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.

Lupe the Mammoth, San Jose

The City of San Jose has won awards for its public art and one of the newest and most popular is a silvery bent pipe sculpture of a full grown mammoth. Installed on the Guadalupe River Trail in 2015, it also marks the spot where, ten years before, the bones of a 12,500 year real mammoth were discovered. This sculpture of the prehistoric mammal, nicknamed Lupe, was designed by LA artists, Feyja Bardell and Brian Howe. Make it the perfect blend of art and science by heading over to the nearby Children's Discovery Museum which is home to a model of the original skeleton of one of Silicon Valley's earliest residents.

Guadalupe River Trail,
San Jose, Ca

Photo credit: Yvonne Williams via City of San Jose

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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