Sculpture Walk Springfield

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love when something fun and new comes unexpectedly into my awareness. Recently, scrolling through my feed on Facebook, my attention was caught by an announcement on a new-to-me page called Sculpture Walk Springfield.

Springfield, Missouri is an hour drive from my hometown of Joplin. I go there often on adventures, weekend get-aways and or just to enjoy a meal.

I felt excited about an art adventure in this charming and busy city. Reading for info, I realized this was a new installation in an ongoing exhibit that changes yearly.

On a beautiful spring day, Greg and I drove to Springfield to enjoy the Sculpture Walk and a wonderful lunch at a downtown restaurant. Check out some of my favorite sculptures from that trip.

Sculpture Walk Springfield title meme

What Is Sculpture Walk Springfield?

In 2013, Karen Schneider and Peg Carolla went to visit their respective daughters in two very different cities – Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Mexico City, Mexico – and returned with similar visions about what public art can do for a community. In Mexico City, Peg noticed giant cups painted by individual artists, lining a long boulevard. And in Sioux Falls, Karen took note of a program of changing sculptures in the town center.

Karen and Peg gathered a group of enthusiastic Springfield residents who carried the vision for such an art project in their own city.

Sculpture Walk Springfield launched in April 2015 with 13 sculptures installed throughout the downtown area. This year the 2022 exhibit showcases 41 sculptures…29 temporary ones that will change out next year and 12 permanent installations.

Vision, Mission and Purpose

Their vision: to create a museum without walls with access to all.

Their purpose: when placed outdoors, integrated in full public view with existing structures and landscapes, sculptures add to a city’s heritage, character, and sense of place and diversity; it adorns a city with distinction, adding to pride of place and a sense of identity. Public art rejuvenates public spaces by transforming them into destinations.  Sculpture Walk Springfield will play a major role in the economic rejuvenation of Springfield.

Their mission: to encourage the artistic transformation of Springfield through outdoor sculpture, thus enhancing our quality of life and promoting economic vitality.

Sculpture Walk Springfield downtown
Sculpture Walk Springfield – downtown street

Looking for Sculptures

You can visit the Facebook Page or the website HERE to download a map or you can park near Park Central Square in downtown Springfield and start walking. The sculptures are identified by a small plaque near each one, that lists the artist and a brief description of the inspiration for the art.

Park Central Square is a gorgeous place to call “home base” for the hunt. There is free parking available nearby and a variety of shops, restaurants, cafés and pubs in the area for a meal or a drink.

I downloaded a map onto my phone, in case we got “stuck”. However, the sculptures were not hard to find. It’s fun to stroll through the downtown area, enjoying the city and looking for these works of art. We located about half of the sculptures and saved the rest so we had another reason to return soon to Springfield.

The warm sunshiny day encouraged us to stop for lunch and lots of ice water at Civil Kitchen, located across from Park Central Square. This fun restaurant offers veggie choices such as their falafel and veg wrap and colossal onion rings. That wrap is amazing! I also enjoyed their flash fried kale.

Sculpture Walk Springfield civil kitchen
Sculpture Walk Springfield – good place for lunch, Civil Kitchen

Sculpture Walk Springfield Faves

Here are some of my favorite sculptures that we found on this first exploration. ALL of the sculptures are amazing though. You’ll want to find all of them.


Artist: Nathan Pierce

Nathan believes that communication plays a fundamental role in our perceptions of the world we live in. His work deals with the conflicts of confinement and freedom and with exploring the catalyst between building or destroying communication. The relationship that his work has with the natural environment communicates with the viewer and helps activate the imagination and see the world differently.

(Pictured above in the Title Pin)

Call Now!

Artist: Mike Salisbury

Mike uses the abandoned payphone as a metaphor for connection and disconnection. His urban street sculpture invites interaction and reflects our culture in a time of change.

The juxtaposition of an outdated artifact surrounding a living tree causes the viewer to contemplate: “Is nature protected or imprisoned? Is this a triumph for the environment or a rite for our technology? Playful nostalgia or a worrisome premonition?”

