Public Art

Local Art
The following list of public art in the Missoula area was commissioned by the City of Missoula's Public Art Committee while other works are privately-owned.


Periodically the Public Art Committee seeks artists to design and construct artwork for public buildings and grounds. Follow the link to learn about art calls and to sign up to receive email notifications of future
art calls notifications.

The citizen volunteers who comprise the Missoula Public Art Committee have dedicated many volunteer hours so everyone who lives in Missoula, or visits, can enjoy and learn to appreciate the value of public art. Thank you Public Art Committee members! Check out their popular
traffic signal box artwork.

Arc of Life
Artist: Stuart Nakamura
Completed in 2010 in Rose Park.

Arc of Life pays homage to the firefighting and emergency services performed by the firefighters in the Missoula community with three art elements: stainless steel & granite interpretive centerpiece, a concrete pad with natural stone path and risers for engraved metal plates. Using the element of water as a symbol of life and sustenance, Arc of Life reaches into this aspect of tribute imagery to generate a remembrance of the act of saving lives. It is a place for healing, remembrance and praise. A Percent for Art Project.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

       

Brennan's Wave
Higgins Street Bridge

Named after world-class Missoula kayaker Brennan Guth, who died in Chile in 2001 pursuing his sport and passion. Sculpture, viewing and platform, and a whitewater feature in the Clark Fork River.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian


Buffalo Mural
H & H Meats, 1801 South Avenue W
Artist: John Collins
Completed in 2009

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye


Bull Trout
Greenough Park

Glass mosaic on rock with brass plaque. Mosaic artwork and project designed by Allissa Turtletaub. Supported by The Ecology Center, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Clark Fork Coalition, West Slope Trout Unlimited, Environmental Studies-University of Montana, Glass Concepts, Frederick M.R. Smith, Clayton DeVoe and Ellen Knight.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Candyland
403 N Higgins

Completed in 2007
Artist: Brad Allen

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Cattin' Around*
W. Main and Ryman

Sculpture adorning Central Park parking garage in the 100 block of W. Main St. Mike Hollern created this whimsical, ferrous cement depiction of a sprawled alley cat in 1991. Cattin' Around features a small puddle of water on the cat's back to create a birdbath.

City sponsored Public Art (Public/Private Partnership)

Photo courtesy of Missoulian


Changing Landscapes: A History of People and Food in Missoula Valley
1500 Burns Street, on Missoula's Westside.

This trio of murals created by Rachel Simons, Summer Nelson and Angelita Martinez illustrate the way food was gathered and distributed in the past and how our community has embraced these values again in the modern age. The murals were made possible by grants from the Matthew Hansen Endowment and the Missoula Office of Neighborhoods' Large Neighborhood Project Fund. The expressive theme ties into the missions of the project’s sponsoring organizations: the Missoula Community Food Co-op and the (soon to be) Boxcar Café—a project of the North Missoula Community Development Corporation.

Photo courtesy of Co-Op

Crossings*
N. Higgins

Sculpture located in front of the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot at the north end of Higgins Ave. Consisting of four large red X's, the sculpture is made of enamel on metal with concrete wing wall and platform set on a stone ballast. It represents railroad themes. Created by Taag Peterson in 1986, the X's relate to the tall trestles necessary for crossing mountain ravines.

City sponsored Public Art (Public/Private Partnership)

Photo courtesy of Missoulian


Downtown Flower Baskets
Designed by local artist Russell Smith, the Downtown Flower Baskets were created in two batches and hung in 1981 and 1985. Each of the 72 baskets are individually designed and crafted with a theme of their own. The Missoula Downtown Association hangs and waters the flowers throughout the summer months.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian


E. S. Paxson Murals
County Courthouse

Located inside the Missoula County Courthouse at 200 W. Broadway. Created between 1912 and 1914, these historical scenes were painted on canvas with oils.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

First Night Tiles
Grand and First

First Night Tile Project on the north side / west side Pedestrian Bridge near the Grand and First St. intersection. Created by children and adults who participated in the First Night Missoula Public Tile Project on New Year's Eve 1999, the theme features animals of all types.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

Garden City Tree of Life
Corner of Brooks and Higgins 2010
Kip Herring, artist

The tree of life is a positive affirmation along with bright colors and tributes to it's rivers, the University of Montana, Caras Park, the Memorial Rose Garden and more. It is a celebration of Missoula in the current day, a place we love to call home.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Heart of Missoula*
111 W. Broadway

Completed in December 2005, these sepia-toned historic paintings depict downtown Missoula of ages past. Painted by Hadley Ferguson on seven concrete panels, they were then attached to the wall to fill the 20' tall by 120' long space on the side of the Allegra Print and Imaging building.

