Home / Art

20+ Places to Find Spectacular Public Art Around the U.S.

Where to Find Public Art in the US

You don’t have to trek to a museum to see great art—often, you can find it outdoors. Public art allows everyone to experience the thrill of creative expression. From playful sculptures that interact with the environment to colorful mosaic staircases, these incredible displays brighten our world at large. And, best of all, you needn't go far to see these types of fantastic creations. Often, they're just beyond your doorstep. There are numerous pieces of public art in the U.S. that are just waiting for you to come and see them.

Public art isn’t limited to large metropolitan areas or museum-adjacent spaces. It can be in seemingly random or even isolated places. The Social Pool by artist Alfredo Barsuglia, for instance, is open to anyone who can find it. Currently, it’s in an undisclosed location in the Southern California desert. Barsuglia is vague about how to even get there, stating that it’s “several hours of driving from Los Angeles” and to visit it, you must be willing “to walk a long distance to reach the pool from the nearest road.” But among the sandy locale, its white, minimalist appearance looks like an oasis under the hot sun.

Get ready to pack your bags and take a “trip” to see spectacular works of public art in the U.S..

Chicago, Illinois

Public Art in the U.S. and Where to Find It

Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor

San Francisco, California

Public Art Around the United States

The 16th Avenue Steps by Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher
Photo source: Yellofish
Read more: San Francisco’s Secret Mosaic Staircase

Baltimore, Maryland

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Public Art Around the United States

Seven Magic Mountains by Ugo Rondinone

Charlotte, North Carolina

Outdoor Sculpture

Metalmorphosis by David Cerny
Read more: Giant Moving Head Steel Sculpture by David Cerny

Outdoor Sculpture

Austin, Texas

Art Outside

Open Room by Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt
Photo credit: City of Austin Arts

Worthington, Ohio

Public Art in the United States

71 Fountain
Photo credit: Kyle Wood

Reston, Virgina

Public Art

A Bird in Hand by Patrick Dougherty
Photo credit: Greater Reston Arts Center, Greg Staley

Public Art

Reedsburg, Wisconsin

Public Art

Invasive Species by Isabelle Garbani
Photo credit: Kirsten K. Shockey

Birmingham, Alabama

Art Outside

LightRails by Bill FitzGibbons
Photo credit: REV Birmingham

Art Outside

Photo credit: REV Birmingham

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Public Art in the U.S. and Where to Find It

Freedom by Zenos Frudakis

New York City, New York

Public Art in the U.S. and Where to Find It

Life Underground by Tom Otterness

Public Art in the U.S. and Where to Find It

Casey, Illinois

Public Art Around the United States

World's Largest Rocking Chair Sculpture by Jim Bolin
Photo credit: turkishjim
Read more: Small Town Is Filled With Giant Sculptures of Everyday Objects

Outdoor Sculptures in the US

World's Largest Mailbox Sculpture by Jim Bolin
Photo credit: Big Things in a Small Town Facebook

Eugene, Oregon

Art in Public Places

Photo source: Eugene, Oregon

Somewhere in the Southern California Desert

Public Art Around the United States

Social Pool by Alfredo Barsuglia

Valentine, Texas

Outdoor Sculpture

Prada Marfa by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset
Photo credit: Thessaly La Force

Coachella Valley, California

Seattle, Washington

Mosaic Mural in Seattle

Seattle Mosaic Mural by Paul Horiuchi
Photo credit: Spike Mafford Photography

Denver, Colorado

Public Art in the U.S. and Where to Find It

I See What You Mean by Lawrence Argent
Photo credit: Artists & Thieves

Phoenix, Arizona

Outdoor Sculpture

Her Secret is Patience by Janet Echelman
Photo credit: Christina OHaver

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content