Park City, Utah is no stranger to crowds of tourists weaving their way through the streets, buildings, and outdoor trails. Similarly, it is not uncommon for a Park City realtor to entertain inquiries about moving to and living in Park City.
Park City is well-known both as a summer and a winter destination. Whether it’s for skiing down the mountains or enjoying a glass of wine on Main Street, people are excitedly flocking to the city.
However, these exciting activities are not the only ones that draw in big crowds.
A Rich Variety of Art and Culture
More laid-back tourists and artsy locals find peace, quiet, and inspiration in the city’s thriving art scene and creative community. People who come to Park City to enjoy its outdoor activities are taken by surprise upon seeing the city’s eye-catching public art, many galleries, and strong cultural community.
The peaceful and uplifting atmosphere around the historic old town is a welcome respite after exploring the mountains and rivers. With its seemingly endless museums, eclectic public art, and renowned Kimball Arts Festival, Park City has so much more beauty to offer aside from its surrounding wilderness.
From Labor of Love to a National Festival
We can’t talk about Park City’s bustling art and culture community without mentioning the Kimball Arts Festival. Fifty-two years ago, when the city was less developed, tourists hardly had any reason to visit outside the winter months. A volunteer group of local artists changed that with the Kimball Arts Festival.
Initially called the Park City Arts Festival, the event showcased local artists and brought in countless visitors. By its 10-year anniversary, the festival needed more than a volunteer group to manage the event’s broadening scope of responsibilities.
Summertime Art Showcase
The Kimball Arts Festival is an annual event held on the historic Main Street every first full weekend of August. This year, it will be held from August 6 to August 8, 2021.
For a minimal admission fee of $10 for adults, you can browse through a plethora of creative works, jury-selected visual arts pieces, and much more. Attendees can enjoy the vibrant art scene while listening to live music, interacting with local artists, and eating gourmet fare.
Funding Art Education and Free Exhibits
The Kimball Arts Festival is truly a celebration of creativity and community. Proceeds from the festival not only help local businesses in the community but also support art education in schools.
Moreover, the festival proceeds help fund exhibitions so they can remain free all year. The Kimball Arts Festival and the Kimball Art Center are gifts that keep on giving for the Park City art community.
Art Crawls to Remember
Apart from the Kimball Arts Festival, there are numerous art activities you can enjoy. Park City has its fair share of craft beer breweries and distilleries. However, it’s not the bar scene that will have you staying up until the wee hours of morning.
Art crawls take precedence over bar crawls in Park City. Hip and contemporary art lovers can take a tour of the many public art installations and murals across the city. Meanwhile, old souls may find a museum crawl through the historic old town more appealing.
Touring the City’s Public Art
Park City launched its Public Art Program in the 1980s to celebrate its history and culture. Since then, the city has erected and exhibited hundreds of works of art. Local, regional, and national artists have joined hands to make Park City the vibrant art community it is today.
Murals and free-standing installations can be found all around the city. Nine utility boxes around the city have been covered with stickers featuring drawings and paintings by local artists and elementary school children.
Here are a few must-see places for anyone’s Public Art crawl:
- The School of Fish is a set of seven fish sculptures made out of recycled materials, like lights and mining equipment. The sculptures are installed on the city’s famous Poison Creek Trail.
- The Brian Hess Memorial Sound Garden is just adjacent to the Poison Creek bike trail. Resembling a regular kid’s playground from afar, the garden is a huge interactive set of music-making sculptures.
- Fans of Banksy shouldn’t miss the anonymous renowned artist’s mural of a man photographing a flower. The iconic work of public art is found across Main Street’s Java Cow.
- Loosey the Moosey and Franz the Bear are two popular Park City sculptures and photo sites. Franz the Bear is found along the path between Main Street and the Old Town Transit Center. Meanwhile, Loosey the Moosey is installed between Main Street and Swede Alley.
- The Old Town Transit Center features an eclectic piano installation and a colorful mural showing the history of Park City over the years.
These places are only some of Park City’s amazing art available to the general public. The city has many more tunnel murals, paintings, and sculptures. Greek mythology enthusiasts in particular will enjoy the Pantheon of Muses sculptures near the Old Town Transit Center.
Strolling Through Museums and Galleries
We invite anyone ending their public art crawl at Old Town Transit Center to start a new art crawl in the city’s historic district. Over 20 galleries and museums line up on the main street of Old Town. Each gallery and museum features different art styles and works, further contributing to the city’s diverse art culture.
Many of these galleries are not posh and corporate-managed like the ones we see in big cities. Most galleries and museums in the area are akin to mom-and-pop shops. They retain the spirit, flavor, and inviting atmosphere of the local art community.
The Park City Gallery Association provides a handy map to anyone interested in experiencing the best of the city’s galleries. The map provides the most picturesque route to each gallery for a truly wonderful experience. Tourists hoping to interact with artists and absorb the local flavor will find exactly what they are looking for in a gallery and museum tour.
Our pro tip for anyone planning a gallery tour is to schedule their visit in time for the Last Friday Gallery Stroll. This free community event takes place on the last Friday of the month from 6 PM to 9 PM. Here, gallery owners open their doors to share drinks and stories with visitors wanting to immerse themselves in the city’s art scene.
The vibrant art scene and friendly community makes it easier for Park City real estate agents to find clients hoping to put down roots in the city. Artists and creatives in particular stand to gain greater inspiration and support from like-minded individuals by living in Park City.