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  • Bloomington South Loop Public Art Itinerary

The Wright's Lake Park community mural.

Take a walking tour of Bloomington’s South Loop neighborhood, where public art projects are transforming the community.

Over the past several years, the City of Bloomington and Artistry’s Creative Placemaking initiative has brought over a dozen works of art into the South Loop area. The South Loop encompasses the southeastern corner of Bloomington, home to Mall of America, many hotels and businesses, and a growing number of full-time residents. The Creative Placemaking program aims to make the South Loop a vibrant and beautiful place to spend time by leveraging the distinct character and creativity of the community.

Locals and visitors alike can embark on a walking tour of the South Loop’s public art by following this itinerary! View a map of all itinerary stops here. If you follow the route exactly, you'll walk about five miles.

Stop 1: You’ll begin your tour at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, one of the only urban wildlife refuges in the country. Outside the refuge’s visitor center is a temporary art installation, “An Owl’s Perspective,” that was created by artist Gail Katz-James as a part of the Creative Spark program. Creative Spark artists applied and were approved for stipends from Creative Placemaking to create art or events in various locations around the South Loop. “An Owl’s Perspective” is a 3D sculpture of an owl that visitors can climb inside to get – you guessed it – the perspective of an owl.

Stop 2: Walk down the street from the Wildlife Refuge to Hyatt Regency Bloomington-Minneapolis’ on-site restaurant, Urbana Craeft Kitchen. The restaurant’s to-go market area offers breakfast items, snacks, and beverages to help you fuel up for a day of exploring. Take a stroll through Bloomington Central Park, then head west along the light rail route towards your next stop, "Convergence". On the way, you’ll see five of the area’s Artboxes, utility boxes that have been turned into objects of art. This grouping was designed by artist Erik Sletten.

Stop 3: The “Convergence” sculpture was one of the first works of art added to the South Loop in 2015. Designed by James Brenner, “Convergence” is located in the roundabout at Lindau Lane and 28th Avenue South. Brenner also played a hand in the beautiful landscaping that surrounds his sculpture.

Stop 4: Your next stop, the corner of 24th Avenue South and Lindau Lane, features two public art projects. The bronze and steel sculpture “Art Gate” by artist Alexander Tylevich is six feet tall and twenty feet long and features airplane details to represent the South Loop’s role as an international travel destination. Across from “Art Gate,” you’ll find another Artbox project, this one created by artist Olivia Novotny. While you're in the area, stop by AC Hotel Bloomington-Minneapolis for a cocktail at the bar - they're known for their delicious gin and tonic.

Stop 5: The next stop on the South Loop public art tour is the one and only Mall of America. The nation’s largest retail and entertainment center is known for its wide variety of shopping and fun, but MOA also houses several notable community art projects. Once you walk through the Mall’s north entrance, you’ll immediately see “Kaleidoscope,” a group of butterflies suspended from the Level 3 ceiling. Artist Christopher Lutter-Gardella created “Kaleidoscope” was entirely from recycled materials. It's displayed at Mall of America seasonally to welcome the coming of spring, and is scheduled to be on display through August 2020.

Stop 6: Make your way to Level 3 and Culinary on North to see a mural created by local duo SheShe. The mural’s beautiful blue flowers complement the adjacent “Kaleidoscope” art installation. After seeing the mural, spend some time exploring Mall of America and its 520+ stores, 50+ restaurants, and many attractions and fun things to do.

Stop 7: Exit Mall of America on the south side, near Radisson Blu Mall of America, and use the covered walkway to cross Killebrew Drive. Here you’ll find “Across the Universe,” a project by artist Tom Henry that can best be described as artistic landscaping. A blue stainless-steel reflective globe sits in the middle of an assortment of plants that are updated seasonally. “Across the Universe” was created with the Radisson Blu’s bees in mind – the insects forage from the plants and flowers in the landscaping project.

Stop 8: Walk eastward down Killebrew Drive (stopping to enjoy another Artbox on your way) then turn south on Old Shakopee Road. As you approach Bass Ponds and the border of the Wildlife Refuge, you’ll see the next stop on your tour: a beautiful mural created by artist Erik Pearson. The mural depicts the connections between science, technology, and nature, and was unveiled in 2015.

The easiest (and most scenic!) way to get back to your car at the visitors center is to walk through the Wildlife Refuge, so put on your athletic shoes and make sure you have enough water. During your roughly 2-mile walk, you’ll see some of the stunning wildlife that the refuge is known for. At times, it’s easy to forget that you’re in a bustling urban area.

Once you return to your car, it’s time for the driving portion of the South Loop art tour. Buckle up and drive down American Boulevard, then turn left on Old Shakopee. Follow the signs for the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge, the next stop on your tour.

Stop 9: The public art at the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge might not be obvious right away. That’s because it involves an augmented reality experience on your phone. Open up the Snapchat app, focus your camera on the snapcode, then press and hold. Now you’ll be able to view an AR experience created by Nancy Musinguzi and Adam Davis-McGee and inspired by the bridge’s history and surroundings. View selfie wings highlighting local birds and butterflies, flags representing the diversity of Bloomington, and more!

Stop 10: Hop back in your car and drive north on Old Cedar Avenue for the final stop on your tour. The Wright’s Lake Park community mural, located alongside Old Cedar Avenue and Wright’s Lake Park, was completed in 2019. Muralists from local organization GoodSpace designed the mural, and community members contributed at several painting parties held throughout the city.
An Owl's Perspective"An Owl's Perspective" sculpture.

Convergence 500x375The "Convergence" sculpture.

ArtboxAn Artbox in the South Loop.

Cedar Avenue Bridge 500wThe Cedar Avenue Bridge.

Now that you’ve experienced all the public art in the South Loop, enjoy the rest of your day in Bloomington! Learn more about our destination’s attractions, hotels, restaurants, and more, and contact us for assistance with trip planning and visiting Bloomington.