The Short North Arts District is home to some of the most exciting and engaging public artworks in Columbus.
From iconic permanent murals to colorful Short North Arches and the wildly popular annual Short North Temporary Mural Series, the streets in the Short North Arts District are filled with enlightening and often unexpected works of art.
The Short North Alliance and 13 partner galleries and art institutions, with the support of the the Greater Columbus Arts Council, present the fourth rendition of the highly popular Short North Temporary Mural Series titled Six in the Short North. This year’s series is in partnership with nationally acclaimed and Columbus-based author Larry Smith to create original artworks or curate a selection of existing art works which depict the artist’s’ own original six word stories about Columbus. The community can watch for the deinstallation of the existing series and installation of the new murals to begin after May 28, with all murals to be installed by the June 3 Gallery Hop.
This iteration builds upon the very popular BLANKS SPACES (2015-2017), Viewpoints: Murals by Young Professional Working Artists (2013-15), and 10x10x10 Mural Series (2012-13).
The murals are installed on the exterior brick facades of 13 buildings along High Street in the Short North Arts District. They consist of high resolution images of art works that are printed on vinyl and heat-adhered to buildings. The process results in a work of art that looks painted on the building.
The Short North Mural Series has become one of the most anticipated and celebrated projects in the Short North Arts District. Representing an incredible community-wide collaboration among the district’s art galleries and many of our community’s leading arts institutions, this set of murals focus on an individual author’s feelings about their city.
Short North Sculptures
The Messenger Wall
Located on the north-facing side of 1204 N. High Street, The Messenger Wall is a new site-specific sculptural wallscape mural that was installed in the spring of 2017. The Messenger Wall commemorates the incredible messengers in our community who represent empowerment and give credence to the voices of the under-served, neglected, and overlooked. The artwork honors the legacy of the Short North Alliance’s founding director, John Angelo. “Angelo” means “angel” or “messenger” in Italian. John was a consummate messenger for the neighborhood. He championed lasting programs for, events in, and improvements to our community. Like John, this building’s owner, Community Housing Network, and its tenant, Dress for Success Columbus serve as profound messengers to those they serve. Artists Eric Raush and Jen Kiko chose the messenger pigeon, set against an abstract backdrop of imagery from the Short North Arts District, to represent these treasured community messengers. The mural is made of carved and pigmented brick.
The Messenger Wall is made possible with the support of the following:
Short North Alliance
Jack and Zoe Johnstone Fund of the Short North Foundation
Greater Columbus Arts Council
United Way of Central Ohio Neighborhood Partnership Grant Program
Charly and Jeni Bauer
Community Housing Network
Rick Gore and Peter Yockel
Sharon and Thaddeus O’Brien
Stephanie Stein and Chris Minnillo
Susan Scherer Charitable Foundation
Chase Park Artworks
Located just north of Chase Bank, Chase Park is a pocket where visitors and locals alike can take a seat in a wrought iron chair and soak in the urban ambiance of High Street. Recessed between two columns and watching over the park is The Guardian, a colorful, playful sculpture by Russ Vogt that proudly symbolizes the organic creativity and brilliance of the Short North Arts District. Inset between the bank and Biscuit & Branch, four concrete and brick pillars form beautiful archways with the help of three stained glass panels that act as an entrance to Chase Park. The colorful space is a wonderful backdrop for the musicians who play during Gallery Hop and adds another artistic touch to the Short North Arts District.
Poplar Park Mosaic Obelisk
Just north of the Cap is the picturesque Poplar Park, the Short North Arts District’s largest pocket park with one of the most exquisite public sculptures in the city, Andrew Lidgus’ obelisk titled In Dreams Again. The name is a phrase from Ohio’s state song, “Beautiful Ohio,” while the design on the totem depicts three cardinals and a trillium, Ohio’s state bird and flower, and nature spirits – one receiving water to represent the name “Ohio,” based on the Iroquois word meaning “beautiful river,” and one receiving leaves to honor the natural history of Ohio. The sculpture stands amongst café tables, chairs, and planters in the park’s stone plaza.
Short North Gothic Mural
The Short North Arts District’s twist on Grant Wood’s iconic classic, American Gothic, is one of the images for which the District is most well known. Located on the corner of N. High Street and E. Lincoln Street, Short North Gothic is on the outer wall of another famous Short North Arts District spot – Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The original piece depicts a farmer and his daughter, while the District’s skillful reproduction by Steve Galgas and Mike Altman has flipped the daughter on her head and switched the subjects’ positions. The beautiful mural embodies the spirit of the District and makes a statement of its own.
Mona Lisa Mural
An icon in both the art world and the Short North Arts District, Mona Lisa helped put Columbus on the map as an art destination. Painted by Brian Clemons, the public mural is the only one in the District not visible from High Street, but is an important symbol of the neighborhood. The famous muse’s enigmatic smile is as beautiful as the original, but in signature Short North Arts District style, she was painted sideways on her ear, rather than upright.
200 Tiles – Coming Soon
The Short North Alliance commissioned 200 Tiles in 2012 to commemorate the City of Columbus’ Bicentennial Celebration. 200 Artists from Columbus each designed a tile, which when displayed together, form a unique view of the City of Columbus Downtown Skyline. The artwork is permanently installed on The Prescott, located at Prescott and Pearl, and is visible from High Street. Stay tuned for more information on this project.
Short North Arches
One of the most recognizable parts of the Short North Arts District is its 17 arches, which pay homage to erstwhile wooden arches first built in 1888, which is when Columbus became known as “Arch City.” Ohio was chosen to host the centennial celebration of the creation of the Northwest Territory since it was the first state carved out of the territory. The wooden arches were lit by gaslight and had been built to both light the streets and dazzle visitors. In 1896, the wood and gas was replaced with steel and electric, but in 1916 the arches were torn down entirely and replaced by light posts. In 2002, almost 100 years later, 17 steel arches were reinstalled on High Street from Goodale to Fifth Avenue and are a hallmark of the Short North Arts District. The individually-programmable lights, which use LED technology, create a bright rainbow along the mile stretch of High Street that is the District.