Staff Picks

Warm Up with Art

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artist painting on a canvas

If you’ve had your fill of the great outdoors, and you’ve already been to the movies and filled up on hot chocolate, it’s time to shed a few outer layers and go indoors to explore the city’s art scene. And not just to look at it, but to make some, too! Colorado Springs is the perfect place for art appreciators to get in touch with their creative side and discover how the region’s natural beauty and its history have inspired such wonderful and varied museum collections. We’ll share a short list of must-see museum destinations and round out the list with a place where you hold the brush!

We top our list with a suggestion to visit any one of a number of galleries or centers right in downtown Colorado Springs. The Colorado Springs Fine Art Center at Colorado College is a great place to get your bearings. For more than a century now, the Fine Arts Center has been the top cultural attraction of the Pikes Peak region offering world-class art, Broadway-worthy theatre and arts education for all ages and abilities. If it’s paintings that move you, the 132,286 square-foot museum is chuck full of greats including works by Georgia O’Keeffe and Chihuly, alongside other revolving exhibits that will keep you coming back long after your date. There are also many local Colorado Springs art galleries that are worth your checking out afterward. One of our favorites include Kreuser Gallery, a spot for established artists and amateurs alike. Abigail Kreuser established the gallery in 2011 with a passion for photography and local art–a dream realized after a childhood spent displaying her work on the walls in her family’s coffee shop. Gallery 113 won a Best of Springs Award from The Independent in 2019 displaying painting and pottery, ceramics and woodturning. Not only is there a variety of art displayed from 21 different artists in the region, but the prices are also quite affordable, with all of the proceeds going right back to the artists. G44 Gallery is another favorite. Dedicated to solo acts, curator Gundega Stevens created a space to celebrate contemporary art and showcases some of the best quality works from artists within the Pikes Peak region.

Inside the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Museum is the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Theatre. Known for its high quality, award-winning productions, the theatre company puts on a variety of performances from comedies and dramas to musicals and who-done-its, you’re sure to find something to entertain you. Visit the Center’s website to gather details about February’s show, “In the Heights.”

Cottonwood Center for the Arts is an easy number three. With a new exhibition every month, art classes and first Friday events, you’ll have more than one afternoon planned! On display in January is an installation of epic proportions. HUGE, its creators say, exhibits art that dominates a room and fills a wall, both with impact of content as well as with scale. With styles ranging from hyper-detailed draughtsmanship, vibrant abstractions in every color, to daring conceptualism, HUGE is sure to catch you from across the room and draw you all the way in. Before you go, schedule a pottery, drawing, painting or writing class that you can take before leaving Colorado Springs.

Have you ever sat down to tea inside a castle? Sounds almost festive this time of year, doesn’t it? Get in the spirit, if you’re so moved, at Miramount Castle Museum when you can tour the 1895 chateau with you beau. Owned and operated by the Manitou Springs Historical Society, the museum displays colorful period pieces, serves high tea in the queen’s parlor, and extends an entertaining series of events on a monthly calendar. Discover the cultural and architectural history of our city as it’s reflected from the Victorian era, and realize how much has changed in the nearly 130 years since. For self-guided tours, plan at least an hour to go through it. Find more details on the museum website.

One of the largest museum footprints in the region, the Western Museum of Mining and History dedicates 27 acres to honor the mining history and industrial technology of the Western United States. But trust us, it’s not boring! Perfect for history buffs, rock hounds, geology fans and everyone in between, the MWWI does nothing short of inspire. Peruse more than 4,000 artifacts and working machines in the 12,200 square foot exhibit hall and get lost in the history that laid the groundwork for the city of Colorado Springs. Arrive with questions and leave with answers! Check the museum website for any featured exhibits, events and tour schedules.

Finally, fueled with inspiration, it’s high time to go to one of Colorado Springs’ paint and sip venues where you can hold your glass of wine and receive step-by-step painting instructions in a small class setting. You’ll even get to take your work of art home at the end of the evening, so you can remember your date with paint for years to come. Painting With a Twist is one of our favorite spots in town, where instructors insist that no creative or artistic skills are needed to participate. Simply connect with your new friends over a glass of wine, nosh on your favorite snacks, and enjoy a night full of laughs. Canvas Creations offers another great option with setting as its main draw. Located in Broadmoor Bluffs in Colorado Springs, its garden level studio opens up to a scrub oak-framed view of our beautiful city. There are others, too, but with the date-night idea growing in popularity, we advise (and some require) that you reserve your spot in advance. Some venues host charity evenings where any proceeds will support members of the downtown Colorado Springs, so be sure to check the venues’ calendar or ask whomever answers your call. 

Wherever it is you choose to go, most sip and paint locations are BYOW but provide glasses and corkscrews as needed. Painting supplies are all provided. It’s really a lovely way to release your inhibitions and paint the way you feel. Come to Colorado Springs see our art and express yourself on canvas. We can’t wait to host you!