10 Creative Ways to Use Land for Public Art Displays | askBAMLand

This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases. The images and content on this page may be created by, or with the assistance of, artificial intelligence, and should be used for entertainment and informational purposes only.

Imagine your city as a canvas, alive with colors, shapes, and stories.

Ever seen a dull space transformed by art?

Public art displays create vibrant communities, weaving creativity into the fabric of everyday life.

From interactive sculptures that invite playful engagement, to murals that narrate local tales, art in public spaces enriches our experience of the city.

By leveraging the magic of public art, urban spaces turn into hubs of connection and inspiration.

Trust us to guide you through the myriad ways land can be used for art that not only decorates but also animates our shared environments.

Key Takeaways

  • Public art installations can revitalize underutilized spaces.
  • Interactive and functional art engages the community.
  • Art serves as a catalyst for cultural and social connection.

Table of Contents

Interactive Sculptures

Ever wondered what it's like to not just see art but to be a part of it?

Close your eyes for a moment—okay, maybe not, because then you can't read this—and imagine walking into a space where the sculptures aren’t just to be admired from a distance, but they literally invite you in.

Now, open your eyes and let's chat about these fantastic beasts of public spaces—interactive sculptures!

Take Chicago’s Millennium Park as a prime example.

Ever heard of the Crown Fountain?

It's not your ordinary sculpture.

This beauty combines art with a splash of fun, featuring video images of local residents.

But here’s the kicker: it’s also a water fountain, and not the 'keep-your-hands-to-yourself' kind.

Instead, it says 'come on in, the water's fine!' and allows children, and the young at heart, to engage directly with the installation.

It’s this kind of interactive art that turns a mere walk in the park into an unforgettable experience full of laughter and wet socks.

  • Engages the community
  • Offers playful interaction
  • Features local faces

But why stop there?

Interactive sculptures can be as varied as our imaginations.

From sculptures that react to your touch, to ones that play music only when you approach, the possibilities are as vast as the sky.

Imagine sculptures that light up with the night or those that change colors with the weather.

How cool would that be?

Now, it's not all fun and games—there's a serious side to this too.

These sculptures can transform a bland area into a vibrant hub for community gathering.

They don't just beautify a space; they draw people together, spark conversations, and create shared experiences.

And in the numbers game, more interactions equal more vibrant community spaces.

So, what innovative interactive sculpture are you dreaming up for your local park?

Murals and Street Art

Ever walked by a giant, mesmerizing mural and thought, "Wow, this is what makes a neighborhood spark with character!"?

Well, you're onto something.

Utilizing land for public art, especially murals and street art, can turn everyday spaces into open-air galleries everyone can enjoy.

Why not start with walls?

They're like blank canvases begging for a splash of creativity.

Picture this: the Wynwood Walls in Miami.

Once just a collection of walls, now a burst of color and life making the district a must-see art destination.

It’s a stellar example of how murals can dial up the charm and vibe of an area.

But how can you get in on this trend?

  • Find a dull, neglected wall, the bigger, the better.
  • Reach out to local artists or even host a competition to source unique pieces.
  • Ensure all necessary permissions are in place — no one wants a masterpiece to be a legal headache!

Remember, with great walls come great responsibility; maintenance is key.

Weather and time can wear down even the best murals.

A little TLC will keep them as vivid as the day they were painted.

Keen to make your mark?

Start small.

Even a single mural can begin the transformation, and before you know it, you may be living in the next hotspot for street art enthusiasts!

Just imagine the possibilities, and let the paint do the talking.

Art Parks

Have you ever strolled through an open space bursting with creative energy?

Art parks are the perfect marriage of outdoor beauty and artistic expression.

Picture walking along a path, the breeze gently brushing against your skin, only to come across a fascinating sculpture smiling back at you.

It's not a scene from a movie—it's an art park, and places like the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle are leading the revolution of these incredible spaces.

Art parks are not your average green spaces.

They are intentionally curated to host a range of artworks, from towering sculptures to subtle earthworks that blend with the landscape.

  • Permanent fixtures: Unlike galleries, artworks in art parks are usually there to stay.
  • Nature and art combo: The backdrop of nature often enhances the artwork's impact, making it a sensorial experience, not just a visual one.
  • Engagement: These spaces invite viewers to interact with the art in a personal way. Sometimes you can even climb on them—just make sure the sign says it's okay first!

So, why not take your next coffee break in an art park and get your daily dose of culture and caffeine at the same time?

You'll not only refresh your mind but also join a community of art lovers who appreciate creativity in the open air.

Before you know it, you might be scribbling down a few ideas of how your local area could benefit from an art park too.

Remember, it's all about framing art in the great "gallery" of nature.

Land Art

Have you ever seen a sprawling artwork that's not just hung on a wall, but is part of the very ground you walk on?

That's what we call Land Art!

It's like the earth is both the canvas and the medium.

Can you imagine using rocks, soil, and even water to craft something monumental?

