Day trips: Pop Art Museum, San Angelo: an open-air museum offers art in an unusual place – Columns

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Pop Art Museum in Saint angel salutes “folk art” in a former roofless bowling alley.

The art style mastered by people like Andy warhol and Pierre Max during the 1960s has a comedic appeal that satirizes popular culture while transcending socio-economic boundaries. You can question the artistic value of pop art, but you have to admit, it’s fun and controversial.

Opened in 2019, the open-air museum is part of the Art in unusual places mission to keep San Angelo weird. The nonprofit arts organization has also sponsored a series of nearby murals known as “brush alley“and donated artwork to local parks.

The Pop Art Museum occupies the space where the Bowling center opened in 1946. Lightning (literally) closed it in 1952. The tracks were reopened but fell into disuse, and eventually the abandoned building became an eyesore.

The hollowed-out brick building with walls shared with the buildings on either side has no doors. Horizontal metal beams define the location of the roof.

Over 30 local artists have contributed to incredibly creative panels depicting the city’s vast reservoir of talent in West Texas. Among the open-air museum is an original piece of James francis gill, a native of the region who was a contemporary of Warhol.

All art panels include a QR code that visitors can use to find out more on their phone about the art and the artists.

The Pop Art Museum is located at 125 W. Twohig in downtown San Angelo. There is no entrance fee and the exhibition is open all the time. To learn more about the Art in Uncommon Places beautification program, visit

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