In July 2021, the Museum of Art entered into a community partnership agreement with the City of San Luis Obispo to coordinate various public art projects for San Luis Obispo for the next two years as part of the Art in Public Places Program. Led by SLOMA’s Chief Curator, Emma Saperstein, the Museum is engaging regional and national artists to complete various projects as part of the program.

The City’s Art in Public Places Program helps maintain San Luis Obispo’s community identity, connecting community members and visitors to San Luis Obispo’s shared history and cultural heritage. Currently, the City’s Art in Public Places Program consists of more than 70 unique pieces of art, ranging from murals, mosaics, oil and watercolor paintings, utility box art, stained glass, sculptures, benches, bridge railings, and more.

Click here to visit the City of San Luis Obispo’s Public Art Map and find public art near you!

A steel sculpture reminiscent of a jellyfish with a teal resin "house" in the middle

April Banks: Tidewalker, 2024

Location: SLOMA Public Art Platform
Exhibition Dates: April 2024 to April 2025

Tidewalker is a corten steel flora fauna creature that holds a resin soul cabana inside (spirit house) and inverts the colonial hierarchy between nature and the built environment. Banks plays with scale to highlight our interdependence to nature, presenting an interspecies safehold to transport us to more caring possibilities. Visitors experience the sculpture as an enveloping protector of land and laborers, offering a refuge for people and species. 

Detail view of a sculpture by Adam Parker Smith. A marble figure is seemingly squished into a 3x3 foot cube

Adam Parker Smith: David

Location: SLOMA Public Art Platform
Exhibition dates: April 2023 to March 2024

Adam Parker Smith’s sculpture features the familiar subject of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s 17th century sculpture of David, but here compressed into a cube the size of one cubic meter. Parker Smith is known for creating works that are often irreverent and funny, and with this work, he plays with the iconic form of classical sculpture, giving it a modern twist.

"The Greys In Between" by Anila Quayyum Agha . A three-legged arch supports a hanging metallic diamond sculpture decorated with intricate scrollwork and an interior globe light to cast shadows. A beautiful sky beyond.

Anila Quayyum Agha: The Greys In Between

Location: Center of the roundabout at Tank Farm Road and Orcutt Road, across from Islay Park (click here for map pin)
Exhibition dates: Oct 2022–ongoing

In exploring the intersections of race, class, culture and religion, The Greys in Between celebrates minority and immigrant populations’ contributions to our society and signifies San Luis Obispo as a community committed to being a welcoming place for all. Drawing from symbols found in South Asian art and architecture, Pakistani-born artist Anila Quayyum Agha uses her large lit sculptures to show the relationships that exist between light and darkness, fact and fiction, community and solitude. The Greys in Between honors diversity and inclusion while inviting viewers to reflect on these different states of being.

"Dreams of Bayanihan" by Camille Hoffman. Figures of Filipino settlers in California, their forms colored like the sunset

Camille Hoffman: Storied Waters: Dreams of Bayanihan

Location: SLOMA Public Art Platform
Exhibition dates: June 2022 to Feb 2023 (no longer on view)

Artist Camille Hoffman’s family ancestry is rooted in the Philippines, and her practice throughout her career has involved a reconsidering of misplaced personal and collective narratives in the wake of colonialism. This sculpture features the silhouettes of historic photos of Filipinxs of California and honors laborers, past, present, and future.

Maria Molteni's mural in downtown SLO. Quilt-like patterns of semi-circles falling down before a minimalistic water background. Geometric mountains with braids of lava, symbolizing the seven sisters of SLO. Seven stars in quilt-like patterns representing the Pleiades are above the mountain peaks.

Maria Molteni: Seven Sisters (Celestial Subduction)

Location: 1000 Block of Higuera Street, between Santa Rosa and Osos (click here for map pin).

Exhibition dates: Nov 2021–ongoing

Seven Sisters (Celestial Subduction) is an ambitious mural project whose inspiration emerges from an unusual intersection of “Seven Sisters” phenomena and mythology. The beloved series of Central Coast peaks, known by this name, sparked the original idea. This piece time travels to the origin of their formation, when a sub-aquatic geologic event called “subduction” led to powerful volcanic eruptions.

Mama Mobius by artist Mark di Suvero. An abstract steel sculpture evoking the mobius strip, in bright red sits on a lawn. The Museum is in the background.

Mark di Suvero: Mamma Mobius

Location: SLOMA Public Art Platform
Exhibition dates: August 2020 to March 2022 (no longer on view)

The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art’s first installation in our partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo as part of the Art in Public Places program. Mamma Mobius, an iconic and transcendent sculpture displayed on the Museum’s lawn. This sculpture references the Mobius band, a surface that only has one side and one edge. This work demonstrates di Suvero’s deep commitment to mathematics and science, as he intentionally finds ways to integrate a diverse curiosity into all aspects of his work.