Visitors to the other European Capital of Culture 2008 will see their first evidence of the arts from the air, with this poem spelled out in white bales of hay.
Once the coast's economy was all about herring and sardine, with massive fortunes made and lost in the fishing industry.
But today Stavanger's wealth is oil - no-one knows how long it will last and what will replace it.
There are derelict symbols of old industries in Stavanger, but not as many as Liverpool, with which it shares the Capital of Culture title.
But like its opposite number Aberdeen, incomes and house prices are high in the city. (Picture: Duncan Robertson)
There are thousands of wooden houses and shops in Stavanger despite the occasional extreme weather.
The city, although small, boasts numerous venues for culture, including a converted derelict brewery.
Even in Stavanger British artist Banksy is influential, as this stencil on a shop near the harbour shows.
The city plays host to a number of festivals, including the Numusic club electronica event.
There are efforts to revive old skills like wooden boatbuilding, particularly among the young, as part of the year. (Picture: Duncan Robertson)