As in any great art town, chance encounters are woven into the fabric of Boulder, which was recently lauded as having the eighth most vibrant arts community in the country. Around every corner is something creative to spark your imagination. Here are a dozen ways you'll find art as you go about experiencing Boulder.
Boulder’s pedestrian Pearl Street Mall has been called a “living stage.” Catch live street performances by bluegrass bands, piano players, jugglers, contortionists and the famous Zip Code Man. And just outside the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery’s door, you might catch an artist working on a project right in front of you.
Now for something completely different...attend a performance of the Boulder Laptop Orchestra (BLOrk) on the CU campus.
Look for curated collections in unexpected spots such as bagel shops (Moe’s Bagels), coffee shops (Laughing Goat, Alpine Modern, OZO Coffee) and restaurants. The Sink is a landmark restaurant whose interior is covered in graffiti, from ceiling to floor. Spot President Obama’s and Robert Redford’s signatures — and lots of caricatures.
Artistry, innovation and experimentation are prized in the kitchens of Boulder’s restaurants. There's the lobster ramen at Chimera, curry-filled tacos at Roxie's Tacos, Osaka's unique burger (a twist on the Japanese okonomiyaki pancake) and so many more creative dishes to discover. You’ll find the same kind of spirit in our breweries, distilleries, cideries and wineries, too. Out of Bounds Stout or Wildflower Pale Ale, anyone?
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) buildings were designed by architect I.M. Pei, who also designed the pyramids at the Louvre. NCAR welcomes visitors and is also the location of a trailhead for several hikes heading into the foothills.
There’s a costume party every Thursday night during the Thursday Night Bicycle Cruiser Ride. Join in the fun or just admire the costumes, decked-out bicycles and general revelry. You might also notice all of the creatively made bike racks around downtown, too.
Poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Boulder’s Naropa University. Writers can check out the school's summer writing program.
Stumble upon a live music performance at one of the many coffee shops in Boulder, or head to the Rayback Collective food truck park for live tunes most Saturdays.
Don’t miss the intriguing murals at Pearl and 21st Streets — and right down 21st St. is the ultra-creative Madelife shop and arts incubator.
You might not expect an immersive art installation to be part of your shopping experience. But at Twenty Ninth Street, it's possible. Stop into Wonder Wonder and you'll find more than a dozen rooms full of inspiration — from digital projections and illusions to playful "sets" and mind-bending displays. You'll want to take a million pictures for your Instagram feed!
Top photo: Pedro Szekely/Flickr Creative Commons