Heart of Missoula Railroad
Heart of the City DowntownHeart of Missoula Garden City Brewery Heart of Missoula University


City sponsored Public Art (Public/Private Partnership)

Photos courtesy of Missoulian











Heart Institute Wall of 100 Hearts
St. Patrick Hospital, 500 W. Broadway

These heartfelt mosaics were made by the sixth grade classes of Washington Middle School, 2002. As inspiration for the patients, each heart was created by an individual student. Teachers Joni McNeil and Mary Gillhouse coordinated with art direction from Jayne Piazza.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

MFD Murals*
625 E. Pine

On the west side of the Missoula City Fire Station headquarters, at the corner of East Pine and Madison. Rudy Autio created this very colorful work, seven feet wide and eighteen feet tall with scenes relating to firefighting history, completed in 1995.

A group representing the neighborhood, the Fire Department, and the Public Art Committee chose him from among the other contestants.

A bell honoring Benjamin Franklin, father of the volunteer firefighting tradition, tops the historic theme of firefighting symbols and historical paraphernalia.

City sponsored Public Art (Public/Private Partnership)

Photo courtesy of Missoulian


Mountain Heir
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; 5705 Grant Creek Road

Bronze elk sculpture donated by artist Danny D. Edwards in 1994

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Missoula Mosaic
Missoula Airport

Mosaics were created as a collaboration with public and private school classes ranging from kindergarten to high school seniors with historical references from the Historic Museum at the Fort, 2000. Coordinated by teachers Joni McNeil and Mary Gillhouse, with art direction from Jayne Piazza.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

Mountain Line Transfer Center Mural
Between the Missoula County Courthouse and City Hall

200 tiles decorated with animals, flowers, and other symbols to represent the natural heritage of Montana. Created in April 2000 by Missoula County Public School students with the help of their art instructors Katherine Lynch, Jackie Alford, Carla Getz, Susanne Woyciechowicz, and local artist Dana Boussard.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

Mountain Waters*
This design by James Todd on the exterior of the Currents Aquatic Center at McCormick Park is A Percent for Art Project. The City of Missoula Public Art Committee commissioned Missoula artist James Todd to create a design to be sandblasted on the exterior of the Currents Aquatic Center. Todd's "Mountain Waters" design features motifs of Northwestern wildlife amidst cascading waters. The design was sandblasted by Nash Enterprises Inc. of Missoula. Completed 2008.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Muffler Cowboy and Friends
1935 Brooks, Muffler Bandit

Created by Rory Stone, © 1985.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Orange Street Underpass
Created in 2010 by the Orange Street Mural Group. By Michael Parker and UM students with much community effort.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Over the Top
5705 Grant Creek Road

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. A bulging seven-point bull elk sculpture donated by artist Danny D. Edwards in 1994. It is finished in a variety of patinas and sits on a brick base.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Peace Works
519 S. Higgins

Created by area high school students Peter Bradstock, Sarah Jackson, Amanda Keeland, Brittany Kirkland, Sarah Logan, Yuki Sugimoto, and Tara Westle with artist Amie Thurber in the summer of 2000. A mural celebrating diversity with a colorful, festive atmosphere, Peace Works is located at the rear entrance of the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Ponder by Mary Iverson
City Council - 140 W Pine Street
2007

This painting is designed to honor and inspire those who participate in the legislative process. The title of the piece, Ponder, refers to the creative and analytical energy that goes into the crafting of public policy. In addition to the deeper meaning behind the piece, its simple design can be appreciated by anyone for its color and its sense of fun. Ponder was funded by A Percent for Art Program.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Proper Shoppers*
Mountain Line Transfer Center

Installed in 2002, the solid bronze sculpture of a stylized grandmother and her favorite grandchild was created by Missoula artist Tom Rippon, a ceramics professor at UM.

City sponsored Public Art (Public/Private Partnership)

Photo courtesy of Missoulian


Returnings*
Higgins Bridge

Sculpture on the east side of the Higgins St. Bridge, just north of the Clark Fork River. Take the stairs down to the park to view these three nine-foot long forged and welded steel fish twisting among the boulders. Created by Jeffrey Funk in 1989, they are a favorite with children.

City sponsored Public Art (Public/Private Partnership)

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

River Bridge
Artist: Brad Allen 2009. Mobash Skate Park Bike Rack. A Percent for Art Project.

Rounded Out
5210 Grant Creek Road

Mackenzie River Pizza. Found object metal sculpture of a Grizzly Bear. Created in 2005 by Kirsten Kainz.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Scenic Mural
617 S. Higgins

Mural on the north wall of the Boys and Girls Club / Higgins Hall near the Holiday Gas Station at the southwest corner of S. Higgins and Fourth. The Mural features a giant bald eagle, mountain peaks, and a flowing stream. It is said to have been designed by an artist and painted by children.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Scenic Mural
322 N. Higgins

Mural on the east side of the Army Navy Economy Store. A painting of scenic mountains and rivers created by John Carlon in 1996.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Studebaker*
216 W. Main

Mural on the side of the Studebaker Building at 216 W. Main St. Created by noted local artist Stan Hughes in 2000, the work pays tribute to the historical background of the Studebaker Building and the heart of the Gasoline Alley historic area, which evolved on W. Main St. in the early 1900s.

