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Art Piece Approved for White Castle Building in the Short North

Brent Warren Brent Warren Art Piece Approved for White Castle Building in the Short North
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The Victorian Village Commission last month approved an art installation for the White Castle building in the Short North. The piece, called “Orange Slide Double Fade,” will be positioned on the overhanging portion of the building at the corner of West Second Avenue and North High Street.

Pedestrians will need to look up in order to see the collection of shapes hanging down from above, each a different shade of orange and made of reflective, highly-polished stainless steel.

The new permanent artwork, by artist Almond Zigmund, will measure approximately 30 feet by 13 feet.

“She’s a Brooklyn artist but a Columbus regular,” said Betsy Pandora, Executive Director of the Short North Alliance. “She’s been featured in the Pizutti Colletion and is represented by one of the galleries in the neighborhood…we’re really excited to see public art introduced into new construction.”

The chair of the commission, Marc Conte, said that the group has been generally supportive of the piece since it was first brought before them last summer. “With art installations,” he added, “we tend to focus on appropriateness of placement as opposed to focusing on content because of free speech issues.”

A timeline for installing the artwork on the building, which is currently under construction, has not been established.

Pandora said that the hope is to continue to add public art throughout the neighborhood. The Messenger was recently installed on the side of 1204 N. High St., and another piece is planned for a new building at 848 N. Pearl St.

The focus has been on buildings because of the city’s plans for a major streetscape upgrade — with work scheduled to add new sidewalks, street lighting and other improvements in the public right-of-way, it didn’t make sense to install new public art there.

A program to place temporary murals throughout the district is now in its fifth year, with a new collection to be installed this month.

Funding for each of the different projects has been assembled on a project by project basis, utilizing a mix of grants and donations from individuals, foundations, companies and public entities.

“For permanent pieces, there’s not a lot of space, so we had to be creative to find these key areas,” said Pandora.

“The Short North had a great history of wonderful art works, but we’ve lost some of those awesome early works – the early murals  were really almost like placeholders for things to come,” she added. “It’s important for us, as an arts district, to have great, visible expressions of art all along the corridor.”

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