Past Exhibitions

Art work with a variety of insects in circles over a geometric rainbow background

Little Creatures

closed Sept. 28
Whether you hate them, love them, or are indifferent — your life depends on insects. Cool Boulder has teamed up with the Endangered Species Coalition and Colorado artists to explore our relationship with invertebrates through art, performance, workshops, community discussions, and more.

colorful banners hanging in conoid of Main Library

Our Wishes / Nuestros Deseos

Closed Aug. 8
Alejandra Abad developed “Our Wishes” in 2020 as a response to COVID-19 during her time as an Engaged Arts & Humanities graduate scholar at CU Boulder. The ongoing project has been displayed as hand-made banners throughout Boulder and Denver. This iteration focuses on banners that reflect wishes of joy to coincide with the library’s One Book One Boulder series related to the “Book of Joy”.

Inside of a canoe during a Maker Made Art Show.

Maker Made

Closed July 30
The maker movement represents the collective energy and ambition of a community of inventors, designers, engineers, artists, craftspeople and tinkerers. Its ethos is a mixture of DIYer self-reliance informed by open-source learning, traditional craftsmanship, new technology and modern design thinking. Crafted in home studios, garages and local makerspaces – the work of these individuals stirs our imagination and provides a glimpse of what we can achieve as a culture of creators.

Cultivating Resilience

Closed June 11

Art and science come together in this exhibition by Amy Hoagland, Summer King, and Jullian Young. In collaboration with local artists, scientists, an elementary school, and Hannigan Air Quality Lab. This exhibition reflects on the unique abilities of plants to survive, thrive, and even improve the air around them after crises. Test an air quality monitor, take home an air-purifying plant clipping, and experience a data informed art environment.

Image of children's art on gallery walls.

Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) Art Exhibition

closed May 7

BVSD once again held its annual K–8 art exhibition at the Boulder Public Library. Art teachers from all elementary and middle schools will select pieces of art and honor the student artists.

Joel Haertling standing in front of a large amount of items he's purchased from garage sales.

To Have and to Hoard

closed Feb. 5

Joel Haertling, an eclectic character and avid collector who grew up in Boulder, worked at the Boulder Public Library for over 30 years. As a collector of ephemera, found art and personal objects, he brings people together through things. This exhibition will showcase a huge, yet comparatively tiny, cross-section of Joel’s collections and will also delve into his collection process.

two black and white photos from the exhibit

Lived Experience

closed Jan 14, 2023

Lived Experience is an analog photography project that elevates the stories of people experiencing homelessness to inspire social change. Unboxed Photography worked in partnership with Feet Forward to distribute single-use cameras and provide an opportunity for folks to connect with their creativity and explore visual expression through the art of film photography. The images were captured on 35mm black and white negative film, allowing all exhibition prints to be curated and hand-processed in the darkroom by B Goodell / Unboxed Photography. Lived Experience is inspired by the Through Our Eyes Project, started in 2016 by Jason Williamson. This project is funded by a grant from the Boulder Arts Commission, an agency of the Boulder City Council.

Several pieces of art from Quantity of Life: Nature/Supernature exhibition

Quantity of Life: Nature/Supernature

Closed November 27, 2022

“Quantity of Life: Nature/Supernature” celebrates the richness of our natural world through painting, sculpture, printmaking, and collage. Contributors to this exhibition have come together from varied backgrounds and ways of working with a hope of promoting a felt living connection with nature.

The sculptures by Caroline Douglas extol the sacredness of animals and our interconnection with all life. Frank Sampson’s whimsical, narrative paintings depict a personal and fantastical menagerie of creatures. Through painting, Jordan Wolfson dances with the complexity of dense thickets and ravines. Chuck Ceraso’s work reveals his deep, visual, and kinesthetic engagement with the landscape. Sharing her rapport with nature’s spirits, Molly Mohseni’s monotypes, collage, and paintings show us aspects of the living world beyond the apparent. Jeannie DeMarinis explores, through painting, the unseen world of fungi and the magic of soil life. Working from deeply felt memories and dreams, Cara Luneau brings to light some of her own personal journeys in the wild.

Picture of Rocky Mountain Rescue Group carrying someone in a stretcher

Rocky Mountain Rescue: 75 years of Search and Rescue Leadership

Closed November 10, 2022

A photo exhibit and historic narrative of the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group (one of the oldest and busiest mountain search and rescue teams in the USA).  The photos consist of actual missions and practices from the early 1950s to today.   The Rocky Mountain Rescue Group (RMRG) is one of the oldest and busiest mountain search and rescue teams in the USA. RMRG started as a grassroots effort in 1947 and has grown to 200 calls per year. RMRG has been a leader in developing mountain search and rescue equipment and techniques in this field that continues to evolve. RMRG’s all-volunteer professional staff provide services for free 24 / 7 / 365. This equates to 15,000+ hours per year of search and rescue calls, training, and running this non-profit organization.

