The Short North Arts District is home to some of the most exciting and engaging public art works 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 19 partner galleries and art institutions, with the support of the the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Short North Foundation, present the third rendition of the highly popular Short North Temporary Mural Series titled BLANK SPACES. The exhibition was curated by Tyler Cann, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Columbus Museum of Art.
This iteration builds upon the very popular 10x10x10 Mural Series (2012-13) and Viewpoints: Murals by Young Professional Working Artists (2013-15).
The murals are installed on the exterior brick facades of 19 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 pop against blank spaces throughout the district as they never have before.
Its name, BLANK SPACES, comes from the idea that these murals temporarily occupy otherwise blank brick walls in the Short North Arts District. The murals are designed to be photographed and enjoyed for a limited time, until the next series is installed.
View the BLANK SPACES murals here.
Short North Sculptures
Chase Park Art Works
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 The Collection European Furniture, 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 Mosaik 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 Cream. 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 the 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.
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.
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.