At their recent five-year anniversary celebration, the Pizzuti Collection announced that the museum building and a portion of founder Ron Pizzuti’s expansive collection will be donated to the Columbus Museum of Art. This exciting merger is a wonderful step forward for the Collection, and for the Short North Arts District. The merger will officially happen early next year; until then, the Collection will continue its most recent exhibitions and events. We spoke with Marketing & Communications Coordinator Philip Kim about some of the work currently on display, their monthly Family Day event, and why art is important in a community.

Tell us a little about your abstract exhibition Take Up Space; what about the abstraction and interactive nature of this exhibition makes it powerful?

Take Up Space is a cross section of five years of collecting and the works in the show – mostly paintings – are results of artists’ projects that consider the relevance and power of abstraction’s possibilities. The works in these galleries respond: to architecture, to history, to color, to taste, to edges, to time, and to our sociopolitical climate. Their forms and vibrant colors require us to notice their experimentation.

Visitors will be able to walk across artist Sarah Cain’s painted floor, “Dark Matter,” experiencing her riotous colors and enthusiastically wide-ranging patterns, organic forms, and geometric shapes. Responding to environment and place, Cain offers up an immersive moment where painting takes up space becoming intriguingly open, responsive, and powerful.

Take Up Space, in addition to new exhibitions When Attitudes Become Chairs and For Freedoms, will be on display until January 20, 2019. Each of the three shows currently on view are group shows. There are 13 artists in Take Up Space, 15 artists in When Attitudes Become Chairs, and seven artists in For Freedoms.

What is Family Day, and what can families expect when they visit?

We offer free admission and art programming one Sunday each month to bring families into the gallery space for a tour of the exhibitions and a little bit of fun. We want to make the contemporary art on display at Pizzuti Collection accessible to everyone in the community. We also want to provide an entrance for students to engage with the art in a hands on way. This Family Day, we have a lot of great activities for families including a Mini-Chair Building Workshop inspired by our When Attitudes Become Chairs exhibition, voter registration and lawn signs visitors can fill out that describe their idea of freedom in conjunction with our For Freedoms exhibition, and guided tours.

The September Family Day is happening this Sunday, September 16, from 12:00pm – 5:00pm.

Why is it important to introduce new and younger audiences to art?

The youth are our next generation of artists. We want them to feel at home in a gallery space, and to give them vital tools to discuss contemporary issues through the appreciation (and making) of art. At the Pizzuti Collection, we also believe that contemporary art and artists have a unique ability to reflect about their community and themselves.  We believe that art is fundamental to the development of the individual and the cultural health of the community, especially in these turbulent social and political times, and educating a new generation of children to engage with the art that reflects our times is an important part of growing healthy communities.

Why is accessibility important to a thriving arts community like the Short North?

Artists enrich and comment on their surroundings. We want their voices to be heard by the widest range of viewership possible. We want to start conversations about art, and to inspire the members of our community to engage in artmaking and in art appreciation.

In addition to the Pizzuti Collection, check out the amazing Short North Arts District galleries while you’re down here, made easy as can be with the Art Trail. Don’t forget to take advantage of discounted parking when you come; the Pizzuti Collection and many of the galleries will validate your garage ticket so you pay only $1 for your first hour. Visit the Parking & Transit page for more parking validation program details.

– Edited by Michelle Gibson