Boulder’s visual art infrastructure

Some key players in Boulder’s art landscape

By Tatyana Sharpton Apr 16 2020

Boulder has all the ingredients to be a great place for visual artists, the foundation of a vibrant local art scene.

We’ve created a landscape chart to break down all of the institutions, organizations, galleries and more that Boulder has to offer.

Institutions: Nonprofit or for-profit organizations founded for the promotion of culture + education of the arts.

  • Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art — BMoCA holds events and displays contemporary art in rotating exhibits from its great downtown Boulder home at 1750 13th Street.
  • CU Art Gallery — The 25,000-square-foot CU Art Gallery presents shows from its 8,500-item collection and rotating exhibits throughout the year.
  • Museum of Boulder — The Museum of Boulder, which opened its beautiful new 16,500-square-foot location at 2025 Broadway Ave. in 2018, showcases engaging rotating exhibits designed to celebrate Boulder’s spirit.
  • Dairy Arts Center — With several theaters, a gallery and a small arthouse cinema, The Dairy hosts shows big and small from its perch at 2590 Walnut Street.

Organizations: Arts service organizations that a cultivate vibrant creative community through exhibitions, programming, artist resources, and grant opportunities.

  • City of Boulder Office of Arts + Culture — The Office of Arts + Culture works with the city’s Cultural Community Plan to boost Boulder’s creative economy with public art, grants, artist initiatives, and lots of continuous research.
  • Boulder County Arts Alliance — The oldest multi-disciplinary arts service organization in the country, BCAA helps local artists grow by providing grant programs, fiscal sponsorships, and professional development workshops.
  • Boulder Art Association — BAA is a non-profit organization that helps artists of all levels and businesses in Boulder’s art scene by coordinating exhibits, events, resources and opportunities.
  • NoBo Art District — As the city’s only officially recognized art district, The NoBo Art District promotes artists + creative businesses along Broadway and the adjoining neighborhoods in north Boulder with its artist membership, rotating exhibitions and monthly First Friday events.
  • Boulder Creative Collective — BCC is a nonprofit that connects artists directly to businesses with its rotating roster of curated spaces, curates shows in its in-house AKA Gallery, and hosts an artist-in-resident program each year from its home-base warehouse at 2500 47th Street in Boulder.
  • madelife — The 6000-square-foot multi-disciplinary creative space located at 2000 21st Street provides a launchpad for artists and entrepreneurs with a work and gallery space, black-box theater, and design and sound studio.
  • Street Wise Arts — Street Wise Arts is a nonprofit organization that brings urban art, murals, and art education projects to  Boulder with programming that centers on diversity and social advocacy and an annual mural arts festival.
  • Flatirons Political Art — FPA is a membership-based political art group that works with its members on community-based campaigns and provides access to design services, community meeting space, organizing services, gallery nights, and more.
  • Boulder Digital Arts — BDA is a resource organization that provides classes, certifications, events and other tools to those in the fields of video, web development, photography, design, technology or marketing.
  • Boulder Dance Coalition — A non-profit educational organization, BDC promotes participation in music, dance and other folk arts along the Front Range, develops facilities for them, and provides services for others that share these goals.

Boulder Creative Collective + cultivating good art in Boulder

Venues: These spaces hold programming for a variety of arts including music, theater and dance performances.

