Viewing beautiful art doesn’t always require spending time inside a quiet space behind a rope with lots of security nearby. From sculpture gardens over acres of land, to murals in the middle of a city, grab a camera and enjoy these colorful, majestic displays as you take in fresh air and explore the outdoors.
Sculpture gardens have existed for centuries, according to the International Sculpture Center. One of the first, the Zen Ryoan-ji temple garden, dates back to the 15th century in Kyoto, Japan and is one of the most famous rock gardens.
On the East Coast of the United States, the Grounds For Sculpture, a public not-for-profit organization in Hamilton, New Jersey, offers nearly 300 contemporary sculptures throughout 42 acres. More than 700 artists have had their work on view there since its opening in 1992.
Across the river is “an immersive mixed media art environment that is completely covered with mosaics” called Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Located in the South Street neighborhood of the city, this non-profit’s artwork was created by using handmade tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, mirrors and even international folk art.
A little further north is Storm King Art Center in New York’s Hudson Valley region. Since its founding in 1960, large-scale sculptures and site-specific commissions are experienced over 500 acres. Visitors are able to explore its meadows and wooded areas by foot or by bicycle.
Over on the West Coast, the Boone Sculpture Garden, which is a part of the Pasadena City College Center for the Arts, features major pieces that include works by Deborah Butterfield, Jack Zajac, Stephan Balkenhol, and Yutaka Sone.
In San Francisco, the Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitors Center was established in 1977 in San Francisco’s Mission District neighborhood, enriching the community by providing collaborative murals celebrating culture, unity, history and nature.
Down south in the city known for keeping it weird, Austin TX, many visitors flock to the murals throughout the city like the “Hi, How Are You” and “I love you so much” But there’s also the Hope Outdoor Galley, a community art park & cultural arts center that was originally launched in March 2010 at a failed condo development. This unique art park allowed visitors to bring paint and create whatever they desired.
Of course, perhaps one of the most famous collection of murals, The Wynwood Walls in Miami’s warehouse district has covered more than 80,000 square feet of walls from more than 50 artists in 16 countries. It has put the neighborhood on the map as being one of America’s hippest.
From a relaxing day perusing green grounds amid meditative sculptures, to a funky time taking in walls that have been turned into giant canvasses, outdoor art has something for everyone.
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