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By Nancy Hahn

The 40 West Art District always benefited from art galleries moving to Lakewood from Denver to escape rocketing rents and property taxes. In May of 2017, for example, Charlie Walker brought Next Gallery to 40 West Art District. With new artists and shows each month, Next Gallery has become a great part of the art district.

After this year’s tax season, several more wonderful Denver galleries are making the move to the art district. The 40 West Art District is such a vibrant and active location, the new galleries will fit right in and everyone will benefit.

Creative people have always imagined bigger and created new. In the 40 West Art District of the past, a pathway of green painted footprints guided visitors to galleries and shops. A 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Grant enabled the 40 West Art District to create an interactive new pathway. The ArtLine features interactive art, fabulous sculptures, and brand new ways for area visitors and residents to explore and interact with art, not just near Colfax, but throughout the surrounding areas. First Fridays in 40 West have grown from visitors simply following a map of galleries with an occasional costumed player. Now, First Fridays can be evenings full of music, face-painters, food, and even an unexpected dinosaur.

Kanon Collective had been part of the art scene on Santa Fe Drive for 13 years. The gallery held a last First Friday sale on Feb. 1, selling off art supplies, odds and ends, and furniture. Kanon Collective’s new home will be in Pasternack’s Art Hub at 6851 W. Colfax. They hope to open by the end of February. Shows will begin in March. Be ready to enjoy this gallery! Kanon has a wide variety of artists. Their artists create art of many forms, materials, and styles. There will, certainly, be unique art at Kanon Collective with something for everyone to enjoy!

Core, another gallery from Denver’s Santa Fe Art District, will be joining Pirate Gallery in their spacious gallery at 7130 W. 16th Ave. Core’s artists create a wide variety of art in many, many styles. Sculpture in multiple materials, collage, painting, traditional and contemporary are just some of the work produced by Core artists. Since Pirate’s shows include, also, a wide variety of art, this will be a wonderful gallery to visit, often.

Spark, another gallery on Santa Fe, is not planning to come to 40 West. At least, they don’t plan to come, yet. Several 40 West gallery owners, are trying hard to convince them.

The 40 West Art District, itself, is a growing and changing work-in-progress. This seems completely appropriate for an art district.