The Colorado Emergence of Visionary Art Culture

Psychonauts Opening Mirus Gallery Denver

The Colorado Emergence of Visionary Art Culture

Colorado has seen an expansive growth across the state for nearly a decade. The arrival of tech companies, the legalization of cannabis and those indescribable mountains are said to be the instigators of the massive transplant influx. This surge of population brought with it artistic communities in pursuit of opportunity and expression. 

A plethora of artists emerging from Colorado are straying away from the popular contemporary world and delving into themes of mysticism, cyberspace and altered-consciousness. Sometimes categorized as “psychedelic” or “visionary,” the work coming out of these communities transcends any sort of man-made words. From other-worldly landscapes, divine portraits and hyper-realistic imaginations, these diverse creations express the frontiers of our ever-evolving minds.  

Whitney Holburn, Local Denver Artist Paints at The Black Box

Whitney Holburn, Local Denver Artist Paints at The Black Box

So why is this work emerging in Colorado? What is facilitating the movement? We tend to see these pieces associated with live music and illicit substance experimentation yet find it seeping into the fine art world, public walls and businesses. Colorado’s progressive outlook and open-minded essence has been greeting the movement with curiosity and excitement for over a decade and it’s because of the persistent, supportive nature of like-minded people. 

Fine Art Galleries are shamelessly spearheading movements in psychedelic and visionary art. One of Denver’s newest galleries, Mirus Gallery, displayed a milestone exhibit called, Psychonauts. The show had a line around the block and demonstrated Colorado’s admiration of psychedelic and visionary art. The title of the exhibition “Psychonaut” refers to “a sailor of the mind” or one that explores the frontier of the mind using meditative practices, psycho-active substances or other means. This event proudly and publicly catalyses  conversation, speculation and exposure to such a rich, diverse group of visionaries.


Psychonauts Opening Mirus Gallery Denver

The Urban Arts Fund in Denver facilitates the beautification of walls in the hopes of preventing vandalization. The success of this program has encouraged more murals to erect all over the city. Businesses are now seeking out artists to entrust with their walls in hopes to prevent unconsented work and help vivify their buildings. This emergence of street art in the city has given psychedelic artists a chance to express imagery of ancestral connections, expanding consciousness and vivid, transcendental pieces. The presence of this work on the streets is tactfully exposing the public to new ranges of the mind.

Artists are finding immense support in their small businesses in Colorado. Phil Lewis Art Gallery in Boulder, Colorado is a perfect example of visionary art meeting the business world. Pioneers in the visionary art community are taking time to lay down infrastructure and create platforms for growth. The studio and gallery not only sells art and other products but organizes workshops centered around community engagement and sustainable practices. The visionary arts community yearns to make tangible what the mind has fathomed in positive, transformative ways. 

Phil Lewis Art- Studio & Gallery in Boulder Colorado

Venues are using their businesses to supply space for visual artists to connect, create and showcase. You can often find artists live painting at events engaging with the attendees, channeling a creative force or simply painting their current state of that moment. Live music and psychedelic/visionary art typically go hand-in-hand in Colorado from reggae to jam bands and electronic and more. The vibrant music scene in Colorado promises multiple must-see shows a week and sometimes even a day. This has seamlessly intertwined visual and musical artist communities to build layers of communal support. 

Psychedelic and visionary art galleries have been popping up all over northern Colorado and bring with a solidification of this genre in the state.  The Crown Collection has been showcasing brilliant artists and jewelers for almost 10 years. Threyda has recently joined the Denver community and brings a breath of life to their location in the Santa Fe arts district. Companies like The Headspace and Grassroots Colorado display work while making the pieces affordable and accessible through apparel, prints and other products- making psychedelic and visionary art inclusive to all of its supporters. 

Visionary art shifts our perspective, shows us untouchable worlds and alleviates the notion that this is all for nothing. The creation of this work spawns integration of conscious behavior into the community. Colorado is no stranger to greener and more peaceful approaches to change. The subtle, systematic influence of potent imagery might just be what we need to slowly bring about a world that visionaries dare to explore and express.

Article Contributed by

Corinne Bee Bop

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