Best US Cities for Public Art

Art is that three-letter word that everyone enjoys and appreciates. It brings character to city streets and beauty to public spaces. But the best aspect of art is that one does not necessarily need to be in a museum to enjoy the best of art. From gentrification to being part of a city’s culture, these are the best US cities for public art.

Seattle, WA
Seattle is the mecca for outdoor art and public spaces. Along the waterfront, visitors enjoy various statues and structures, including the Olympic Sculpture Park, which overlooks the Puget Sound. Located near the Seattle Art Museum is the “Hammering Man,” whose arm continuously, and silently, hammers, except on Labor Day where he takes a break. The Fremont District is an electric outdoor art scene where locals dress the four people and one dog “Waiting for the Interurban” statue. Wave hello to Lenin or walk under the Aurora Bridge for a glimpse at the Fremont Troll.

ngader / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ngader/229841717/

ngader / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ngader/229841717/

Chicago, Illinois
The Chicago Public Art program includes more than 700 pieces located around the city and exhibited in over 150 municipal facilities. One of the most popular pieces includes “Cloud Gate,” or what people refer to as the giant, silver “bean.” Millennium Park is a popular urban park featuring Crown Fountain. This two-sided, 50-foot tower showcases Chicago citizens faces (used to replicate ancient Gargoyle faces in fountains) to spew and spray water out of their lips into the surrounding pool. The “Picasso” located at Daley Plaza is a Chicago beloved icon to showcase modernism and cultural change.

(vincent desjardins) / https://www.flickr.com/photos/endymion120/4824726872/

(vincent desjardins) / https://www.flickr.com/photos/endymion120/4824726872/

Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland rocks with public art buzzing around from downtown to the surrounding suburbs. The city is well known for its historic buildings decorated with the street-side guitars, all painted in a different theme. Cleveland’s most prominent statute is the “Free” stamp, located in Willard Park, and is the world’ largest rubber stamp. Located near the Cleveland Art Museum is Wade Park and Rockefeller Park, which homes plenty of historic statues, sculptures and nature views. The cultural gardens in Rockefeller Park feature 27 various ethnic gardens hosting local flora, fauna, sculptures and pride.

stu_spivack / https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/26061417/

stu_spivack / https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/26061417/

New York City, New York
Art does not go unheard of in the City that Never Sleeps. Historic and modern art are part of the NYC culture and the “Art in the Park” program draws in annual pieces showcased around the city and Brooklyn. The Statue of Liberty is a global icon where the Prometheus statue is a television-backdrop icon. The Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island is another popular public art region, which rotates work from local artists. Find hidden pieces in Central Park or maybe find the remains of the NYC subway underground art. Most underground art has been cleaned up throughout the years.

See-ming Lee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/seeminglee/4015952928/

See-ming Lee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/seeminglee/4015952928/

San Francisco, California
From SFO airport to Haight Ashbury District, San Fran boasts creative pieces thanks to the liberal and open mind. Explore the brand new Bayview Rise, a 2D, 3D and 4D structure combined in one piece. Explore plenty of statues, paintings and public space in Golden Gate Park and finally pass through Haight Ashbury for a glimpse at 1960’s murals and graffiti art. The houses themselves look like a masterpiece, but be sure to check out the Marina’s Palace of Fine Arts, Raygun Gothic Rocketship or Cupid’s Bow along the Embarcadero.

Benson Kua / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bensonkua/4949656803/

Benson Kua / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bensonkua/4949656803/

Boston, Massachusetts
Historic Boston is known for more than Irish culture and red brick buildings. Boston homes unique art including the pear-shaped Scollay Square Tea Kettle. Explore the Harbor Arts in East Boston Shipyard and its bubbling metal fish or take a walk with history with the famous bronze Boston Massacre and Crispus Attacks Monument on the Freedom Trail.

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