2019 Ikebana exhibit

Kachou fuugetsu Japanese Flower Exhibition

Closed September 25, 2022

The Official Ikenobo Ikebana Society of America Colorado Chapter is pleased to present its annual Ikebana Japanese Flower Arrangement Exhibition. Kachou Fuugetsu (花鳥風月) is a Japanese concept that means to discover yourself when experiencing nature. Kachou Fuugetsu (花鳥風月) is a Japanese concept that means to discover yourself when experiencing nature.


Painting of flowers by water for Art Inspired by the land exhibition

Art Inspired by the Land

Closed September 18, 2022
City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) presents a community art exhibition inspired by our shared open space! The Boulder community has been committed to preserving wild lands in this area for more than 120 years and we all share a proud legacy of community-driven stewardship and conservation. These past few years have been challenging for all. Community members’ lives have been deeply touched. Many have sought solace and support in our beloved open spaces. To honor the comfort and healing that nature provides, this exhibit celebrates our community’s connection to the land.

Library Inspired: The BPL Staff Art Show

Closed September 6, 2022
Using the library collections as inspiration, this exhibition shares artworks created by library staff.

Bird costume on display from Birds Eye View exhibit

Bird’s Eye View

Closed July 31, 2022
Through a partnership with Open Space and Mountain Parks, Boulder youth have taken an art-science approach to observing local birds and exploring humans’ interspecies relationships with birds in our backyards.

Art Exhibits 2022


Closed July 9, 2022
MEXICANIXIMA is an exhibition of handmade piñatas created by Maribel Arredondo (a.k.a. Mamibel) of Curious Paper Art by Mamibel. Each piñata represents an element of Mexican culture – join us on this trip to Mexico.

Word into Art Exhibition

Word Into Art

Closed June 22, 2022
WORD INTO ART highlights the versatile and vibrant ways that text and art intertwine. The exhibition featured more than 90 contemporary artists and writers. Using language as a powerful visual tool to reflect on culture, politics, social justice or simply the beauty of the alphabet on canvas, with sculpture, artist books, posters, broadsides, and concrete poetry. Co-curated by Jim Johnson and Jennifer Heath.

display case with small pieces of art and several canvases displayed on top

Teen Art Exhibition: Photos, Paintings, Pottery and More!

Closed May 15, 2022
Art created by teen artists from Boulder High School. A mix of mediums including photos, paintings, pottery and digital art.

BVSD Student Art show 2021

Boulder Valley School District (BVSD)

Closed May 2, 2022
The Boulder Valley School District annual K–8 art exhibition. Art teachers from all elementary and middle schools will select pieces of art and honor the student artists.

Maker Made 2022 exhibition

Maker Made

Closed March 28, 2022
BLDG 61 is thrilled to present the return of Maker Made, an exhibition celebrating the diverse and inspiring work produced by the makers in our community.

Singer sewing machine part of the Closed Loop exhibition

Closed Loop

Closed January 27, 2022
Closed Loop is a term used in relation to the circular economy, one in which materials are consistently reused rather than discharged as waste.  The exhibition “Closed Loop” featured the work of artists, community members and businesses who deploy systems of social justice, sustainability and reuse of fiber, textile and apparel materials.

Ikebana flower arrangement

Shinzen no Chika-ra Flower Exhibition

Closed November 21, 2021
This delicious exhibition features plant-rich recipes by The Japanese have long relied on the “Power of Nature” for its restorative effect on mind and body.  The Official Ikenobo Ikebana Society of America Colorado Chapter is pleased to present an Ikebana Japanese Flower Arrangement Exhibition so you too can feel Shinzen no Chika-ra and recuperate from the pandemic. Come and be inspired by over 50 beautiful arrangements featuring trees and flowers that will bring you joy, peace and harmony.  Be restored by the power and beauty of nature.

Recipe for Change Exhibit

Recipes for Change

Closed November 14, 2021
This delicious exhibition features plant-rich recipes by young women with SPEAK for actual meals, for climate awareness, and for arts-based positive social and environmental change.

Plant in a log piece

Tonics For Transformation: An Ecosocial Response to Sustain & Support During Wildfire Season

Closed November 14, 2021
This interactive, socially engaged show will allow space for the community to process feelings of grief related to wildfires and provide tools for supporting wellness in a rapidly changing ecology.