City sponsored Public Art (Public/Private Partnership)

Photo courtesy of Missoulian


The Wave*
This 100' long sculpture doubles as a bicycle rack for Splash Montana. A series of 25 pipe forms, which are powder-coated a brilliant water blue, increase in height from 3' to 10', forming a wave shape. Local artist Justin Anthony completed this Missoula Public Art Committee Percent for Art Project in 2007.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

Traffic Signal Boxes
The Traffic Signal Box Art Project was designed to enhance Missoula by adding works of art to streetscape on surfaces that are often targeted by graffiti vandals. The goal of the project is use local traffic signal boxes as "canvases". It enhanced the visual surroundings as well as provided a deterrent to damage and graffiti.

The Traffic Signal Box project was and continues to be a collaboration between the City of Missoula, the Montana Department of Transportation, the Business Improvement District, local businesses and individuals.

See more traffic signal box art

Tube Sculpture at Fort Missoula
Russell Smith created this four-foot diameter curved cylinder that has been a favorite with children since 1982. The walls feature a light decorative tracery of cutout design.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

Untitled Mural
337 N Higgins

Mural on the north and east sides, second story, of the Oxford. John Carlon painted these figures in 1997 on Plexiglas to fill real windows.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye


Untitled Mural
Clay St. / Holiday Inn

Mural in Bess Reed Park on the south end of Clay St. Volunteers and children of Big Brothers and Sisters painted this vibrant and humorous mural in 1997.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Untitled Mural
YWCA Building at 1130 W. Broadway

A beautiful tribute to the courage and transformation of women, the mural was designed and produced in 2000 by area high school students Amanda Keeland, Melissa McNay, Carla Rothenbuecher, AC Rothenbuecher, and Rachel Bailey, with artist Amie Thurber.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Untitled Mural
United Way of Missoula County Building, 534 N Higgins Avenue

The mural depicts the kinds of volunteers that are involved with the annual Day of Caring - a day where large teams of volunteers get out in the community and complete projects at local charities. The people depicted are a gardener, a person holding a child, an adult and a child reading together and a loving family. The mural is painted by local artist Kim Anderson.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Untitled Mural
Corner of 5th and Oak

Remembering where “things” come from is important. The students at Willard Alternative High School created a Mosaic for the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Union on the 1000th block of S. 5th Street West. The essence of the 5 panel work is appreciating and understanding where water comes from and how essential it is for our community and human existence. One of Willard’s Mission’s is to connect and give back to our community and neighborhood. The mosaics essentially were are collaboration with the Plumber & Pipe Fitters Union to thank them for respecting and treating our students with compassion and with Contractor/Wood Worker Tyson Miller who taught basic woodworking skills to our students. Completed 2011.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Untitled Sculpture
2300 W. Broadway

A life-sized buffalo, created by Billy Clark in 1986, composed of 1000 horseshoes and scrap metal. It is a monument to the demise of the bison. The effect of the open technique is light and airy, in contrast to the size and weight of the piece and the animal depicted.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Veteran's Memorial
County Courthouse

Honoring veterans of WWI and WWII. Located at the southeast corner of the Missoula County Courthouse lawn, on the corner of Broadway and Ryman, this cast bronze sculpture of a First World Way soldier was created by J. Pauling in 1921. A 1927 plaque lists WWI veterans and a 1948 plaque lists WWII Veterans. It is very similar, to, but distinct from, the widely dispersed piece by E. M. Visquesney entitled "Spirit of the American Doughboy".

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye

Veteran's Memorial
Rose Park on 700 Brooks Avenue

The American Rose Society, as a memorial to WWII casualties, established the Memorial Rose Garden in 1947. In 1988, a heroic-sized bronze sculpture of a winged male figure lifting a young soldier from the earth, created by Deborah Coperhaven, was installed, honoring Vietnam veterans. Seven bronze plaques list the names of Montana Vietnam veterans. A marble plaque at the base of the sculpture reads, "Together we flew to battle, Hearts and blades pounding, Sharing the fear and pain...Parted yet together, We faced the unknown. You Death, I the future." - Tom Crosser, 1988

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

Wagon Wheel
515 S. Higgins

Wagon wheel mural on the north wall of Big Sky Embroidery Store on the southeast corner of Higgins and Fourth. Artist unknown.

Photo courtesy of Liz Dye


Walter Hook Series*
140 W. Pine

Located inside the Council Chambers. Painted in 1984 - 1985 by Missoula artist Walter Hook, the series of four oils was purchased with the Bill Cregg Memorial Fund. 

Photos courtesy of Liz Dye




217 Tremont
St. Anthony's Catholic Church, east wall

A 30' by 5' bas-relief of St. Anthony and the Christ Child, created by Rudy Autio in 1963. The colors are soft with a lead glaze overall.

Photo courtesy of Missoulian

*City-sponsored public art