You decide!

Sculpture Walk Springfield call now
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Call Now!

Guardian Creature

Artist: Derek Fitzpatrick

This playful sculpture is based off of a series of ceramic and metal sculptures that Derek made called creatures.

This one, the Guardian Creature, is meant to guard and protect people.

Sculpture Walk Springfield guardian creature
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Guardian Creature

Heart of the Matter

Artist: Larry Young

Larry drew inspiration from the EKG graph as it records the strength and timing of the heart’s activity. Especially in tough times, he says, we need our hearts to beat in strong, coordinated rhythm.

Two of Larry’s family members work in the health industry. He possesses a deep appreciation for what those in this field sacrifice and do to serve all in need.

Sculpture Walk Springfield heart of the matter
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Heart of the Matter

Say Cheese

Artist: Justin Deister

As a kid, did you hate for your food to touch, on your plate?

Justin says that’s where art began for him…managing food migration. His inspiration is the fun kids enjoy when they put cheese noodles on fork tines. It always makes him smile.

His sculpture makes me smile!

Sculpture Walk Springfield say cheese
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Say Cheese

Thinking of Solutions

Artist: Zachery Long

Zachery calls this sculpture a self portrait. He felt stuck on a problem. He is very solution oriented and found himself thinking on solutions in a robotic way. Processing ideas is how he hunts for solutions. This time, the solution was the process.

Sculpture Walk Springfield thinking of solutions
Sculpture Walk Springfield – Thinking of Solutions

What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding

Artist: James Douglas Cox

James wanted to make this sculpture for more than 20 years. He says with the division between people in the US the worst he’s seen in his lifetime, he figured this was as good a time as any to create it.

In James’ favorite version of Nick Lowe’s song What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding Nick says:

“As I walk this wicked world  searching for light in the darkness of insanity, I ask myself is all hope lost, is there only pain, hatred and misery/ And each time I feel like this inside there’s one thing I want to know.

What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding? What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding?

And as I walk on through troubled times, my spirit gets so down hearted sometimes. Sometimes, so where are the strong? And who are the trusting? And where is harmony, sweet harmony? Cause each time I feel it slipping away, it just makes me want to cry.

What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding? What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding?

Sculpture Walk Springfield whats so funny
Sculpture Walk Springfield – What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding

Visit Springfield MO and the Sculpture Walk

If you live in the Springfield, Branson or Joplin areas or you are passing through, take time to stop and walk in downtown Springfield. Visit a couple of the sculptures…or hunt for all of them. These works of art make you think, make you smile, make you feel.

I thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of strolling and looking, reading the plaques and thinking about the art.  Greg and I finished our time in Springfield with afternoon tea at Gilmore’s.

I’m so impressed and inspired by this Sculpture Walk. It’s a museum without walls indeed, on several different levels. And the hunt and find nature of it just adds to the experience.

I look forward to a return visit and discovering more sculptures tucked into downtown Springfield.

Sculpture Walk Springfield bunnies
These whimsical creatures are part of the What’s So Funny sculpture.


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Star Struck

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

This past week it was Adventure Challenge time. I also dealt with one of those annoying things…a full blown summer cold. Additionally, it’s been a full week. I spent any free moments I had in a cold medicine induced sleep.

However, a beautiful thing happened. Rather than shy away from doing an adventure from my book, I randomly selected the activity, trusting completely that it would be perfect in spite of my circumstances. And you know what? It absolutely was.

This is Adventure Challenge #10, Star Struck.

Star Struck title meme

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition

As a reminder, The Adventure Challenge books contain scratch off adventures, suitable for adults, families and individuals. Each hardbound book contain 50 fun and unique challenges to experience with a partner, spouse, friends, family members or on your own.

The challenges encourage you to get off your phone and electrical devices and connect with each other…or more deeply with yourself. They are the perfect way to explore your city or the great outdoors, try something new, reconnect with your inner child or make new friends.

