Mirada Fine Art Bucks Current Trends and Moves to New Location LoDo
Contemporary art gallery embraces Denver’s historic roots in new Lodo location
By Steve Sonnen
When Mirada Fine Arts gallery opened in 2009, the owners intention was to bring something different to Denver’s contemporary art scene – something reminiscent of Santa Fe galleries, where modern artwork is juxtaposed against rustic buildings reflecting the rich history of the region.
For twelve years, Steve and Jenni Sonnen managed to make that dream come true in the foothills west of Denver, in the Indian Hills Trading Post. In fact, the company was so successful that in 2020 they realized they needed more space and they knew their next executive had to be just as lovely.
“We represent artists creating breathtaking contemporary art. But their art is not only beautiful, it is livable, ”explains Steve. “It’s a piece of art you want to have for your unique home and lifestyle.”
And he firmly believes that exhibiting art in a distinctive location helps buyers visualize that contemporary art doesn’t have to reside in a cold, sterile environment.
Sonnen has found a space worthy of his vision at Mirada’s new location in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood, and will open the weekend of July 24. Even more historic than their former location, ‘Neef’s Hall’ was built just two years after Colorado became a state in 1878. German brothers Frederick and Max Neef ventured to Denver for the Gold Rush, but upon learning that gold was not flowing streets, decided to open another lucrative business of the time – a salon and a dance hall.
Located at 1311 15th Street, the saloon proved to be a huge hit for the Neef brothers. They were so successful that they built a large manufacturing plant a few miles west. The Neef Brother’s Brewing Company, which competed with Tivoli and Coors at the time, was formed to quench the thirst for the burgeoning city. However, the ban came as quickly as success, and the brewery was forced to close in 1917.
The building’s rich history, along with the attraction of twice as much space to display the works of its artists, prompted Sonnen to move to “the city” at a time when many businesses seemed to be moving in the opposite direction. .
“We were fortunate to find this fantastic building which is more convenient for many of our clients, with this incredible aesthetic, history, location and size. The building even includes an area we call the “Art Grotto” which is just beautiful. We look forward to opening our doors and welcoming everyone back.
Equally enthusiastic is Mirada gallery director Jan Thompson. “While I think some of our long-time customers were disappointed that we were leaving our historic trading post, I think they will be ‘converted’ when they see the
works of art in this new, even more fabulous location.
Mirada Fine Art will therefore continue its story of locating in unexpected places. “I guess we like to go against popular culture. When we opened Mirada in 2009 (in the midst of the worst recession in eighty years) people thought we were crazy creating a contemporary art gallery in a funky log building at the foot of the hills. Many galleries were going bankrupt at the time… and these were in high traffic areas! What were we thinking about? And now, after this year-long pandemic that devastated so many lives and businesses, people are more inclined to flee the city. I got a lot of second looks when I tell people we’re moving to the heart of downtown. But that feels right to us at this point in Mirada’s lifecycle. Sonnen adds, “We are delighted to be just half a block from Larimer Square and surrounded by remarkable restaurants, shops and other galleries. There is fantastic energy in the neighborhood. It’s like a perfect fit.
Mirada Fine Art will officially reopen on July 24, 2021, with inaugural events being held throughout the weekend. The gallery will be open to the public on Saturday July 24 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday July 25 from noon to 4 p.m.
Taking advantage of its increased space, the gallery welcomed a number of new artists and also filled the space with brand new works from all of their current nationally recognized artists. Some of these artists will be on
during the opening weekend, offering painting demonstrations and the opportunity for collectors to meet and discuss their favorites.
For more information, please contact Mirada Fine Art, 303-697-9006, www.miradafineart.com.
Steve Sonnen is co-owner of Mirada Fine Art.