Bigger Views postcard from exhibition

Bigger View(s): Earth, Anthropocene, Beauty

Closed November 5, 2021
The artists David D’Agostino, Jennifer Lord, and Noah Travis Phillips create multi-centered, parallel simultaneous realities that celebrate nature, disrupt humanities extractive paradigms and anthropocene legacies, and suggest that another world is possible.

Love Letters to the Earth

Love Letters to the Earth

Closed October 3, 2021
Multi-media exhibition by the Arbor Art Collective exploring our reciprocal relationship with the Earth with collaborations between Colorado artists and farmers who are creating food justice and climate-resilient food systems on the Front Range.

2021 BVSD Spring Art Show

Boulder Valley School District K-8 Art Exhibit

closed May 8, 2021
The Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) once again held its annual K-8 Art Exhibit at the Boulder Public Library. Boulder-area 6th through 12th-grade student artwork was on display at the library on the ramp to the restrooms from March 22 through April 15. Following that display, Kindergarten through 5th-grade art was on display from April 17 to May 8.

Recipes for Change Exhibit

Recipes for Change

Over the years, Young Womens’ Voices for Climate Change have accumulated recipes anyone can use to create positive social & environmental change. When they say recipes, they don’t mean recipes in the traditional sense- although some of the recipes do incorporate actual food- many are guidelines which can be applied in many different aspects of your life. But they all share a common goal: to nourish & heal our planet.

Jennifer Lord's Every Extinct Bird

Bigger view(s): Earth, Anthropocene, Beauty

Featuring the artists David D’Agostino, Jennifer Lord, and Noah Travis Phillips, Bigger View(s): Earth, Anthropocene, Beauty offers parallel simultaneous realities of the multi-centered networks of Nature. Questioning dualistic understandings both formally and thematically, the art is not human-centric, rather it opens feeling-ways into new modes of being with(in). The artwork conjures feelings of harmony, beauty, sublimity, grief and interconnection. We posit this as a way forward through the Anthropocene.

Build a Better Book display

Build a Better Book: Stories for Your Senses

closed February 2, 2020
The University of Colorado Boulder’s Build a Better Book project works with library makerspaces (including BLDG 61) to engage youth in the design and fabrication of more inclusive media, including picture books and games for children who are blind or visually impaired. This exhibition featured art created through the project, along with the tactile artwork of Ann Cunningham, Colorado artist and art educator at the Colorado Center for the Blind, including several multi-panel stories.

Streetwise Mural exhibit

Street Wise

closed December 1, 2019
“Street Wise” showed culturally inspired street artwork from diverse perspectives reflecting our current social, political, environmental climate through the eyes of artists. The project included both work inside the gallery and outside street installations throughout the City of Boulder, as well as workshops and community events. Curated by Leah Brenner Clack.

Under- & Overstories

Closed September 29, 2019
NEST (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology) Studio for the Arts proudly presents work at the intersection of science and art. With more than twenty exhibitors, this collection of work addresses the paradox of scale held within the microscopic and the cosmic, the single-celled organism and the ecosystemic.

Elements – The Boulder Potters’ Guild: 50 years and counting!

Closed August 4, 2019
This exhibition is a celebration of the successes of the past and vision for the future for this creative community. It will showcase guild members’ current work in clay. Guild members will show their finest ceramic pieces, functional and sculptural. A key element of the success of the guild is education. Ephemera, photos and written history will highlight the legacy of the Boulder Potters’ Guild workshops and classes.

Model of North Boulder Branch; final design to be unveiled in MayLiving in Nature City

Closed June 9, 2019
WORKac, the architects for the north Boulder branch library, unveiled their design for the new building in an exhibition that also featured a number of their projects around the world over the past fifteen years.

Outbreak Art Installation

picture by Lauren Click, Office of Arts and Culture

Outbreak by Nicole Banowetz

Closed June 12, 2019 Conoid, Main Library
The forms in Outbreak are based on microscopic bacteria and viruses. These forms are beautiful, complex, playful and menacing as they replicate and fly around the conoid, seemingly trying to escape into the world. The work makes us question our complex relationships to the microscopic world. This exhibition is being presented in conjunction with CU’s Conference on World Affairs, which ran April 9-13 of 2019 with several sessions taking place at the library.