  • Boulder Theater — The 114-year-old theater at 2032 14th Street features popular musical performers and speakers and also hosts film festivals, parties and events.
  • eTown Hall — eTown is a nonprofit radio broadcast/podcast, multimedia + events production company that produces musical, social and environmental programming from its 240-seat home base at 1535 Spruce Street and hosts events like Boulder’s Hippy Bluegrass Church.
  • The Nomad Playhouse — For over half a century, The Nomad Playhouse has featured everything from classic dramas to family entertainment from its spot at 1410 Quince Avenue and rents out space for special events, film screenings and more.
  • The Catamounts — This boundary-pushing theater finds critically acclaimed, audacious scripts and imbues them with music, movement, food, and drink to bring new and innovative professional performance to Boulder.
  • Chautauqua Auditorium — The Colorado Chautauqua Association is a nonprofit corporation that leases space from the city to celebrate the historic Chautauqua spirit through a calendar of events featuring music, films, talks, performances and more from its hub at 900 Baseline Road.
  • Canyon Theater and Gallery — The Boulder Public Library’s main branch hosts a revolving series of shows through its Canyon Theater and public Gallery at 1001 Arapahoe Avenue, and any nonprofit, community and for-profit business group can apply to utilize these spaces.
  • BDT Stage — Boulder’s Dinner Theater (BDT) gives Boulder a unique dining experience through its year-round rotating performances with a complementary meal, and also offers musical theater tap and dance classes at its 5501 Arapahoe Avenue home.
  • Theater O — Theater O at 5311 Western Avenue strives to expand the Front Range’s live theater experience by producing work in an intimate, accessible setting and its creative use of light, color, shadow, texture, projection, and original art.
  • CU’s Macky Auditorium Concert Hall —  As CU’s College of Music’s concert hall, the Macky Auditorium is a multi-disciplinary venue that brings high quality local, national and international performances and events.
  • The Fox Theatre — Located 1135 13th Street on The Hill, The Fox Theatre features top-notch performers from all over the country in an intimate 625 capacity atmosphere.

Galleries: While some Boulder galleries suffered in the 2008 recession, many still remain as cornerstones of our visual art scene.

  • SmithKlein Gallery —  For more than 30 years, the SmithKlein Gallery’s expansive 2800-square-foot space at 1116 Pearl Street has exhibited the work of some of the most distinguished artists in the country.
  • 15th Street Gallery — 15th Street Gallery represents many museum-track contemporary artists + a few carefully selected emerging artists at its 1708 15th Street venue.
  • Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery — One of the oldest artist co-ops in the US, located at 1421 Pearl Street Mall, the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery represents hundreds of artists from Colorado and throughout the United States with everything from paintings, prints, photography, jewelry, pottery, woodwork, stained, fused and blown glass, sculpture, and furniture.
  • Rembrandt Yard Art Gallery — The Rembrandt Yard Art Gallery’s programming brings Colorado artists + international pieces together for joint exhibits in its beautiful 6,500+ square-foot space at 1301 Spruce Street.
  • Seidel City — Located at 3205 Longhorn Road, Seidel City is a contemporary art gallery + alternative art space that hosts performances, educational events, and art exhibitions.
  • R Gallery — Boulder’s newest community-based gallery at 2029 Broadway Street, R Gallery provides exhibition opportunities for emerging and established Boulder artists to showcase and sell their works.
  • Messinger Gallery — Located within the Boulder Jewish Community Center at 6007 Oreg Avenue, the Messinger Gallery showcases three to four rotating art exhibits a year within the center’s award-winning architectural gallery space.
  • Ana’s Art Gallery —  Gallery owner Ana Weir represents international painters and artists from several countries including Africa, Cuba, Haiti and Honduras, from her gallery space at 958 Cherryvale Road.
  • Mary Williams Fine Art — Located within the suite at 5311 Western Avenue along with Theater O, Mary Williams Fine Arts represents some of America’s finest artists, featuring paintings, prints, and sculptures with a collection of antique prints + maps that dates back to the 1700’s.
  • Art + Soul Gallery — Art + Soul Gallery at 1505 Pearl Street offers a variety of internationally recognized jewelry designers as well as fine art exhibitions featuring contemporary work from Boulder’s best emerging artists.
  • Colorado Kinetic Art — Colorado Kinetic Art, run by Michael Diragisch, showcases artistic indoor mobiles as modern sculptures at its 1290 Norwood Avenue location.
  • Phil Lewis Art Studio + Gallery — Located at 2034 Pearl Street, this gallery run by “visionary” artist Phil Lewis features his nature-inspired, pen + digital imagery as well as the work of other like-minded artists.


The business + art of bringing murals to Boulder

If your organization isn’t on this list and should be, please reach out to

Header Image: The Catamount’s company photo. Source: The Catamounts.