Stephanie is a cherished member of the Sampling America writing team, dedicated to crafting captivating narratives that transport readers to thrilling adventures across the country and beyond.
Public art has a long history in the United States. It fosters imagination and creativity and allows people to think differently about the world.
Throughout the U.S., several outdoor art installations bring life to the city they’re in. Follow our list to see the 7 top pieces of public art displays that you should visit.
Kasuma: Cosmic Nature, New York City
The Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama was invited to place an outrageous art display at the New York City Botanical Gardens.
This sculpture is based on the artist’s signature massive yellow polka-dotted pumpkins, bright tulip blossoms, and vibrant sky-high trees. The sculpture plays on the viewers’ perception of shape, color, and shifting light.
Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle
Dale Chihuly creates outlandish glass flowers in the shape of massive gardens. The glasshouse was constructed next to the Seattle Space Needle and hosts a 100-foot-long sculpture of orange and red flowers.
The glass flowers’ shapes, colors, and patterns are made to defy expectations and create a new imaginary world for the viewer to enjoy.
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo
In the 1970s, a group of hippies from San Fransisco drove ten classic Cadillacs to Amarillo, Texas, along Route 66.
The group buried the cars nose first in a row. Although the cars remain on a private piece of land, the display has been visited by thousands of people over the years. In an act of collective art, visitors add to the cars by using spray paint and graffiti to add color and leave their mark.
Storm King Art Center, Cornwall
In New York’s Hudson Valley, the Storm King Art Center sits on 500 acres of land and has dozens of sculptures.
The landscape has four natural galleries, the North Woods, Museum Hill, the Meadows, and the South Fields; each has a permanent collection and temporary exhibits. Walking through the fields between each gallery, you’ll find stunning sculptures by famous artists along the way.
Prada Marfa, Valentine
On a quiet highway in Marfa, Texas, an art installation was installed by Berlin artists Micheal Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset.
The installation is meant to mirror the well-known designer brand. The store is purposefully abandoned, so the natural elements are meant to take over the storefront as part of the art slowly.
Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea
Two hours outside of Joshua Tree National Park is the famed Salvation Mountain. Created by a local resident, the area was declared a national folk art site in 2000.
The site has been featured in several movies and music videos and is a favorite of road trippers and music festival goers to stop by and take a photo.
The project reflects the creator’s life while living on a commune and has a strong religious element.
40 artists created a 32,000-square-foot immersive light installation in Columbus, Ohio. The exhibit is meant to play on the viewers’ understanding of fantasy and science fiction by inviting visitors to see the “remains of an alternate reality created by a defunct tech company.”
The exhibit features 47 rooms filled with bioluminescent flowers and greenery, strange creatures, and otherworldly landscapes.
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