Boulder Valley School District K-8 Art Exhibit (BVSD)

Closed Aril 28, 2019
The Boulder Valley School District will once again hold it’s annual K-8 Art Exhibit at the Boulder Public Library. Art teachers from all elementary and middle schools will select six pieces of art and honor the student artists who created what art at the reception. All are welcome to enjoy this event which has been an important part of advocating for art in public education over the past decades.

Maker Made Exhibit 2019Maker Made: Works Presented by BLDG 61

Closed March 29, 2019
This show celebrated the work of designers, scientists, artists, engineers, and craftspeople that comprise our maker community. Showcased work will include printed materials, three-dimensional objects, kinetic, and interactive projects. Video from exhibit opening.

Jomon ArtA Celebration of Jomon

Closed March 31, 2019 Arapahoe Ramp, Main Library
Learn about the artists working to resurrect ancient Japanese pottery traditions from the Jomon period – a peaceful era that lasted for ten thousand years and is making a revival in modern Japanese art. This exhibition was in collaboration with Studio Arts Boulder, coinciding with a special program series with visiting Japanese Jomon artists.

Art of Data ExhibitArt of Data

Closed February 3, 2019
The City of Boulder has a renewed focus on innovation that is being driven by a citywide effort to enhance data-driven decision-making and innovation. This show will celebrate art created by the community, inspired by the City of Boulder’s Open Data Catalog and other public City data.

Yarnfiti Exhibit 2018Yarn-fiti: A Community Takeover

Closed November 21, 2018
Yarn enthusiasts of all types took over the Canyon Gallery with an immersive installation of yarn projects. This exhibition was comprised of community submissions, which have been collected throughout the year. Visitors had the opportunity to add their own work throughout the show.

Ikebana Exhibition Geisha and FlowersIkebana Showcase: Life in Edo Japan – Flowers and Scroll Paintings from the 18th Century

Closed October 21, 2018
The Ikenobo Ikebana Society of America presents their annual exhibition of ikebana flower arrangements. An introductory class in Ikebana was offered to the public and an arrangement demonstration was also be held in the Canyon Theater.

Wish You Were Here: The Sweaters of Sam Barsky

Wish You Were Here: The Sweaters of Sam Barsky

Closed October 14, 2018
Maryland artist Sam Barsky knits sweaters of iconic landmarks and then photographs himself wearing his work at those locations. This exhibition shares a collection of Barsky’s freehand sweaters, along with photographs of his travels, exploring his creative process. As part of the exhibition, Barsky has designed four Boulder and Colorado-specific sweaters, which are patrons were able to borrow with their library card.

Slow Mover exhibit

Photo by Lauren Click

Slow Mover

Closed August 19, 2018
Slow Mover, presented by artists Matthew and Lisa Bethancourt of Mouse & the Billionaire was a series of traditional and interactive artworks that invited viewers to reflect on the slow movement of time. Living with artwork over time can be powerful and is very different than seeing something for a few minutes in a public context. For this reason, selected works were gifted to interested individuals over the course of the exhibition. Visit for more information.

chair of the board exhibit

Chair of the Board

Closed July 15, 2018 – Canyon Gallery
Chair of the Board examines the influence of publicly available maker technologies on contemporary design practice. A diverse range of Boulder area design professionals were tasked with creating a chair from a single sheet of 4×8 plywood. The resulting unique designs are an experiment in the emergent micro-production phenomena. Created by library maker-in-residence, Steve Bullock, this exhibition is produced with the resources available at the library’s makerspace, BLDG 61.

Facing Rocky Flats

Closed June 10, 2018 – Canyon Gallery
The former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons site is slated to open as a national wildlife refuge in the summer of 2018. Preceding the planned opening, this group exhibition looked at the past, present, and future of this contentious site. This exhibition also featured one-on-ones with a living book: a person who has had direct experience with Rocky Flats.

BVSD Art show 2018

Boulder Valley School District Annual Showcase

Closed April 22, 2018 – Canyon Gallery
An annual celebration of work created by elementary students from across the Boulder Valley School District.

Pink Progression

Pink Progression

Closed March 24, 2018 – Canyon Gallery
On January 21, 2017, history was made when over two million people joined the historic, global women marches. During the marches, pink created a strong visual statement representing unity and empowerment. Inspired by the marches, this exhibition highlighted the work of over thirty local artists who used the color pink as a unifying element. Pink Progression had a simultaneous exhibition at the Denver Public Library from March 2nd through June 29th, 2018. For more information on the exhibit and to participate in Pink Progression’s postcard call for entry go to

Jack Collom Teaching kids in Vienna

Why Cats Have Skinny Pupils: Jack Collom & the Writings of Boulder County School Children

Closed February 11, 2018 – Canyon Gallery
Jack Collom (1931-2017) began teaching in poets-in-the-schools programs in the mid-1970s nationwide (and abroad), a practice he continued for the rest of his life. He taught thousands of school children of all grades in Boulder County and wrote the book Moving Windows about teaching poetry to children. His boyish (even in old age) joie d’écrire was infectious and generations of students have been exposed to, “infected with,” poetry as a direct result of Jack Collom. This exhibition was a sampling of that poetry.

