Take a walk through downtown Missoula and you will find many different public art displays from the new art park (opening spring 2017) to sculptures that embody the quirkiness of Missoula, and the love of the great outdoors from Montanans. Missoula’s alleys are covered in murals showcasing Missoula’s history, landmarks and the University of Montana. These murals are a collaboration between the Missoula Public Art Committee and the Missoula Redevelopment Agency.
Many artists who share their work outdoors also show their latest pieces in our numerous galleries. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Hadley Ferguson: The Heart of Missoula Murals
This seven-mural project depicting Missoula in the early 1900’s can be found on the corner of Higgins and Broadway in downtown Missoula. You can find more of Hadley Ferguson’s work at the Radius Art Gallery any time of year.
2. Stephanie Frostad: Murals Inspired by Nature
These colorful murals can be found on the Riverfront Trail, Bitterroot Spur and at the Montana Natural History Center. Frostad frequently works with youth in the community to complete these large colorful nature-inspired pieces. You may also find her work rotating through indoor galleries throughout Missoula.
3. Russel Smith Jr.: Downtown Flower Baskets
Sure, Montana is known for its expansive blue skies, but take a walk in downtown Missoula and you’ll find even more color up above. Russell Smith Jr.’s intricately designed flower baskets aren’t just pretty—they’re recycled too! Hand-cut from 55 gallon drums in the 1970’s each basket is truly one of a kind. While you may not find much of his work indoors, you can find one of his larger installations year-round at Fort Missoula.
4. Rudy Autio: Firestation Relief
Written by Rio Harris