The keepsake book makes it easy to document the memories, with snapshots and a few words about the experience.

There’s a catch though. The challenges are hidden. You don’t know what the activity is, until you scratch it off. If you’ve followed me for very long, you KNOW I love playing games built around randomness. The Adventure Challenge books are like the games I play where I draw random slips of paper out of a jar and do the activity I select. There are no “do overs”, in those fun games I make up, or in The Adventure Challenge.

Star Struck

My instructions for Challenge #10:

“Get some one on one time with the universe.

Find a building you’re allowed to get on top of, bring a lawn chair or blanket, set up and chill out.

Gaze at the stars and take in the night sky as your mind goes to distant galaxies.”

I loved the simplicity of this challenge, during a week when that is exactly what I needed. Plus, this activity connects to me in a deeper way.

Since I don’t know anyone with a building in Joplin that allows safe rooftop access, I adapted. I chose to use the vintage picnic table in my own backyard as my viewing point, covered with a thick plaid blanket.

Star Struck table
Star Stuck – picnic table as vantage point for star gazing

Setting Up the Star Struck Challenge

Star gazing in my own backyard made setting up for this activity easier. While a threat of evening thunderstorms hung over the Joplin area, I set up the picnic table anyway. A spectacular sunset revealed thunderheads building to the northwest but as darkness deepened, the towering clouds stayed north.

I draped a heavy plaid blanket over the picnic table, for comfort. And added a pillow to cradle my head with the appropriate words, “Let the adventure begin!” (Get a similar pillow HERE) A cup of hot tea and natural bug spray completed the setup. A steady breeze not only cooled the yard but kept the mosquitos from hovering around, ultimately making the spray unnecessary.

About 9:30 pm I stretched out on the table, ready to star gaze.

Star Struck sunset
Star Struck – sunset behind building thunderheads

My Star Struck Experience

Lying back on the picnic table and looking up immediately transported me back to my childhood.

I’ve long held a profound fascination for space. As a child, I spent many a summer night lying on a blanket in my backyard in Tulsa, Oklahoma, looking up. I learned the constellations, the moon phases and the movement of the planets that way. The original Star Trek television series with Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy snagged my interest as a result and increased my love of space, causing me to check out books about the universe, the Milky Way and other galaxies. I grew up looking up at the night sky frequently to find favorite…and familiar…constellations.

Lying in my Joplin backyard brought back those memories and a sense of nostalgia for my childhood adventures. Even with some city light pollution I immediately found the bright star Arcturus, a red giant in the constellation Bootes.

Aloud I recited the lines I learned long ago…”Arc to Arcturus…speed on to Spica”. Tipping my head back, I found the “arc” of the big dipper that points the way to Arcturus. And continuing on, I found Spica, the blue star in the constellation Virgo.

I enjoyed a quiet time of star gazing, remembering long ago summer nights and simply relaxing in my dark backyard.

Star Struck arcturus
Star Struck – see that little white dot in the black sky? That’s the star Arcturus.

Adventure Challenges

Do these adventure challenges sound like fun to you? What about the amazing life lessons and/or synchronicities that accompany each one?

Challenge books are available in solo, family and couples editions. Each book contains 50 scratch off challenges. Check out the various books and the camera/book kits HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order at checkout.

You can also purchase the camera HERE, from Amazon. The instamatic photos add to the fun, plus there’s a spot to add them in the book as you document the challenges.

The perfect challenge activity came to me this week and I am so grateful. I needed that 30 minutes lying on a blanket covered picnic table in my backyard. And I deeply appreciate the connection it created with one of my favorite summer activities as a child.

I don’t think I sneezed or coughed once in that half hour! Nothing disturbed the peace and joy I found star gazing. Plus I set the intention of looking up into the night sky more often. There’s such wonder and beauty there in that vast universe.

Have you star gazed recently?

Star Struck - let the adventure begin
Star Struck – Let the adventure begin! 



Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.