Examples in the Wild:

  • "Spiral Jetty", Utah – A classic by Robert Smithson that spirals into the Great Salt Lake.
  • Christo and Jeanne-Claude – They took land art to another level with fabrics transforming spaces.
  • Maraya Concert Hall, Saudi Arabia – Breaking records with a whopping 9,749 square meters of mirrored beauty.

Why Land Art?

It's all about getting up close and personal with our planet.

Not to mention, these creations totally transform the landscape.

And get this, you're part of the art just by being there!

The size and scope of these works make you feel like you're in another world.

Ever heard of walking through a mirrored building in the desert?

That's just a day at the Maraya Concert Hall.

Making It Happen:

  1. Choose your site. Open fields? Desert expanses? It's your pick!
  2. Gather materials. Whether it's local stone or recyclable plastics, let the environment guide you.
  3. Consider scale. Thinking big is the land art way.
  4. Mind the impact. It's about adding to the landscape, not hurting it.

Isn't it wild how artists create these lasting impressions with just the earth and their imagination?

They're not only bending the rules, they're shaping the very ground!

And you?

Well, you could be the next land artist to leave your mark – pun intended!

Community Art Projects

Ever thought about how a splash of creativity can transform your own neighborhood into a vibrant art scene?

Let’s chat about how you can make that happen with community art projects!

You see, when local folks come together to create public art, it's like adding a bit more soul to the streets.

You’ve heard of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, right?

Well, it’s a perfect example – residents roll up their sleeves and work side by side with artists to design and paint murals.

It's not just beautifying the community; it's building bonds.

  • Get inspired: Look at how a place like Fergus Falls engages artists in their own community development.
  • Create together: Community gardens can double as living art. Perhaps a patch of land blossoms into a curated orchard, just like Diane Borsato's project in Mississauga. Artist and neighbor, could there be a sweeter collaboration?
  • Cultivate dialogue: Art isn't just for looks; it sparks conversations. A mural could reflect the heart of a community, its history, or dreams for the future.

Remember, it's not about creating a masterpiece overnight.

Every brushstroke, every planted sapling, is a step towards a shared vision.

Doesn’t that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside?

So, here’s your nudge – chat with your neighbors, scribble down some ideas, and start a project that’ll make passersby pause and smile.

Because, really, isn't that what community art is all about – bringing joy, reflection, and a touch of the extraordinary into our everyday lives?

Temporary Installations

Hey there!

Have you ever thought about how a plain old space can transform overnight into something absolutely buzz-worthy?

Temporary art installations are your golden ticket to doing just that!

Imagine walking down the same path you take every day, but suddenly, there's a splash of color, a new sculpture, or an interactive piece that wasn't there before.

It's not magic—it's the power of temporary art displays.

They're like pop-up books for the urban landscape, bringing a short burst of wonder before they disappear, only to be replaced by the next awe-inspiring creation.

You see, with temporary installations, there's always something new to look forward to.

For instance, take the "Art on the Atlanta BeltLine" project.

It's like a revolving door of creativity!

Installations along this trail switch up on the regular, keeping things exciting for joggers, bikers, and art lovers alike.

Here's why temporary installations are a must-try:

  • Freshness: New pieces pop up constantly, making every visit a unique experience.
  • Engagement: These kinds of projects get you chatting, thinking, and sometimes even laughing. And isn't that the point of great art?
  • Accessibility: This isn't an art gallery where you whisper; it's the streets where life is loud and art is free for all to enjoy!

Want to join in on the fun?

Here's a little nudge:

  • Add a dash of whimsy: Set up something unexpected. A giant teacup planter, perhaps?
  • Mix it up: Who says art can't be a hammock for a siesta or a mural doubling as a climbing wall?
  • Light it up: After dark, light installations can turn an evening stroll into an enchanting experience.

Pop these ideas into your community spaces, and watch the magic unfold.

Who knows, you might just stumble upon your new favorite spot thanks to a temporary masterpiece that lands in your lap—or rather, on your path!

Projection Mapping

Have you ever seen a building come to life at night with a burst of colors, patterns, and even storytelling?

That's the magic of projection mapping!

This amazing technique turns everyday structures into stunning visual displays.

Imagine strolling through your local park and suddenly, the trees and paths light up with a tapestry of light—cool, right?

Projection mapping does exactly that.

It projects images onto anything, from small sculptures to massive skyscrapers, morphing them into interactive, dynamic artwork.

No need for a canvas; the world is your oyster!

Here's what you need to know to put projection mapping to use:

  1. Choose Your Canvas: Buildings, landscapes, or any public space — they all work!
  2. Design Your Display: Create a visual story that compliments your chosen site.
  3. Tech It Out: You'll need a projector (or more for larger areas) and some snazzy software.
  4. Bring It to Life: Align your digital art perfectly onto the physical world and watch it transform!
  5. Engage Your Audience: Whether it's historical tales or abstract art, folks will love the immersive experience.

Remember the LUMA Projection Arts Festival?

