This spring, journey to see vibrant outdoor murals, larger-than-life sculptures and contemporary art exhibitions across the state
Artists have long found inspiration in North Dakota’s sweeping landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The state’s art scene offers a vibrant spectrum of experiences, from fine art museums to art alleys and public art installations, to outdoor sculptures commemorating history or just for viewing fun. This month, take in some of North Dakota’s best art encounters at these destinations throughout the state.
Fine Art Museums
The North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Forks is a preeminent collection of contemporary regional, national and international art in all media, and includes a survey collection of contemporary Native American art, beginning in the 1970s when that movement emerged. The museum is recognized nationally for its commissioning of landmark works of art depicting the landscape, history and culture of the Northern Plains.
In the heart of downtown Fargo, The Plains Art Museum occupies a renovated turn-of-the-century warehouse and is the largest and only accredited art museum in North Dakota. The permanent collection features modern, post-modern and contemporary pieces, as well as traditional Native American and African pieces. Special exhibitions and educational events are scheduled frequently throughout the year.
Across the state there are numerous additional art and cultural institutions, including museums dedicated to Lewis and Clark, Buffalo, and Native American heritage. Download a multi-day itinerary to visit North Dakota’s best art attractions or check out 8 Ways to Enjoy North Dakota Arts and Culture.
Murals and Outdoor Art
Gorgeous, colorful murals can be found in nearly every city and town across North Dakota, many of them depicting scenes, symbols or graphics that are meaningful and connected to the local community. From Art Alley 5.5 in downtown Bismarck, and angel wings in Fargo and Bismarck, to vibrant geometric graphics in Minot, to landscape murals in Watford City and playful scenes in Devils Lake, these large-scale outdoor paintings are destinations unto themselves. All of them draw visitors ready to snap a selfie to celebrate their visit. Check out many of the state’s most iconic murals and their locations here.
North Dakota’s wide-open vistas are the perfect setting for some of the country’s most impressive roadside art. Along the Enchanted Highway, visitors can drive the famous 30-mile stretch that’s dotted with roadside sculptures including the world’s largest metal sculpture, Geese in Flight by Gary Greff. And you won’t want to miss the world’s largest buffalo Dakota Thunder, an impressive 60-ton concrete monument in Jamestown.
A trio of turtles highlight North Dakota’s whimsical side: the snowmobile-riding Tommy the Turtle in Bottineau, the two-ton Rusty the Giant Turtle sculpture in Turtle Lake, and the W’eel Turtle in Dunseith, made completely of green-painted wheels, are the most fun turtle triplets anywhere. A sculpture garden in Wahpeton has a rotating menagerie of dinosaurs, bears and more. Smaller scale sculptures punctuate manicured gardens at the Rainbow Garden and Sculpture Walk in Mayville, a perfect scale and speed for families with young children. Map your route to see these sculptures here.
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C O N T A C T :
Leslie Holbrook | 614-383-1635
Kim Schmidt | 701-328-2532