South Art Tour
The Southern Art Tour begins at city hall where art panels representing past, present, and future Fargo decorate 3 sides. Parking is available along the street, in the city hall lot, or at the Radisson ramp. The tour is roughly a 2 mile loop that takes an average of 40-60 minutes to complete. Along the way you'll pass by the Red River Market and Plains Art Museum --perfect places to detour and extend your time enjoying Downtown Fargo!
Navigate the tour and read about the artwork by clicking through the map legend. When artist interviews are available for a tour stop, it will be mentioned in the map description! Use the hashtags to support these awesome artists and this project!
Looking for a place to stop for a snack or a drink on the way? Check out this collection of Sweets and Sips!
The 12 art panels represent the past, present, and future of Fargo. The Red River, railroad, and agriculture are the central themes. Panels 4-8 which represent the present depict the shift of the city motto fro "Gateway to the West" to the "City of Parks."
In 2019 the Sodbuster Sculpture found a new home in Fargo’s civic plaza after being in storage for restoration for 17 years! Created by Luis Jimenez in 1977, it was originally located just east of the Northern Pacific railroad depot where it endured harsh exposure to the elements and the railroad. This sculpture is one of the oldest works of public art in Fargo, and one of the only pieces created by an artist outside of the region.
There is a constant live stream of the plaza on the City of Fargo website.
3) Art Alley Free Wall|2015
Open to all artists! Art Alley changes frequently, come back often to spot new works.
"Art Wall Rules:
Everyone is welcome to paint this wall
Respect the space - no garage doors, ground, or apts.
No obscenities or explicit imagery
This side of alley only - between the red lines
Pick up your trash
Take pictures - nothing lasts forever
You are on camera - violators will be prosecuted"
Marking the entrance to Downtown Fargo, the massive mural evokes thoughts of train car graffiti. When submitting his idea for the Greetings from Fargo mural, Steve Knutson had to create a scaled painting that was 7 inches tall and 80 inches wide, "which is a very odd size and difficult to create." Some of the projecting had to be done outside at night to accommodate the long size he told Kara Jeffers from Fargo Monthly.
For more info. on the NDSU Train Car, check out the NDSU Website.
This wet plate photograph was taken of climate activist Greta Thunberg in 2019 when she visited the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Artist Shane Balkowitsch has a studio in Bismarck, ND and several works decorating alleys there.
This mural was created as part of "Hip Hop Don't Stop," an event that occurred for several years and featured aerosol mural creation, hip hop music, singing, and dance. These pieces were created by a collection of artists and most do not exist anymore, such as the mural inspired by Kung Fu Panda in the video below. (Sound warning)
The Wildflower Mural was painted in conjuncture with the boulevard on the south side being planted with pollinator friendly flowers. Together the plantings and the mural work together to bring awareness to pollinators, and show how easy it is to give pollinators a little love, even in our urban spaces. Can you spot another coneflower painted on a nearby building?
8) House Sculpture | Dave $auvageau and Alison Buecksler
Advanced Sculpture students, Dave $auvageau and Alison Buecksler, designed and built this sculpture in response to annual spring flooding of the Red River. The artist statement reads "Every year the people of Fargo and Moorhead have to focus on the reoccurring flooding of the Red River. Preparation and planning become routine every spring. The image of the coffin shaped house symbolizes the effects and destruction of the flooding. Referencing an anchor and a buoy shows the viewer an understanding of being overcome by the flood. With the help of the anchor the house stays in the place where it belongs. The anchor amplifies the context of remaining sturdy, strong, and grounded throughout the entire flooding process."
Take some time to examine the collection of small sculptures, wrapped utility boxes, and the unique fire department in this area. The park across the street to the north, Triangle Park, is the smallest park in Fargo!
UPDATE: We are said to announce that this piece is no longer in physical existence.
Painted during a big dance party, this piece honors the Grateful Dead. This building has been scheduled for demolition several times, so snap some photographs while it still stands!
10) Center for Creativity Mural
Hosted by Plains Art Museum, this current installation was painted in 2020 by Pasteur Mudende. Entitled "No Time for Despair" the installation was inspired by the following quote by Toni Morrison. "This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal."
This piece is part of the exhibition "Be, Exist" which runs through October 2020. Admission to the Plains Art Museum to see this exhibition and the other collections is free.
11) Center for Creativity Sculpture
Hosted by Plains Art Museum this is a rotating sculpture and pollinator garden! The pollinator garden extends along the back of the museum and includes a painted water cistern for capturing and recycling water. The new sculpture is chosen through a competition where community members get the chance to vote on which submitted prototype they would like to see brought to life.
Along the Way...
Painted Bison Statues
Vinyl Wrapped Benches
Still looking for more art? The North Art Tour has an additional 10 unique art pieces! We also have a tour of works that are off the main path (you might want to drive) and a collection of retired murals to appreciate the art that has come and gone.
Photographs by Emily Hopfauf and DeAnna Hurley unless noted otherwise.