art in the streets

The “Twin Cities” of Lewiston and Auburn (also known as L/A) is the cultural center of the region, offering visitors a lively cultural scene featuring many works of public art and sculpture created by local and nationally known artists.

While strolling along Auburn Riverwalk at Great Falls, slow your pace to take in the abstract granite sculpture called “Bud Form” by Hugh Lassen, which was placed in Longley Park by LA Arts in 2021. Then turn and follow an unbroken imaginary line between the train bridge and Great Falls to the northeast along the foundation of the old Cowan Mill where “Hope/Love,” a long-ago painted work of graffiti art, greets all who cross the bridge that ties downtown Lewiston and Auburn together. Turning eastward, you may spot high up on a brick wall of Bates Mill #5, the brightly colored “Hopeful.”

These works and many others around town include brightly colored murals depicting slices of life, some outrageous creatures from the natural world, and many inspirational and interactive images. Fans of sculpture can find world-class works by internationally known artists and more out-of-the-ordinary works in some of the most ordinary places, like crosswalks or adorning municipal fire hydrants.

This is all the result of the plan to bring more art into the streets of L-A. The first Public Art Committee was established as part of the adoption of the 2019 Public Art Plan and funded by grants obtained through the work of the LA Arts program which celebrated its 50th year in 2023. 

Not to be missed

Bear by Andy Rosen, public art installation in Lewiston

Bear by Andy Rosen

Andy Rosen’s ‘Bear’ is made of bent strips of weathering steel, including some colorful pieces weaved in. It is the beginning of a series of animal statues that will be placed in Fountain Park.

An Auburn native, Rosen’s works are meant to call attention to the beauty of the natural world and spark the imagination. His work can also be found in collections from Oregon to Miami to NYC.

170 Mill St, Lewiston

Hopeful by Charlie Hewitt, public art installation in Lewiston

Hopeful by Charlie Hewitt

The illuminated Hopeful sign was installed on the side of Bates Mill No. 5 in 2020. Artist Charlie Hewitt’s retro-style, colorful aluminum sign was inspired in part by bold “roadside signs from the ’50s and ’60s.” The neon that makes up the work was bent at NeoKraft in Lewiston, one of the few neon fabricators on the East Coast.

A Lewiston native, Hewitt’s works are part of the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum among others.

Bates Mill #5, Mill Street, Lewiston

Zebra by Arlin Graf, public art installation in Lewiston

Zebra by Arlin Graff

In 2018, artist Arlin Graff bought Lewiston one of its more recent and well-loved public artworks in the form of the Zebra. Known for his “very distinct style, giving life to his abstract creations that seem to be emerging from a digital work…,” Graff is Brazilian-born.

“The meaning behind the Zebra,” reflects Graff, “is ‘Community.’ Zebras are rarely alone and live and work in community. It represents the coming together of the growing immigrant community with a community of mostly white natives.”

62 Canal St, Lewiston

more public Art pieces

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