The Challenges of Being an Artist in Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado is known for its beautiful landscapes, vibrant culture, and thriving art scene. It's no wonder that many artists are drawn to this city, seeking inspiration and opportunities to showcase their work. However, like any other city, Denver has its own set of challenges that artists must face in order to succeed.

The High Cost of Living

One of the biggest challenges that artists face in Denver is the high cost of living. According to Denver's Economic Development & Opportunity, the cost of living in Denver is 12% higher than the national average.

This means that artists have to pay more for rent, utilities, and other basic necessities. For many artists, this can be a major barrier to pursuing their passion. With the rising cost of living, it can be difficult for them to afford a studio space or even basic art supplies. This can limit their ability to create and showcase their work.

Lack of Affordable Studio Spaces

In addition to the high cost of living, finding an affordable studio space in Denver can also be a challenge for artists. As the city continues to grow and develop, many affordable spaces are being converted into luxury apartments or commercial buildings. This leaves artists with limited options when it comes to finding a suitable space to work in.

Many have to resort to working from home or sharing a studio with other artists, which can be both limiting and distracting.

Competition for Opportunities

With a thriving art scene comes fierce competition for opportunities. Denver is home to numerous galleries, museums, and art festivals, but there are also many talented artists vying for these opportunities. This means that artists have to constantly work on improving their craft and finding ways to stand out in a crowded market. It can be challenging to get noticed and secure exhibitions or commissions, especially for emerging artists.

Limited Support for Emerging Artists

While Denver has a strong support system for established artists, there is a lack of resources and support for emerging artists. Many art organizations and galleries tend to focus on established and well-known artists, leaving little room for emerging talent. This can make it difficult for emerging artists to break into the art scene and gain recognition for their work.

Without proper support and guidance, many talented artists may struggle to make a name for themselves in Denver.

Weather-Related Challenges

Denver's weather can also pose challenges for artists. The city experiences all four seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. This can make it difficult for outdoor events and exhibitions to take place, limiting opportunities for artists to showcase their work. In addition, the dry climate in Denver can also affect certain art mediums, such as watercolor or oil paintings. Artists may have to take extra precautions to ensure that their work is not damaged by the dry air.

The Need to Diversify

Another challenge that artists face in Denver is the need to diversify their skills and mediums.

While specializing in one particular style or medium may work in other cities, Denver's art scene is constantly evolving and demands versatility from its artists. This means that artists have to constantly adapt and expand their skills in order to stay relevant and competitive. This can be both exciting and challenging, as it requires artists to step out of their comfort zone and try new things.


Despite the challenges that artists face in Denver, many continue to thrive and create beautiful works of art. The city's vibrant culture and supportive community make it an ideal place for artists to call home. However, it's important to acknowledge and address the challenges that artists face in order to ensure that Denver's art scene continues to grow and flourish. By providing more affordable spaces, resources, and support for emerging artists, Denver can become an even more welcoming and inclusive city for artists of all backgrounds.

Kirk Pua
Kirk Pua

Friendly bacon enthusiast. Proud twitter practitioner. Devoted social media scholar. Incurable beer trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble troublemaker. Typical pop culture maven.

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