Public Art

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. Download a map of the gallery and art guide. Navigate the galleries and the art of the Short North in person using the Short North Arts District Art Trail.

What’s New

Summer 2019 has been a season of growth for public art in the Short North Arts District!

Are you a life force? Mural

CAAMP, which includes band members Taylor Meier, Evan Westfall, and Matt Vinson, are a local band on the rise. To celebrate their national success, they gifted a mural to the community that they love and call home. The permanent mural, titled Are you a life force? was created by Meier’s mother, local muralist Sally Meier, and CAAMP keyboardist Joe Kavalec. Inspired by the band’s album By and By, released July 26th, 2019, the mural depicts the stories told through their music. It is located on the Buttles Avenue side of Bakersfield in the Short North Arts District.


CAAMP (Taylor Meier, Matt Vinson, Joe Kavalec, and Evan Westfall) pictured with Are you a life force?

The Journey Mural & Artist-in-Residency Program

The Short North Alliance, in collaboration with AJ Capital Partners and The Graduate Hotel, is commissioning California based artists Ryan Sarfati and Eric Skotnes to create and install three permanent public art murals on the exterior building walls of the new Graduate Hotel located in the Short North Arts District. Sarfati and Skotnes will also be leading an artists in residency program for members of the Columbus Community.

Learn more about the mural project, the artists, and the Artist-in-Residency program at shortnorth.org/airprogram.


The Journey in progress

Unconventional Mural Series

The Short North Alliance and 13 partner galleries and art institutions, with the support of the the Greater Columbus Arts Council, present the sixth rendition of the highly popular Short North Mural Series titled Unconventional: A community-curated celebration of our unconventional city. Learn more at shortnorth.org/unconventional.


Murals

The Short North Arts District is home to dozens of murals, including the popular Short North Mural Series and a number of large-scale permanent works.

Short North Arts District Mural Series

The Short North Alliance and 13 partner galleries and art institutions, with the support of the the Greater Columbus Arts Council, present the sixth rendition of the highly popular Short North Mural Series titled Unconventional: A community-curated celebration of our unconventional city.

This iteration builds upon the popular I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 (2018-Present), Six in the Short North (2017-2019), BLANK SPACES (2015-2017), Viewpoints: Murals by Young Professional Working Artists (2013-15), and 10x10x10 (2012-13).

The temporary murals are installed on the exterior brick facades of 25 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 and represents an incredible community-wide collaboration among the District’s art galleries and many of our community’s leading arts institutions.


Brandt-Roberts Gallery/Bernard Palchick: “Invasive Species”

Short North Arts District Permanent Murals

The Messenger Wall
Located on the north-facing side of 1204 N. High Street, The Messenger Wall is a 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 was 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 | Matthew Romanoff | Stephanie Stein and Chris Minnillo | Susan Scherer Charitable Foundation | Mary Catherine’s Antiques | Juli Peisher Rogers | Brian and Michelle Brandt

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.


Photo by Bailey Lytle

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.

Photo via Experience Columbus


Sculptures

The Short North Arts District is home to a number of sculptures, which make the neighborhoods buildings, street corners, and parks a joy to discover.

Jubilation

Columbus artists Stephen Canneto and Judith Spater have created a dynamic sculpture that is suspended nearly 30 feet up in the air at the northwest corner of Second Avenue and High Street. Spanning nearly 25 feet in length, the three part sculpture, titled Jubilation, delivers a dance of light and color that changes by the minute. Evoking the vibrancy and diversity of the Short North Arts District community, the sculpture is a celebration of the joy found within our community. Comprised of stainless steel, dichrolaminate, acrylic, and hundreds of Bluetooth controlled LED lights, the sculpture is one of a number of newly installed and planned permanent public artworks in the Short North Arts District.

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 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.

Photo via Experience Columbus


ArtPaths

ArtPaths is an art walkway program that features 23 unique artworks created by Columbus College of Art & Design students on over 400 construction barricades that line streets throughout the Short North Arts District. As the barriers will move virtually daily as a part of the City of Columbus’ High Street Streetscape Improvements Project, the artworks were created so that no matter how the barriers are shifted or configured, the artwork will be seen and cohesive story will be told. Learn more about ArtPaths here. ArtPaths is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

ArtPaths is made possible with partnerships and support from the following:


Short North Arts District Art Trail

Enjoying arts and culture in the Short North Arts District is easy and rewarding with the Short North Arts District Art Trail. Navigate the trail and gain access to a series of exciting offers & deals from businesses in the Short North area!

From iconic permanent murals to colorful Short North Arches and Six in the Short North: Short North Temporary Mural Series, the streets in the Short North Arts District are filled with enlightening and often unexpected works of art. At the heart of the District is its galleries, which feature folk art to fine art. Build your collection with works by thousands of emerging & established artists showcased in the Short North Arts District.

You can access the trail app at arttrail.shortnorth.org.

Art Spotlight: “Are you a life force?” Mural

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