Grand Junction has more than 115 sculptures on display, most of which are located in the heart of Downtown. The display is called Art on the Corner and includes original works of life-size high-end art, many of which are interactive. While you peruse the boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants, you will be entertained while also learning about the history of Grand Junction. From a frog you can kiss to a man lying in a full-size bathtub (hop in with him!), we can guarantee this will be the most entertaining and unique walk you have ever experienced. Some of the temporary pieces are even for sale. Check out these Downtown Grand Junction sculptures you shouldn’t miss:
1.“Chrome on the Range,” by Lou Wille
Location: Corner of Fourth and Main Street
Chrome on the Range is one of the most popular sculptures. Don’t skip snapping your photo with the large gleaming buffalo in front of the Wells Fargo building. This sculpture features a steel frame covered with polished chrome car bumpers. The polished bison is one of 200 Colorado attractions listed by Roadside America.
2. “John Otto,” by J. Michael Wilson, part of the Legends of Grand Junction collection
Location: Near First and Main Street
Installed in 2011, this bronze sculpture is an ode to John Otto (1879-1952), a legend in Grand Junction. Otto was an eccentric pioneer, trail builder, advocate, and the very first superintendent of the Colorado National Monument. He fell in love with the jagged red-rock canyons and worked tirelessly to gain national recognition for the ancient geology and towering monoliths nestled in what locals call “the national park you’ve never heard of,” all thanks to Otto.
3. “Big Drop Five,” by Alvin Sessions
Location: Fifth and Main Street
What better way to pay homage to Grand Junction’s biking culture than with this giant, larger-than-life, welded steel bike? Donated by the artist in 2006 by Grand Junction resident Alvin Sessions, this piece exemplifies extreme freedom and human-powered transportation. And best of all, you’re allowed to climb on it. Have a seat and snap the perfect photo op here!
4. “Sir,” by Mary Zimmerman
Location: Sixth and Main Street
If only this pig could talk. The life-sized bronze pig statue used to be an actual piggy bank and was stolen in 2007. Thankfully, it was recovered and repaired. While you can’t put coins in it anymore, you can sit on it for a cute selfie. And it's a fun reminder that saving money is a good thing!
5. “Puffed Up Prince,” by Gary Price
Location: Just east of the southeast corner of Fifth and Main Street
Artist Gary Price created this whimsical sculpture after a large frog visited his studio. Each time he touched the amphibian, it puffed up, inspiring Price’s first spherical creature. There are four sculptures by the Utah artist scattered around town, but this regal sculpture might be the most beloved. In fact, the piece was loved so much the artist had to remove it and refinish it before returning it to its spot. So, feel free to rub it or dare to kiss it, you never know what good luck this friendly frog will bring you!
6. "Breakfast" by Terry Burnett
Location: Northwest corner of Main Street and Seventh Street
A Grand Junction area local, Terry Burnett, won “Best in Show” for this cartoonist sculpture of a black ant munching on a giant red apple. As one of the first sculptures you see while walking down Main Street from the east side, it provides a warm welcome into the inspirational collection of art that awaits you.
7.“Walter Walker,” by Michael McCullough
Location: 634 Main Street, Downtown Grand Junction
This piece was installed in 2008 and displays the former owner of the Daily Sentinel, Walter Walker, with his young son, Preston Walker, on his shoulders. The location of this sculpture is historically significant as it stands tall outside the building that the local newspaper originally started in. As part of the Legends Tour in Downtown Grand Junction, this sculpture pays homage to Grand Junction's history.
8. “Strength of the Maker” by Denny Haskew
Location: Grand Junction Visitor Center; 740 Horizon Drive, Grand Junction, CO 81506
The strength that this piece displays is something out of an old western movie. Inspired by the influence of creation in the natural and the human worlds, this piece can be seen as a collision of western materials with Native American empowerment. Strength and force transcends every aspect of this masterpiece. Stop by the Grand Junction Visitor Center to view this magnificent piece of art, where you will find two other sculptures to make your visit even more worthwhile. Walk around inside the Visitor Center (open Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm) and receive a complimentary stamped postcard of the area that you can fill out and the friendly Volunteer Ambassadors will mail it for you.
9. “Mesas, Monoliths & Monuments” by Harlan Mosher
Location: North Side of 300 Block on Main Street
The name of this sculpture is based on the awe-inspiring attributes of the Grand Junction area. From the Grand Mesa to the Colorado National Monument, the shapes represent the area’s unique geography. This sculpture also doubles as a water fountain, which represents the mighty Colorado River that snakes through Grand Junction.
10. “End of the Line” by Harlan Mosher
Location: North Side of the 400 Block on Main Street
Constructed out of three intertwined railroad wheels and a railroad truck, this art piece was donated to the Art on the Corner program. The sculpture represents the history of Grand Junction’s railroad, which is still active today. Amtrak is a popular mode of transportation for those who visit Grand Junction and choose not to drive. This stop is on the most popular route of Amtrak in the nation, due to the Colorado scenery along the way that can’t be seen by car.
11. “The Silly Fool”, by Reven Marie Swanson
Location: South Side of 200 Block on Main Street
Made of Yule Marble, this piece weighs over 800 lbs and represents a young imperfect woman rising into womanhood to seek a prince charming. After winning the People’s Choice in 2003, this sculpture was purchased the following year by Downtown Grand Junction and McGovern Enterprises, and thus added to the permanent collection.
12. “Greg La Rex”, by Bill, Roby, & David Bowen
Location: South Side of 300 Block of Main Street
Created by a trio of engineers, “Greg La Rex” is a creative and innovative masterpiece. While it is well-known that Grand Junction has a rich geological history, many don’t know that there are also numerous dinosaur quarries in the area as well. Check out Dinosaur Journey to learn more about why the region is known as home to some of the most significant dinosaur fossil discoveries in the world. Riggs Hill, an easy local hike, is named after paleontologist Elmer Riggs, who found one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered, right at this site. There is a cast of some of the bones that are partially buried at the quarry site, to help put the magnitude of its size in perspective.
For more information on some of the other bronze sculptures in Grand Junction, dubbed the Legends of Grand Junction, visit this blog.