From Cincinnati to Melbourne, cities around the world are embracing the trend of public art and transforming their urban landscapes with incredible murals, sculptures, and installations. Whether you're looking for a vibrant street art scene or a unique museum experience, these seven cities have something to offer art lovers of all kinds. Lexington, Kentucky is home to some of the most impressive murals in the country. The city's urban county government, LexArts, unites artists, businesses, neighborhoods and artists to create outdoor art that has revolutionized the city over the past few years.
Philadelphia is known as the City of Murals and is home to the largest public art program in the United States. The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP) has been around for decades and has resulted in an impressive collection of street art that can be seen throughout the city. Be sure to visit Mural Mile, which stretches from 7th and Chestnut Streets to 6th and South, to see a large concentration of Philadelphia murals. New York City is a mecca for art lovers.
With its large number of universities with visual and performing arts programs, art museums, music halls, opera houses, art installations and art fairs, it's no wonder why New York is considered one of the best cities for movie lovers. Chicago is known for its spectacular skyscrapers but also stands out above other cities when it comes to public art. Stroll through downtown Loop and see dozens of sculptures and other works, such as the Chicago Picasso, a 15-meter cubist sculpture that was once considered an eyesore but is now a beloved city landmark. Across the street is another large sculpture by Joan Miró, and just a few blocks away is a gorgeous mosaic of vibrant colors by Marc Chagall called “The Four Seasons”.
But Chicago's most popular public art installation is Cloud Gate (also known as “The Bean”), whose reflective stainless steel curves have featured in many tourist photographs. Oslo's Vigeland Park is home to hundreds of bronze figures that seem to capture every facet of human life. The literal highlight of Gustav Vigeland's 80-acre sculpture garden is the Monolith, a tower formed by interlocking bodies that stretches nearly 15 meters into the sky. On the way from the front door to the Monolith, don't lose sight of Angry Boy, one of the park's most famous inhabitants.
Singapore has a rich public art collection with works by some of the world's most famous artists such as Salvador Dalí and Henry Moore. Be sure to visit UOB Plaza One to see Dalí's “Homage to Newton” and the headquarters of the Chinese Overseas Banking Corporation to see Moore's “Large Reclining Figure”. Memphis has long been known for its music and food scene but also has its fair share of notable public art. You'll find lots of murals and sculptures throughout downtown Memphis as well as at the Dixon & Gardens Gallery where you can view European and American impressionist paintings along with a mix of contemporary pieces.
Finally, Mexico City is brimming with colorful murals by dozens of artists including some of Mexico's best-known such as Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco. Be sure to visit Rodriguez Market where you can discover murals painted by Rivera's students under his supervision. Don't miss Juan O'Gorman's murals on the walls of the Central Library of UNAM or Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros with murals by David Alfaro Siqueiros inside and out. From Cincinnati to Melbourne, these seven cities have embraced public art in unique ways that have transformed their urban landscapes into works of art.
Whether you're looking for vibrant street art or unique museum experiences, these cities have something for everyone.