Art installations, such as sculpture parks or murals, are visual art creations made for indoor or outdoor spaces in public. Checking out this kind of public art is a great way to spend the day with your family or friends, and our Crème de la Crème team is here to help you figure out where to find art installations in the McKinney area.

Nasher Sculpture Center

A lineup of sculptures at Nasher Sculpture Center near McKinney, TX

Lineup by jwbreede is licensed with CC BY 2.0

If you’re looking for indoor and outdoor exhibits, visit the Nasher Sculpture Center at 2001 Flora St. in nearby Dallas. They have a sculpture garden on site, with work by renowned artists including Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Joan Miró, Willem de Kooning, Henry Moore, and other modern and contemporary artists. There’s even a sculpture that doubles as seating in the garden known as Schist Furniture Group (Settee with Two Chairs) by Scott Burton.

They’ve also created Nasher Public, a public art initiative in northern Texas that provides free community art access. Locations for the public art exhibits can be found at Nasher Public, with museum and sculpture garden hours Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“McKinney Silo Mural Project”

For a truly unique art installation, the “McKinney Silo Mural Project” by Guido van Helton is a must-see. Located at 406 E. Virginia St., this installation uses 100-foot-tall historic concrete silos and the grain elevator as its canvas. The cement surfaces of the structures are painted with a huge photo-realistic mural of people who reflect the local population. Internationally acclaimed Australian artist Guido van Helten takes his inspiration from the local communities where he creates his art. His public art installations creatively support neighborhood history, local culture, and regional identity.

“Monarchs of McKinney”

“Monarchs of McKinney” is a public art installation of eight oversized, steel monarch butterfly sculptures painted by McKinney artists Melissa Patrello, Lynne Hubner, Denise Kendrick, Kim Guthrie, Anne Royer, Carolyn Funk, Stuti Mehta, and the Meditative Mandala Group. Beyond beautifying the Historic Downtown McKinney Cultural District, the sculptures were created to educate the public on how important the monarch butterfly is to the local and national ecosystem.

The sculptures were also created in conjunction with the McKinney Monarch Initiative, which is dedicated to supporting monarch butterflies and other pollinators. These species are in decline, and the initiative is helping raise awareness and educate McKinney residents on what to plant to attract pollinators so their numbers can thrive again. The butterfly sculptures have been placed throughout the downtown area, with specific locations listed on the “Monarchs of McKinney” page.

“McKinney Blooms”

“McKinney Blooms” is a mosaic created by artist Reginald Adams made up of 441 square feet of glass tiles and 1,100 square feet of paint resembling magnolias in an abstract style. The artist chose this floral design since magnolias are a popular flower in McKinney. You can see this free public art piece on the south-facing wall of the parking garage at Chestnut Commons, located at 301 E. Virginia St.

Benji Statue

The Benji statue went up in historic downtown McKinney in February 2023 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movie “Benji,” which was about a lovable scruffy dog. The outdoor portions of the movie were largely filmed in downtown McKinney, so the film holds a special place in the hearts of residents. The statue was created by the nationally recognized artist and sculptor Susan Norris. You can view the statue at the southeast corner of Virginia and Tennessee streets in Downtown McKinney.

Roy and Helen Hall Memorial Library

The Roy and Helen Hall Memorial Library, found at 101 E. Hunt St., is home to the Oh, the Places You’ll Go sculpture, located on a bench outside on the south side of the library. This metal statue was created in 2004 by an unknown artist and depicts a man and a child reading a book together while sitting on the bench. It’s a lovely piece that reflects the joy of reading and can be viewed anytime, even when the library is closed.

While at the library, step inside and see another piece of public art, Beyond Imaginings, a copper wall sculpture created by Chris Guidry in 2008. The sculpture uses 14 pieces of copper that have been shaped to resemble the pages of a book, falling into a book of copper. The sculpture hangs near the mantle of the fireplace in the library, and you can view it during library hours Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Cadillac Pizza Mural

Created in 2016, this was one of the first significant pieces of public art that went up in McKinney. The Cadillac Pizza mural is located on the south wall of Cadillac Pizza Pub at 112 S. Kentucky St. This mural was planned for three years and took local artist Misty Oliver-Foster two months to paint.

The finished mural is 39 feet wide and uses an art nouveau style to celebrate the city’s cotton industry, fine dining, and entertainment. The pub has outdoor patio seating with bright, cheerful umbrellas, so you can view the mural while enjoying a slice of pizza. This mural paved the way for other murals and public art pieces, which started popping up around McKinney in alleyways and pass-through areas.

Wisdom and The Watchdog

Wisdom is a limestone sculpture created in 2015 by artist Jake Dobscha in front of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce. The sculpture is of an owl with a plaque on the ground in front of it with a quote by Albert Einstein: “Wisdom is not a product of schooling, but of a lifelong attempt to acquire it.” Jake Dobscha has also created another public art piece in McKinney, The Watchdog. This limestone sculpture depicts a shaggy sheepdog, with one eye open, keeping an eye on the city of McKinney at 230 E. Hunt St.

Our Crème de la Crème of McKinney team hopes this list provides a good starting point to explore some of our public art. We invite you to check out this map of McKinney Public Art for even more free art around the city to enjoy with your family and friends.