If you’re an art lover who likes to peruse outdoor artwork, Maple Grove, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas have ample offerings to fire up your imagination and set you free to dream of things outside of the ordinary and every day. You can enjoy the great outdoors and see some stunning artwork. Here are some of the best outdoor spots to get your art on.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Photo of an artistic sculpture taken at Minneapolis Sculpture Park.
Image via Flickr by Dougtone Licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features pieces from Walker Art Center’s renowned modern and contemporary art collections in an urban park setting. This sculpture garden is located at 725 Vineland Place and is home to more than forty outdoor sculptures, showcasing work from artists from ten different countries worldwide. Admission is free and requires no tickets. The park is open 365 days a year from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Maple Grove Arts Center’s Art Fair

The Arbor Lakes Art Fair is part of Maple Grove Day’s city-wide event. This celebration includes a medallion hunt, a parade, various activities, and entertainment for young and old alike, with kids provided an art goodie bags and the opportunity to enjoy the on-site face painting.

The Maple Grove Arts Center’s Art Fair features work from over 30 local fine artists and artisans. Stroll through the outdoor market, hunting for treasures, including ceramics, leather goods, paintings, jewelry, glass, photography, and fiber art. Artists will be on-site and happy to share their exceptional work with you. When you’re tuckered out from walking and shopping, stop by the restaurants and cafes at The Shoppes for some food and refreshments.

This event will be held Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, July 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Shoppes on Elm Creek Boulevard in Maple Grove.

Creative Placemaking

Creative Placemaking is the term for an emerging field of art that’s focused on working to build distinctive, vibrant, and sustainable communities through the arts. It engages both artists and the general public in the community and surrounding areas by contributing to the local economies, building, and expanding the social fabric. Artistry pursues this mission by making physical, local site-based improvements via working off the distinct characteristics, cultural resources, and creative energy of each place where the art is installed.

Creative Placemaking is a public art project, outdoor art, installations around the city, and on-site at Artistry. They have recently launched artistic initiatives in the South Loop, Civic Plaza, and Penn America/Fresh Thyme. There’s no admission fee, as art is public and can be viewed anytime. Artistry also has an in-house theater with different shows offered year-round; check the website for current offerings.

Artistry has specific hours for visiting their interior exhibits for their permanent and rotating collections. Artistry gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. You’ll find Artistry at 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road in Bloomington.

Minnesota Marine Art Museum

This unique museum focused on Marine art is located on the banks of the Mississippi River. The Minnesota Marine Art Museum houses six galleries, educational and event space, and a gift shop on its seven-acre riverside campus. You can stroll the grounds, walk down to the riverbank, and watch the river flow.

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum’s contribution to outdoor art is in its gorgeous 3.5-acre garden. This garden is sometimes referred to as their seventh gallery because the outdoor space around the museum building was intentionally and meticulously designed. The garden boasts more than 60,000 plants, shrubs, grasses, and trees and has been a boon for local wildlife that now makes its home there. The garden was designed in the American Prairie Style by an exceptional crew at local landscape company Sundance Grasses and Perennials.

You can visit the Minnesota Marine Art Museum Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. The museum and garden are located at 800 Riverview Drive in Winona.

Minneapolis Institute of Art

A short drive away from Maple Grove is the wealth of community art sponsored by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Power of Vision Mural Project (POV) is an annual mural program founded in 2004 as a part of Hope Community’s community place and building-keeping projects. Since then, they’ve painted over 25 murals through collaboration in South Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Institute of Art partnered with the POV project in 2014 to expand the reach of its public art offerings. These murals beautify the locals where they’re painted, add to community pride, and reflect the heritage and culture of the artists who paint them. This is not the only mural program sponsored by the Minneapolis Museum of Art. They have youth programs and other community outreaches as well. The public murals may be viewed at any time, and for specific locations of murals, please check their website. You’ll find the Minnesota Institute of Art at 2400 Third Avenue South in Minneapolis.

Maple Grove Historical Preservation Society

Come to the Maple Grove History Museum to see the restored Pierre Bottineau House, complete with an ox cart replica, ephemera, and all kinds of antiques culled from the history of Maple Grove. This museum was the brainchild of local citizens who formed The Maple Grove Historical Preservation Society. As the area started to expand in the mid-1990s rapidly, these concerned citizens set about preserving some of the area’s history before it was gone.

The Maple Grove History Museum was born of a desire to learn about the past and preserve memories, places, and artifacts for current and future generations. It’s located at 9030 Forestview Lane N. in Maple Grove.

Art can be seen in many places, including all around us in various art installations in our cities and towns. Take time to venture out and enjoy the beauty of these and other art projects in and around Maple Grove. If you have a favorite we missed, reach out to the Creme de la Creme team so we can share other art installations with our childcare families.