Council Bluffs Travel Guide: Explore A New Destination for Public Art

Visit Council Bluffs, Iowa for surprising big time public art. Between the Missouri River and the Loess Hills, you’ll find exciting art from the mid 1800’s to very contemporary.

Arrive by Interstates 80/29 to see the towering Iowa gateway by Albert Paley over the South 24th Street Bridge. Make this your first of many calls to a free cell phone tour from Iowa West Public Art.

Take Exit 1B to continue your art adventure at the Mid-America Center. Wander through five public art sites starting with Sunrise, William King’s pioneer couple, standing tall in gleaming aluminum.

Around the corner, see Rhythm, a massive sculpture garden by Jun Kaneko. Expect the unexpected in bright, bold color – giant bronze heads, Kaneko’s signature ceramic dangoes and vivid tile walls. It’s just the place to stop and take it all in.

A short walk away, look up to see the larger than life Molecule Man by Jonathan Borofsky. The 3-D sculpture made of shiny aircraft aluminum is a hit with young and old alike. Dial up to hear how the giant figures came together.

In historic downtown’s Bayliss Park, Brower Hatcher’s iconic fountain and pavilion, Wellspring and Oculus, welcome all. You’ll find a great place to relax here, bordered by a striking Veteran’s Memorial and Plaza complete with lifelike bronzes.

After lunch at a nearby café, stop at the Ruth Anne Dodge Memorial, known as the Black Angel, and the nearby Lincoln Monument. Then, follow your map a few blocks away to see Deborah Masuoka’s whimsical Haymarket Rabbits at Main and Pearl Streets.

End your day with a must-see artist, in the heart of Council Bluffs’ historic downtown. Restored Grant Wood pieces are on display in the Pottawattamie County Courthouse lobby.  Then stop just east of town at Looft Hall on the Iowa Western Community College campus for one last look at the beauty of the Midwest in Grant Wood’s murals commissioned in 1926.

For more information regarding this Travel Guide please call 800-228-6878 or visit

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