Hop in! We’re going on a public art tour.
Thursday, March 19, 2020 12:00 AM by Helen Dennis
Load up the car, it’s time to explore the Columbia SC public art. While many museums and attractions have temporarily closed their doors to the public, you don’t have to take a break from the art and culture around town. We’ve crafted a few public art driving tours of Columbia SC featuring art that you can see from a parking lot or road. Learn more about each piece along the tour with the help of One Columbia’s Public Art Map.
What better place to start your sculpture hunt than with the Hello Goodbye Statue that welcomes people to the Real Southern Hot Spot? Find this piece as you come into town at the intersection of Elmwood and Assembly.
Follow Assembly Street down to Boyd Plaza. Just outside the Columbia Museum of Art peep a collection of statues including Apollo's Cascade.
Just across the street look up and you’ll find Never Bust, a chain connecting two historic buildings.
From there we’re headed to Five Points, but not without a drive by the world’s largest fire hydrant, Busted Plug! This 4-story high piece has been a Columbia SC icon since 2001.
In Five Points you’ll find the Hootie and the Blowfish Memorial, commemorating the band that started here at the University of South Carolina. Also in Five Points, peep one of the city’s newest sculptures, the Hubble.
Columbia SC has just what you need to brighten up your day: murals! Let’s start across the river in Cayce with Paint the Town. Moving on to the Interactive Art Park in West Columbia, there’s a new mural at Art on State. Just remember, now is a time to look and not touch.
Follow Gervais Street until you get to the Vista where you’ll find Lady Vista waiting to greet you. Also on Gervais, pause to check out Windows to the Soul, a vibrant work of art that looks towards Main Street.
In the Main Street District, check out Milagros and Tokamak. Continue over to South Main Street where you’ll find Bear Ears/Solar Eclipse Mural and the imaginative Aaron Graves Tribute Mural on the sides of locally owned restaurants.
You can’t miss the Five Points Postcard Mural, featuring Columbia SC icons.
If you’ve got the time (and gas) drive out to Candi Ln, along the Saluda River see Saluda in Bloom, a bright piece encouraging visitors to care for our rivers. You’ll find plenty more murals as you take a drive up North Main. Grow Together and Growing Together are a colorful and playful pair of murals you’ll find up this way.
Get in a history lesson with your driving art tour. For this drive, we’re hitting up the Vista and Five Points. Recently listed as Columbia SC's most iconic landmark by COLAToday, drive by Adluh. This milling company has been a staple in town since 1900 and it towers over the Vista, defining the Columbia SC skyline.
Next head to the Generations mural on Park Street. This piece consists of four murals that tell the story of Columbia SC’s growth. From there, take your drive down to Home Team BBQ in Five Points. Along the side of this building, you’ll find a piece called Five Points – 1948. Though the mural was painted in 1990, the image shows what Columbia’s original village neighborhood looked like in 1948.