Public art is a fantastic way to beautify a city while honoring local culture. Plano’s sculptures and murals showcase many artists and their vision of the world. Viewing these works with your children gives them an opportunity to learn to appreciate art. There are many ways to support the booming Plano art scene, and thankfully there are loads of places near home to nurture your family’s love of art. There’s something to see for all ages.
Downtown Plano Arts District
Your family can celebrate Texas art and culture all around the city. Plano made a name for itself in the creative community with the addition of 10 new pieces. These public art examples grace the downtown Plano Arts District and give the city’s a colorful new look that represents our past.
The City and the Plano Art Association partnered to launch the Downtown Mural Project in 2017. The goal of this collaboration was to use visual elements to celebrate local history. Officials asked residents to submit historical photos of the area for artists to use in their mural designs.
Plano Art Walk is the brainchild of Leadership Plano Class 37 and the Plano Arts Coalition. Take a free self-guided tour of notable installations, historic sites, and cultural landmarks scattered around downtown. Even your toddlers will enjoy the walk, as you can wander from site to site while they relax in a stroller or tag along on a tricycle. Some installations even offer interactive features that further enhance the experience, and you can download a guide and map online.
Colorado artist Joshua Wiener created the seven unique sculptures that sit along 15th Street between Central Expressway and G Avenue. Each one depicts a distinct element of Plano’s blossoming arts scene. They welcome visitors to the city center and the District.
Georgia’s Farmers Market
Our second destination is the colorful mural at Georgia’s Farmers Market on East 15th Street. Located on the building’s west-facing wall, this pick celebrates Plano with elements from the city’s rich past. Artist Will Heron used five columns to direct the viewer’s focus to photos submitted by residents earlier in the year. These images portray our historical area, including a cactus, windmill, cotton, water tower, and train.
Heron completed the art installation in July 2017, and you can see it at this family-owned produce stand. Pick up some homegrown goodies like locally made jams, salsa, and homemade tamales while you’re there. They carry seasonal organic strawberries, bedding plants, and unusual fruits like pineberries and golden dragon fruit.
The next stop on our tour of Plano’s public art is Vickery Park by the DART station. This restaurant, also in the Arts District on East 15th Street, features an incredible mural. Wes Hardin painted this bustling downtown streetscape. It depicts commerce in Plano around the turn of the 20th century, with citizens casually going about their day in front of a magnificent Texas sunset.
Hardin featured Texas’ famous electric railway car, along with various Plano storefronts and buildings. This 37-year veteran is a master muralist and illustrator. He completed the piece in September 2017, thanks to photos submitted by local families.
Stick around and order something from the menu. It’s filled with delicious casual American eats like soup, salads, sandwiches, and pizza. Its chefs even serve up an authentic rendition of bangers and mash as well as a chipotle Alfredo pasta dish. Owners stocked the bar with an excellent selection of craft brews, including some of the local, regional, and national beers around. The kids will love the shuffleboard and foosball table, and parents can teach them to throw darts.
Avenue K and 15th Street
Our next pick is the large-scale 3D mural Echowave by artist Milan Bender. Bender designed this installation as part of the Downtown Mural Project. Installers erected the piece in December 2017, and you and your kids can find it on the southwest corner of Avenue K and 15th Street against the brick building.
Echowave features a row of metal “sound waves” separating the colorful letters in “Plano.” This project also touts audio components. Four audio segments depict a historical event from Plano’s past with narration by experts that include Mayor Harry LaRosiliere and Plano Fire Chief Sam Grief. The sound waves share the stories of:
- Plano’s name and origins.
- Founding the fire department.
- Business and commerce.
- Plano’s railroad heritage.
Hirsch’s Meat Market
Hirsch’s Meat Market on West Parker Road is the place to stroll by near a holiday. It touts painted windows featuring eye-catching scenes commemorating various occasions, like Memorial Day. These paintings are terrific marketing tools for this family-owned Plano business, as the work of their commission muralist certainly attracts plenty of attention.
Celebrate the event and go inside. This old-fashioned butcher shop has been offering families custom cuts of prime and choice meats, sausages made in-house, seafood, and deli items since 1992. It’s racked up so many awards over the years that they cover the wall.
Visit Baccus Plaza within the sprawling Shops at Legacy. It’s a terrific free thing to do in Plano, and you can spot art installations while you’re there. Texas native Robert Summers created the Trails In Legacy sculptures. The work depicts a Shawnee Trail cattle drive, one of Texas’ infamous longhorn routes that ranchers used during the Civil War era.
These life-size steers aren’t the only historical attraction at this upscale retail center. Baccus Cemetery also sits within the plaza. It contains the final resting place of some of North Texas’ earliest pioneers, including Daniel Cook, who inhabit the earliest known marked grave site in the city.ee
So, there you have it. Crème de la Crème of Plano just told you where you can find art installations in the area. Did you like our destinations? Did we miss a favorite stop of yours — one Texas art lovers will appreciate? If we did, let us know! Drop us a line so we can add your places to our guide.