Museums Without Walls: Public Art to See for Free

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The Bay Area is home to some world-class art, some of it housed in big name institutions. But you don’t necessarily have to fork out any entrance fees to get your culture fix with the kids. Over the years millions of dollars have been spent on public art, executed by both international artists and critically acclaimed home grown talent. Think Richard Serra, Diego Rivera and Leo Villareal to name a few. It’s kid-friendly, free and just waiting to be discovered. Click through for the best of the Bay Area’s public art for pint-sized patrons.


This glowing orb is best seen once the sun goes down, when in all its colorful glory. It is made of 4,500 LED nodes arranged along a series of pentagons and hexagons, and is animated by custom software programmed to display over 16 million distinct colors. If you think it looks right at home against the backdrop of the flickering Bay Lights, that's because it's by the same artist, Leo Villerreal. It's technically part of the Exploratorium's many super-cool exhibits, and that's just where you can find it through February 2018.

Embarcadero and Green Sts. at Pier 15

Photo courtesy of Leo Villareal

What is your favorite piece of public art? Let us know in the comments below.

–Erin Feher, Emily Myers and Garrick Ramirez

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