Art Works Blog

Colorado Dreaming with Blue Star Museums

Known as the Valley Highway, the Pueblo Freeway, and the JFK Memorial depending on where you are in the state, Colorado’s I-25 runs north to south through the centennial state. Not only will I-25 get you from one end of the state to the other, but running through Pueblo, Colorado City, Trinidad, and more, it’s a great gateway to several of Colorado’s Blue Star Museums. If you’re heading west this summer, here are a few you might want to add to your itinerary. (Click on each museum’s name to visit its website.)

Summer heat have you beat? Cool off at the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, a one-of-a-kind institution celebrating the history, science, and art of figure skating. Whether you’re a budding figure skater or you’ve been a fan of skating since way back when, you’re sure to learn a lot at the museum including how exactly figure skaters make those tricky Salkows and double axels work. You can even marvel at an art work created by skaters using their figure skates as brushes (and maybe even figure out how to make one of your own next winter).

At the Denver Art Museum become a samurai or learn to garden the Japanese way in the Just For Fun Family Center. If you're a fan of "the Wild West", through September, The Western: An Epic in Art and Film spotlights the Western genre as portrayed in fine and popular art, as well as in film. Featured artists include Frederic Remington, Ed Ruscha, John Ford, Sergio Leone, and many many more. You can also explore your own creative side, whether you're a kid or a kid-at-heart at the costume studio or the American Indian bead studio. 

Housed in an old post office building, the Fort Collins Museum of Art includes the Art-Edu-Osity creative space where kids and adults alike can get their hands dirty making their own art work inspired by what’s on view at the museum. Speaking of what’s on view, Kate Gridley’s portraits of young people on the cusp of adulthood are on view through July 16. Opening July 26, Redress by Nancy Judd will satisfy both fashionistas and environmentalists as the museum presents her swoon-worthy garments crafted from recycled materials like glass and grocery bags.

One of several museums in the state focused on Colorado history, the Trinidad History Museum offers historic houses to tour, including the Baca House, a 19th-century adobe house featuring a widow’s walk and Greek architectural details. Also on offer are gardens featuring antique blooms, heirloom veggies, and cacti and other flora native to the state. You can also learn about what life was like on the Santa Fe Trail, a popular 19th-century trading route that ran through parts of Colorado on its way from Missouri to New Mexico.

Become an art detective and join the Great Masterpiece Mystery at the Buell Children’s Museum, part of the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo. In addition to becoming mini-Sherlocks, young visitors can also get hands-on with a variety of interactive exhibits exploring art, science, and history. In the art galleries, take a walk on the wild side with Tom Taylor’s Wildlife Designs, step back into the 17th century with a selection of rare etchings by Rembrandt, or discover the work of self-taught Colorado artist Jeremy Manyik, whose award-winning paintings capture life in rural Colorado.

To browse more Blue Star Museums in Colorado or across the country, visit our Blue Star Museums map

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