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

HeartofMissoulamural

 

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

Stephanie Frostad Mural

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

Missoula Public Art

 

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

firestationmural
Take a stroll down East Pine Street toward Madison (arguable one of the Missoula’s best places to find fall colors) to find this incredible 7 x18 foot ceramic masterpiece on the Missoula City Fire Station headquarters. Often mistaken for a stained-glass window, the mosaic depicting the history of firefighting took fifty-two kilns and 5 1/2  months to complete. Find the Lela and Rudy Autio Family Collection showing at the Missoula Art Museum through June 2017.

 

Written by Rio Harris