Maker Made Show

Maker Made: Works Presented by BLDG 61

Closed January 28, 2018 – Canyon Gallery
This show celebrated the work of designers, scientists, artists, engineers, and craftspeople who comprise our maker community. Showcased work included printed materials, three-dimensional objects, kinetic, and interactive projects.

Children's Illustration imageOnce Upon a Time:
Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators of Colorado

Closed December 7, 2017 – Canyon Gallery
A celebration of the talented writers and illustrators that reside here in Colorado! Sample illustrations, along with glimpses of each artist’s creative process; from storyboards and descriptions of illustration techniques to how they create a character. Programs with the participating artists took place every Saturday and Sunday (except Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving weekend) in the Canyon Gallery.

Ikebana Show 2017

Ikebana Exhibition

October 28 & 29, Canyon Gallery
The Ikenobo Ikebana Society of America presents their annual showcase of ikebana flower arrangements.  Artists set up on Friday, October 27 and the public is invited to watch or try their hand at the Japanese art of flower arrangement.

Open Studio Exhibit

Open Studios

Closed October 23, 2017 – Canyon Gallery
The Open Studios Tour Preview Exhibit show featured one piece of art from each of the participating artists in the annual Tour. The Preview Exhibit included painting, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, woodworking, encaustic, printmaking and more! The public was invited to visit the gallery to explore local art and map out their route during the tour, which took place October 7-8 and 14-15 in and around the city of Boulder. photo credit: Lauren Click

Gaden Shartse Monks construct Mandala

Closed September 17, 2017 – Canyon Gallery
As part of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival at Boulder, Monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastic Community in Mungod, India were in Boulder to create a Sacred Vajrasattva Sand Mandala. They constructed this Mandala over the course of five days, giving a Vajrasattva Empowerment on the last day just prior to the Dissolution Ceremony which included the distribution of Sacralized Sand to those in attendance. See a video of the Monks creating the Mandalaphoto credit: Lauren Click

Latino Hues Exhibit

Latino Hues

Closed July 30,2017 – Canyon Gallery
Tonos Latinos/ Latino Hues is an artistic/cultural event that disperses and promotes Latin American heritage, language and experiences in exhibitions of contemporary art. With hopes to build community, opening avenues of conversation towards a better understanding of cultural diversity. These artists, tied together by culture and community, wish to empower society with the richness and diversity of the Latin American community while also serving as an example of universal values such as social integration and cultural pride.

Environs: Landscapes of Imagination @ Main

Closed June 25, 2017 – Canyon Gallery

Environs transformed the Canyon Gallery into playscapes of the built environment for visitors of all ages. Imagine, tinker, and explores the ways in which changes in density impact our world; from the rural to the urban, and in between. Created by seniors in the CU Environmental Design program participating in an independent study under the guidance of senior instructor, Marcel de Lange.

The Unfurling @ Main

Closed May 17, 2017
The Unfurling was a music-inspired installation by composer and library maker-in-residence, Nathan Hall. Centered on a large paper scroll in which community drawing input was interpreted live by musicians. Also on view will be examples of other graphic scores. Live performances of The Unfurling took place on Thursday, May 11, 2017, and Wednesday, May 17, 2017, both at 1 p.m. in the Canyon Gallery, by members of The Playground Ensemble.

Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) @ Main

Closed April 30, 2017
The Boulder Valley School District held its annual K–8 Art exhibit at the Boulder Public Library. Art teachers from all elementary and middle schools selected six pieces of art and honor the student artists who created that art at the reception.

Looking for Common Ground: A Collaboration

Closed April 2, 2017
The Annual Members Show for the NoBo Art District was a non-juried exhibit featuring the works of 100+ member artists, artist demonstrations and live performances. Each event across several weeks invited the artists and audience to engage and collaborate.

repaired plate

Art of Repair

Closed February 12, 2017
Repair is an important alternative to recycling or throwing away.  See clever fixes for everyday objects, learn about how repair is both an ethos and an action, or stop by the fix-it-yourself station and make repairs on-site! Numerous repair workshops wore held in the gallery throughout the exhibition.