Need a break from the pain and stress of school work? Enjoy going to pretty buildings to look at pretty things? I have just the place for you! Located right across from the Engineering Annex is Foothills Art Center, an organization focused on “inspiring and engaging the community through arts, education, and a creative exchange of ideas.” Open to the public Friday through Monday, you can schedule a reservation or have a walk-in visit as long as social distancing guidelines are followed. Additionally, you can virtually visit Foothills Art Center by viewing the artwork on their website. With a visit to the center over the long weekend, it greatly exceeded my expectations as the artwork was incredible and told amazing stories. Even on a below-freezing day when the center was handling the harsh effects of cold weather, the staff was exceptionally nice and wonderful to talk to.
Full of beautiful art pieces, the building itself is also a work of art. Built in 1872, Foothills Art Center was once the first Presbyterian Church in Golden. This history is highlighted by the center as most of its architecture remains in place, notably its lovely stained glass windows. Along with this, the structure is to be admired as visitors can flow between new, uniquely styled rooms as they admire the artwork. There’s so much to love about the building as I even enjoyed the satisfying clicks of shoes on the hardwood floor that made me feel like a movie character which, on its own, is an extremely valid reason to visit Foothills Art Center.
Moving on from the astonishing building is the art presented at the center. There are currently two main exhibits on display: “The Members’ Show 2021” and “The Power of Process.” Showing the artwork of the art center’s members, “The Members’ Show 2021” was breathtaking. Ranging from paintings to sculptures to maps, each piece captivated my attention. The artists were invited to describe their work with a response to the prompt “how does your environment affect the art that you created for this show” and every response was intriguing. As the majority of these pieces were created during quarantine, the artwork largely reflected the artists’ experience with the world at this time, providing a lot of interesting interpretations. I particularly enjoyed a wonderful image of a dog created by magazine scraps that reflected the artist’s 2020 in their house. Every piece is worth taking a long look at, especially the map art as one demonstrated the inequality across different areas of Denver. Featuring more members of the community, “The Power of Process” displays the work of Jeffco students and teachers. While this exhibit typically only includes students’ art, this year teachers were also given the opportunity to include their pieces in the exhibit to honor their hard work and the great challenges that they endured over the past year. I was completely blown away by the art in this exhibit and could not believe the young ages of the artists. Each piece was amazing and contained meaningful messages.
I highly recommend that the next time you find some time in your schedule, you should check out Foothills Art Center. Even if beautiful artwork is not your cup of tea, there is almost too much to admire about this place as you can obsess over the architecture, talk with the incredible staff, or learn about its history. Especially with the constant stress of schoolwork and life, Foothills Art Center is a fantastic way to give yourself a break and immerse yourself in art.