Grand Junction Colorado has a vibrant arts scene. Peruse the many galleries and shops featuring hand-made works of art
If you spend any time in downtown Grand Junction you will discover that this is a city that loves art. From museums and heritage sites to galleries and theaters, there is no shortage of ways to immerse yourself in art and culture. Stroll through downtown Grand Junction on Main Street, and visit the galleries and boutique shops. In between, you can stop at one of many sidewalk cafes and treat yourself to some refreshments or a scrumptious breakfast or lunch. As you wander Main St., explore the talents of local artists and their vibrant paintings, hand-crafted pottery and unique antiques.
The countless options for arts and entertainment in Grand Junction makes the city the cultural hub of the region as well as one of fewer than 30 Certified Colorado Creative Districts. This state-certified program attracts artists and creative entrepreneurs to a community, infusing new energy and innovation, which in turn enhances the economic and civic capital of the community. Mesa County has about 255 for-profit, arts-related businesses that employ nearly 900 people. These include local "creative industries" spanning careers from artists, architects, designers, galleries and musicians to radio and TV, and audio/video/movie production.
The Palette at 441 Main St., encourages everyone to "Uncork their Artist" through their fun and easy painting classes. No previous painting experience is required, because their talented instructors are on hand to help you easily create a masterpiece in just a two hour class. They provide all the necessary supplies; canvas, brushes, acrylic paint, and aprons.
At Angelo's Pottery Studio up-and-coming amateur artists can try their hand at throwing their own clay, decorating pottery, or taking an acrylic painting class. 2479 Patterson Road #11.
Fat Cat Pottery in Downtown Grand Junction offers a wet clay studio and pottery painting. They also offer to-go kits and classes. Whether you develop your creativity with a drawing class, decorating a ceramic vase, or splashing paint on a canvas, you’ll find a do-it-yourself studio in Grand Junction where you can create a one-of-a-kind piece of art that brings back wonderful memories of your trip, long after you arrive home. 552 Main St.
437CO This gallery is part of Colorado Mesa University. It is free to the public at every age. The artists featured are Colorado’s Selective University seniors as well as national and international guests. The current showcase includes printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 5 pm. 437 Colorado Ave.
One of the best galleries in the Downtown, is Working Artists Gallery and Studio with a wonderful variety of large -- and expensive -- wondrous things and quite affordable smaller items, including hand-thrown pottery, delightful sculptures, weavings, and wind chimes. 520 Main St.
We love Grand Junction. It's a great place to visit and an even better place to live! If your dreams include moving to or retiring in the Grand Valley, this site should be your first stop in finding out more about this place you'd like to call home.
Art Center of Western Colorado
The Art Center is a community arts organization dedicated to improving quality of life by promoting the enjoyment and understanding of the visual arts and related arts through studio art instruction, educational programs for children and adults, exhibitions and the acquisition, care and display of a permanent art collection. Art Center is the only resource in Mesa County and the region that provides: *Year round arts education programs for children and adults of all abilities and ages.*An exhibition venue for students of all ages, local artists and art guilds.*Exhibits by nationally and internationally renowned artists.*More than 25 diverse art exhibits annually. A Permanent Collection that preserves Colorado’s rich history and culture. The "First Friday" of every month, the Art Center hosts an open house with free admission, showcasing the gallery and exhibits.. 1803 N. 7th St. Grand Junction 970-243-7337
Grand Valley Art Galleries
Downtown Grand Junction shops and galleries feature a unique mix of specialized items such as custom jewelry, quilts, furniture, and one-of-a-kind gifts. Art galleries, studios, and public art displays seem to be around every corner. A few art galleries that would be worth a visit are, Main Street Art Gallery, Uncanny Valley Art Gallery and James Howard Fine Art. The "First Friday" of every month, the galleries, and the Art Center turn Main Street into a pedestrian filled street for lovers of art. Each gallery will be open for the public to browse, some serving refreshments and featuring live music. The vibrant arts community of Grand Junction is an integral part of our rich and diverse culture, taking on many forms from museums, live performances, galleries, and artist studios.
Grand Junction Symphony
The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra is the largest professional orchestra between Denver and Salt Lake City, Th GJSO performs at the historic and newly renovated 1000 seat Avalon Theatre in downtown Grand Junction and the 1,500 seat auditorium of Grand Junction High School. The Symphony currently plays six classical subscription series concerts, four chamber music concerts, and two symphonic pop concerts in its season. Each summer, the orchestra performs a free outdoor concert for 3,000-5,000 community members. The largest fundraiser is the annual Gala which is generally held in the fall. The GJSO further benefits by the existence of two groups — the Grand Junction Symphony Guild and the Grand Junction Symphony Foundation, both of which were established to ensure the longevity and success of the GJSO. The Guild hosts fundraising events and provides an extensive group of volunteers for the organization. The Foundation is a permanent endowment for the GJSO.
Art on the Corner
Art on the Corner (AOTC) is a year-round outdoor sculpture exhibit displayed in Downtown Grand Junction. Pedestrians admire the sculptures and artwork on display on the tree-lined Main street. In between, they shop, have coffee or stop at one of the many sidewalk cafes. The display is free to the public and includes more than 100 sculptures in a variety of mediums and styles. The collection is one of the largest outdoor art displays in the country and has been extensively replicated in other cities nationally and internationally. Many of the sculptures are for sale. Stroll up and down Main Street, Colorado Avenue and surrounding streets to see the various pieces. Art on the Corner is one of the top tourist destinations listed on TripAdvisor.
