Civic Pride: 9 Inspiring Pieces of Participatory Public Art


Why should art remain cooped up in museums? Art should be seen by as many people as possible, so as to inspire as many viewers as it can. Public art is the act of erecting intriguing, usually extravagant pieces of art in places of high population. From paintings and sculptures to art made of lights, public art helps to beautify cities and please all those who travel through. Below are nine of the most amazing pieces of public art ever constructed.

I See What You Mean

(images via mikaelgreanery)

This massive sculpture represents a blue bear peering into an office building’s window. This bear could quite possibly be one of the biggest distractions for those working on the floor he is staring into! The sculpture stands 40 feet high at the Colorado Convention Center and is quite a popular area piece.

Device to Root Out Evil

(images via uzhik, canada, centrecitytalk, horuskol)

Entitled “A Device to Root Out Evil,” this piece of artwork stands as an upside-down church in Glenbrow, Canada. The church used to be displayed in Vancouver (as shown in the first image), but controversy over it blocking the ocean view of where it stood caused it to be shipped out. The design is rather controversial, yet it remains a beautiful piece of captivating public art, and complaints about it in it’s new location have remained minimum.


(images via: inhabitat, utexas)

The environmentally friendly solar-art piece, “Co2LED” no longer stands where it once did in Arlington, Texas. The piece was once a field of 522 bright, solar powered LED lights. These LEDs would charge in the sun all day, and then illuminate the night once the sun went down. The best part of the entire project? Once it was torn down, the entire piece was recycled so as not to waste a single piece!

The New York City Waterfalls

(images via: artdaily, gizmodo)

Presented by the Public Art Fund, the New York City waterfalls are man-made pieces of art that recreart the look of waterfalls around the East River. The waterfalls themselves are designed to look like scaffolding, which is a common look for the city. Perhaps the most beautiful waterfall is erected under the Brooklyn bridge and creates the illusion that the water is flowing out of the bridge itself! Visitors to New York can now take boat tours around the river to view all of the waterfalls up close.

Cloud Gate

(images via: iceman9294, gallagher)

Inspired by the look of Liquid Mercury, artist Anish Kapoor created his public sculpture “Cloud Gate.” The sculpture is made of high polished stainless steel, and it’s mirror finish reflects the city’s skyline like a giant fun house mirror! Currently, this popular sculpture sits as the center piece of AT&T Plaza in Milennium Park, Chicago Illinois.

The Urban River

(images via funfever)

The Urban River is a one kilometer long stretch of road painted bright blue to give off the appearance of a river in the middle of a city! The blue road was constructed using 4,000 lieters of paint, and was created in memorium of an actual river that once flowed trough it’s location. All along the road, in eight meter high letters, “Water Is Life” is written so as to be read from the sky. The sight is quite beautiful and inspiring to drive along!

Bill Fitz Gibbons Artwork

(images via billfitzgibbons, justinparr)

Prominent street artist Bill Fitz-Gibbons specializes in creating neon-light displays in urban areas. Mundane overpasses come to life with vibrant colors that turn everyday concrete structures into gorgeous works of art. The effect is make possible by large light projectors that cast the light at just such an angle as to reflect as you see it.

Jeff Koon’s “Puppy”

(images via jeffkoons)

“Puppy” is a curious and innovative piece by Jeff Koons. The sculpture is made of living flowers on top of wood and stainless steel. Perhaps the most intriguing part of piece is that it features an internal irrigation system to keep the beautiful flowers alive. Puppy is a truly original and breathtaking piece of public art.