoBo Art District, usually September-December, in time for the holidays. It’s a free, self-guided tour of downtown’s creative businesses. You can meet Pearl Street area artists, photographers, painters, designers and other creative leaders.
NoBo First Friday Art Walks
When: First Friday of the month, 6-9 p.m. (Note: Opening and closing times may vary by location.) Event organizers hope to make an event every month, but in the past, January and February have been off. Some artists still remain open during these months.
Where: North Boulder, along Broadway from Pine Street to U.S. 36
Info: This free, self-guided tour brings you to artists’ studios and creative businesses in the NoBo Art District. It includes demos, special activities and live music. Look for the bright flags And check the online map for specific participants.
Read more about the NoBo First Friday Art Walk here.
When: May 11 and Sept. 21, 2019, from 4-8 p.m. It began as a monthly gallery hop, but is now offered twice a year.
Where: Artwalk Longmont is in downtown Longmont between Third and Sixth Avenues along Main Street. Main Street closes down for the event.
Info: Artists apply and are selected for this event, to exhibit and sell their work on the street or inside participating businesses. You can also see live demos, hear live music on two stages or inside venues and join interactive activities for adults and kids. One Masterwork Observatory artist is granted $500 to complete one project with community participation during the ArtWalk. See the May ArtWalk map here.
Second Friday Art Walks
When: On the second Friday of the month, 6-9 p.m. every month of the year. Some months have special themes, like Mama Loves Chocolate in May and Dia de los Muertos in October.
Where: Downtown Longmont.
Info: Longmont’s Second Fridays, offered through the Downtown Longmont Creative District, include art, music, food, live performances, shopping and more. Businesses stay open later, restaurants offer special deals and you can check out exhibitions at galleries. Walk it yourself or hop on the Brew Trolly route. Get more info online.
Art Night Out
When: Second Fridays of the month May-September 5-9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Lafayette. Most events are on Public Road between Cannon and Emma streets.
Info: Art Night Out includes an art market, a beer and wine garden, free kids’ activities, free live music at Festival Plaza and more. You might see art demos, a flash mob, street performers and food trucks.
The event is sponsored by the City of Lafayette, with help from the Lafayette Cultural Arts Commission, Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority, Arts! Lafayette, Crafted Life and local businesses.
Louisville First Friday Art Walks
When: First Fridays of the month at 6-9 p.m.
Where: The Louisville First Friday Art Walks are on Main Street in downtown Louisville.
Info: The Louisville Art District invites the community to stroll through historic downtown for local and international art in galleries, specialty shops and pop-up galleries. The annual events include food, drinks (sometimes wine), music and more.
Lyons Art Walk
When: The second weekend of each month in June, July and August from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Downtown Lyons.
Info: The Lyons Art Walk celebrates local art with displays, gallery exhibitions, art for sale and more. Fun fact: If you spend more than $15 in a participating business, you get a free Art Walk shirt.