A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

For a printable checklist of these outdoor art installations, click here. Western   Asheville Don’t be fooled by its size — within the River Arts District’s two square miles, you’ll

Madison County Championship Rodeo

For a printable checklist of these outdoor art installations, click here. Western   Asheville Don’t be fooled by its size — within the River Arts District’s two square miles, you’ll

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

For a printable checklist of these outdoor art installations, click here. Western   Asheville Don’t be fooled by its size — within the River Arts District’s two square miles, you’ll

11 Spots to See Incredible Outdoor Art

For a printable checklist of these outdoor art installations, click here.


Western

 

Asheville

Don’t be fooled by its size — within the River Arts District’s two square miles, you’ll find more than 165 artists and crafters at work. Make sure you take a look at the buildings themselves, too: Huge, colorful murals have turned the neighborhood into an outdoor museum.

Boone

Whether you’re partial to an outdoor sculpture tour, featuring Daniel Boone, Doc Watson, and Appalachian State’s Yosef, among others, or you enjoy mountain-themed murals splashed across the city, Boone has a range of artistic adventures to choose from.

Lenoir

This charming town takes pride in its artistic culture. There’s plenty to see, but we’ve got your first stop covered: Walk through more than 40 works on display at the Western North Carolina Sculpture Center.

West Jefferson

Explore downtown to see 18 striking murals that display the skills of local, regional, and national artists and help capture slices of the town’s history.


Central

 

Charlotte

From South End’s wall of confetti hearts to the surreal murals of NoDa to the unforgettable sculptures in Uptown — “Disco Chicken,” anyone? — Charlotte has no shortage of artistic selfie spots.

Durham

Beneath the historic Lucky Strike smokestack in the American Tobacco District are modern murals reinvigorating the remnants of a once-booming industry — many of which pay tribute to that history.

Greensboro

Bring a picnic to LeBauer Park and look up. Thirty-five miles of fibers make up the colorful Where We Met sculpture, which hangs above visitors and casts a magical glow over the park at night.

Raleigh

Take a stroll through the sculpture garden at the North Carolina Museum of Art, or head downtown: Our capital is bursting with colorful murals around every corner. On the side of Trophy Brewing Company, check out Morgan Street Jazz Monsters of NC, which pays homage to iconic native musicians — and makes for a pretty great photo op.


Eastern

 

Kinston

Intersections, the 23-foot-wide glass sculpture in Kinston Music Park downtown, is a must- see. Part of North Carolina’s African American Music Trail, the park celebrates Kinston’s musical heritage through engraved song lyrics and tile mosaics depicting local musicians.

Wilmington

Marvel at sculptures in Cameron Art Museum’s Art Park, then find the mural at the corner of Second and Princess streets and pose for a photo. It’s the unofficial postcard for Wilmington.

Wilson

“Artsy Alleys” add pops of color to downtown, while Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park adds sound: In 1984, Wilson folk artist Simpson began collecting scraps of farm machinery and creating the lively sculptures that whirl and clatter and spin through the air.

This story was published on Mar 16, 2021

Katie Kane

Katie Kane is the editorial assistant at Our State.