It's a prime example of this creativity, where an entire city becomes an art gallery, proving how projection mapping is not just an art form, but an event—trust me, it's a total crowd-pleaser!

While you don't need to cover a building in video walls, a few well-placed projectors can create an equally, if not more, striking effect.

It's a fusion of art and technology that not only beautifies spaces but also brings communities together under a shared spectacle.

So next time you look at a boring building or an empty park, think about the boundless possibilities with projection mapping.

Your public art display could be the next to turn heads and lift spirits!

Art Walks and Trails

Ever fancied a leisurely stroll that doubles as a cultural feast for the eyes?

Well, that's what art walks and trails are all about!

Imagine ambling along a designated pathway, spotting a variety of striking sculptures and installations.

You're not just taking a walk; you're on an art adventure!

Take The Line in London, for example.

It's a creative showcase of public art set between Stratford and Greenwich.

You'll encounter not just one or two, but 12 spectacular sculptures.

Cool, right?

The artworks are a dynamic collection that changes regularly, featuring prominent artists as well as emerging talents.

Don't you just love when your daily walk turns into an art discovery?

But that's not all.

Ever heard of The High Line in New York City?

It's an urban park on an elevated rail line where you can enjoy ever-changing art installations.

It's like an open-air gallery in the sky!

No wonder it's a hit with both locals and tourists.

  • Fieldnotes: In Mississauga, public land artwork has been ingeniously integrated into the environment. The City’s Public Art division has curated an orchard with a twist—featuring various apple saplings, combining art, food, and community. It’s practical, it's pretty, and it’s public!
  • Bronze and Bold: Palm Coast's Central Park boasts an eye-catching 10-foot bronze sculpture, "Burro with Bird on Shoulder". It’s whimsical, it’s unexpected, and it’s just a taste of what’s to come in the city's outdoor gallery plan.


Well, all this is just a peek into the world of public art trails.

These trails not only decorate but also narrate a city's cultural saga, enriching your connection with your urban surroundings.

So, why not lace up your walking shoes and embark on an art trail near you?

It’s an artful way to get your steps in!

Functional Art

Have you ever sat on a bench that was more than just a place to rest?

That's the magic of functional art—it not only serves a purpose but also ignites imagination and conversation.

Take, for instance, the Artful Bike Racks project in Minneapolis.

Have you seen those whimsical bike racks around the city?

They're not your average metal loops but vibrant expressions of creativity, turning a simple utility into an eye-catching display.

What makes art functional?

Imagine art installations that double as something you use, like:

  • Benches that contour into abstract sculptures.
  • Bike racks that mimic local flora or fauna.

It's art with a twist of practicality!

And who said a playground has to be dull?

Even slides and swings can become sprawling canvases for artists, transforming an everyday park into an experiential gallery.

Ever thought about how these pieces come together?

Artists collaborate with urban planners to blend aesthetics with function, making sure these installations are more than just pretty—they're durable, safe, and meet the community's needs.

Why not inject a little fun into the mundane?

Next time you lock your bike to a fabulously over-sized fish or chill on a mosaic-adorned bench, you're not just using the city's amenities; you're part of a living, breathing art exhibit!

Remember, functional art isn't a modern fad.

From the ancient Egyptian-inspired lamp by Alberto & Diego Giacometti to the striking Angel of the North sculpture in England, these pieces tell stories and connect us to our spaces.

And guess what?

You're part of that narrative every time you interact with them.

So, next time you're out and about, keep an eye out for these functional masterpieces.

Who knows, maybe they'll inspire you to see your surroundings in a whole new light!

Floating Art

Have you ever imagined walking on water?

Not literally, of course, but through art, we can get pretty close to that miraculous feeling.

Taking a cue from projects like The Floating Piers by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, artists have embraced lakes, rivers, and even oceans as canvases for their creativity.

The duo transformed Italy’s Lake Iseo into a walkable waterway, delighting visitors with an unexpected stroll atop the waves.

Here's how floating art can make a splash:

  • It's visually impactful. Imagine the reflection of a colorful installation rippling with the water – it doubles the art!
  • Accessibility is key. These works invite you aboard for a closer look, unlike some distant sculptures.
  • It creates a dynamic relationship with nature, as each piece interacts with the elements, changing with the light and weather.

But how does one get started on this aquatic art adventure?

Start simple – a few anchored, waterproof sculptures will do the trick.

If you're feeling more ambitious, why not think about walkways like The Floating Piers?

They temporarily transformed the surface of Lake Iseo, allowing visitors to interact with the water in a whole new way.


  • The location is everything. Pick a body of water that complements your art.
  • Safety first! Ensure your floating artwork doesn't pose a hazard.
  • Prepare for the elements. Your art will need to withstand Mother Nature's moods.

Floating art isn't just about making a statement; it's about creating an experience that flows.

So, why not dive in?

Your next public art display could be the talk of the town, all while letting viewers see the world from a different perspective – gently bobbing along with the current.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

Read More About Brittany Melling