The River North Art District is feeling a bit less artsy these days. Ice Cube Gallery closed its doors in June, and its neighbor in the Dry Ice Factory building, aBuzz Gallery, is following suit at the end of October. Wonderbound‘s building is for sale, though the contemporary dance troupe doesn’t have an official exit date yet. And while the city is working on creating affordable live–work opportunities to keep artists in the area, at least one arts venue has already found a new home: Rule Gallery makes its debut in the Art District on Santa Fe this month. The art space exited RiNo last month after a developer bought the entire block with plans to demolish all the buildings currently there, including fellow gallery, Hinterland.

Founded by Robin Rule in 1987 (she died in 2013), Rule Gallery has long been recognized for pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. It took the current Rule team about a year to find the new space. Their Santa Fe gallery, an intimate square room, fronts the building, which also contains additional storage, a small kitchen, and well-appointed bathroom that will make it easier to host events. Denver artist Mary Mackey is Rule’s landlady; she also has a studio in the back. “Rule has moved at least a dozen times since the ’80s,” says Valerie Santerli, gallery director/owner. “Every time you move, you get to reinvent yourself.”

Catch your first look at Rule’s latest iteration during Wish You Were Here, a series of neon sculptures and digital screen art from Denver artist Scott Young, which opens September 23. (The grand opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. that evening.) The 10 or so new works explore the mixed bag of emotions that love wrings—excitement, loss, pain, and longing—through a variety of media and some pieces that require direct interaction. The namesake work, a sculpture that will sit on the roof of the gallery (pictured, above), for example, switches between reading “Wish You Were Here” and “Wish You Were Her,” the “e” flickering on and off.

Themes of love and loss, it seems, are relevant no matter what your neighborhood you’re in.

Visit: 530 Santa Fe Dr.

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at