The historic Avalon Theatre was built in 1923 by publishing giant Walter Walker. The City of Grand Junction took over the crumbling building in 1996 and performed an amazing renovation in 2014. The theatre has 1,096 seats with a spacious lobby and rooftop terrace for rented private parties. The Avalon has public events that include movies, concerts, theatrical performances and the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra. The Grand Junction Avalon Theatre is one of western Colorado s largest and most prestigious venues. The theatre is located in the heart of historic downtown Grand Junction, Colo. 645 Main St. 970-263-5700
Moss Performing Arts Center
Located on the campus of Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, the Moss Performing Arts Center features professional-quality theatre, music theatre, dance, opera, choir and instrumental music performances in the state-of-the-art center. The Moss Performing Arts Center houses the 588 seat Robinson Theatre, the 288 seat Love Recital Hall and the 125 seat Mesa Experimental Theatre (MET).
Amphitheater at Las Colonias Park
The Amphitheater is a multi-functional venue for small, medium, and large events, with easy access from the Riverside Parkway and the Riverfront Trail. The theater is surrounded by the perfect backdrop of the bank of the Colorado River, with views of the Colorado National Monument, Grand Mesa, and the Bookcliffs. The Amphitheater includes a 40-foot by 60-foot stage, and ample parking. There are two types of seating, reserved seating in fixed chairs in front of the stage or sitting on the gently sloped lawn with your own blankets and chairs. The amphitheater can comfortably seat a crowd of several thousand, and draws top entertainers from all over the country. 925 Struthers Ave. Grand Junction.
Western Colorado Botanical Gardens
The Western Colorado Botanical Gardens is home to five themed gardens. The Gardens are located on fifteen acres, along the Colorado River adjacent to Las Colonias Park. In the Tropical Garden you will find specimens from Hawaii. There is a wonderful Cactus Garden with cactus and succulents. and in the back gardens is a Western themed garden with antique relics. Inside the garden building is the Shoren Eu Garden with a pond and the most colorful Koi fish and perhaps a turtle or two. The Hemmerick Memorial Rose Garden has numerous varieties of roses and a fountain and is the perfect venue for a wedding or anniversary celebration. The most popular attraction is the Butterfly House, with most occupants being native to the U.S. There is wood and glass case of un-hatched cocoons, which delight the children. The Gardens host several special events throughout the year, including classes and presentations, concerts, and temporary exhibits. 641 Struthers Ave. 970-245-9030.
Museum of the West
Renamed the Museum of the West, it contains exhibits on Western Colorado within a regional perspective, a space for traveling exhibits, the Sterling T. Smith Observation Tower, and the Museum’s administrative offices. The Museum of the West now offers a thousand years of history that can be experienced. “Ride” in a stagecoach, “fly” a 1958 Cessna from Walker Field or gaze upon an ancient cup and ladle from the Ancestral Pueblo. Study Ute and Fremont rock art, see the real firearms that outlaws used, sit in a one-room schoolhouse and visit the Pastime saloon to experience western Americana at its best. In addition to artifacts, the Museum of the West collects photographs, one-of-a-kind manuscripts, maps, city directories, high school annuals and rare books. In addition, the Museum of the West coordinates the Mesa County Oral History Project, one of the largest of its type in the state. 462 Ute Avenue, Grand Junction 970-242-0971
Sage Creations/Lavender Festival
Sage Creations is an organic farm in Palisade, CO. Paola Legarre and her husband Bobby manage the farm and maintain their lavender fields and cherry orchard using sustainable farming practices. From mid June through July and you can visit their farm and pick your own lavender and sweet cherries. Sage Creations offers classes in lavender growing, wreath making and other holiday special events.
The Lavender Festival is an annual event held in historic downtown Palisade, CO. The climate of Grand Junction is well suited to growing two varieties of the plant — the French and English types. Each July, you can learn more about the unique plant that’s used in everything from perfume to homeopathy. During the festival, you can tour lavender farms in Palisade and Paonia, demonstrations, seminars and workshops, and free entertainment. This is a big event and tickets sell out early
Open Studios Tour
For two special days in autumn, approximately 25 Grand Valley fine artists will open their doors to their studios for this free tour, allowing visitors to see where their creative process unfolds and, in some cases, demonstrating how they go about their artistic work. From the large purposes-built studio, to the small adaptive workspace, each artist studio is a unique world. With a variety of tools, lighting, and work space, every studio allows artistic ideas and inspiration to take life. Glass blowing, glass painting, ceramic pieces, watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic, photography and mixed media by the best Grand Valley artists are on display.
Colorado Mesa University new Performing Arts
Colorado Mesa University held a groundbreaking ceremony on March 10, 2023 for their new new Performing Arts Building. The new theatre offers CMU students an elevated performing arts experience and an opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technology to help them with their future careers after graduation. Besides benefiting students, it will increase cultural and financial well-being of the surrounding community. The new theatre will be the only one of its kind between the I-25 corridor of the Front Range and Salt Lake City allowing CMU to bring in touring companies to expand offerings.
Grand Junction Celebrates with Popular Festivals
Every October the Annual Downtown Art Festival celebrates the "Creative District" in our galleries, restaurants and features live music, an artists expo, live art demos, and a film festival.
The Palisade Art Festival will take place in late September at Veterans' Memorial Park right as the fall colors will be in their prime. The park is located just 2 blocks from the center of downtown Palisade with plenty of free parking.
Colorado National Monument Plein Air Invitational is in October, and you will find painters in and around the monument capturing the rugged beauty of its scenery and wildlife. There are several ways to see those artists painting during the invitational. You can drive through the monument and see them off to the side of the road or take Colorado Highway 340, which also offers views of the monument, is another area where artists with easels could be found. For those who would rather not try to spy an artist in natural habitat, there will be a group paint out in the Saddlehorn Picnic Area with Monument Canyon spread before them.
What's not to love about a town that offers world-class outdoor recreation, art and culture venues, and the best food and wine resources?
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