Photo courtesy of Denver Art Museum

Starting this February, Denver’s two premier art museums, the Denver Museum of Art (DAM) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), are offering new exhibitions that bring a wide range of artistic views and expressions to the Mile High City.

New at the DAM

Mi Tierra

On view from Feb. 19 to Oct. 22

Opening Feb. 19, Mi Tierra is an exhibition of 13 different Latinx artists which aims to “express the experiences of contemporary life in the American West,” according to the exhibition’s website. The mixed media exhibition includes video art, digital animation, painting, sculpture, ceramics and more. The artists in the exhibition plan to examine the diverse narratives that exist in the American West regarding migration and the complex layering of cultures.

Then, Now, Next:

Evolution of an Architectural Icon

On view from Feb. 19 to Aug. 31

Celebrating the upcoming renovation of the DAM’s north building, Then, Now, Next: Evolution of an Architectural Icon is an exhibition on the renowned modernist building that was created by architect Gio Ponti. The exhibit examines the building’s history and its soon to be realized future. Through historical photos, original architectural sketches, building models and project renderings, the exhibit will thoroughly attempt to tell the story of the building’s creation and evolution.

New at the MCA

The Kids Were Alright: Ryan McGinley

On view from Feb. 11 to Aug. 20

The Kids Were Alright is a collection of early photographs from McGinley, who captured the art scene of Lower Manhattan in the late 1990s. The exhibition’s photos “present intimate moments of both exhilaration and introspection, often within a mundane setting and demonstrate a sweeping range of emotions,” according to the MCA. The photos offer a glimpse into the gritty, hedonistic and often illicit lifestyle of McGinley and his associates in the New York art scene. His photos use a mix of techniques, including flash and direct lighting to invoke a sense of intensity in his photos of the mundane.

Basquiat Before Basquiat

On view from Feb. 11 to May 7

Jean Michel Basquiat emerged in the ‘80s as a darling of the anti-establishment SoHo art scene. Basquiat Before Basquiat features the entire cache of his works created between 1979 and 1980, when he lived in a small apartment in the East Village with his friend Alexis Adler. The exhibition provides rare insight into the artistic expression of the painter before his mainstream success, focusing on the evolution of his SAMO graffiti tags and wall paintings to his more sustained pieces.  The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, works on paper, notebooks, other ephemera and photographs provided by Adler.

Wall Writers:

Graffiti in its Innocence

On view from Feb. 11 to May 7

The last opening exhibition at the MCA aims to explore the humble beginnings of the world of graffiti and street art. Using high school notebooks of the artists, the first canvases painted, spray paint advertisements, commercial greeting cards and richly documented images of buildings completely covered in spray-painted monikers, the exhibition gives the viewer a detailed peek into the genesis of an artistic movement that has swept the globe and become a mainstay of pop art culture. The exhibition also traces the transfer of the movement from the streets of New York and Philadelphia to the high culture galleries of museums and auction houses.