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Columbus – The Indie Art Capital of the World

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WOSU NewsRoom wroteColumbus – The Inde Art Capital of the World

Andrew Miller, WOSU Commentator

Columbus Ohio, Indie Art Capital of the World.

That’s quite a proclamation, one which Mike Reed and Daniel Fox the local artists who coined the phrase, will gladly stand behind. In fact even Columbus City Council will stand behind that statement. Columbus area arts organizations along with hipster shops and hangouts are all getting behind this proclamation. Why wouldn’t they? Finally Columbus has a moniker that gives it some sort of relevance to young adults and those of us holding onto our youth against all odds.

Is Columbus actually the Indie Art Capital of the World? Well, that’s debatable. I mean, there was no contest held, no vote taken and there are plenty of artists and creative types working to improve their own cities throughout the world. So why does Columbus deserve this title? I believe the fact that hundreds of artists, crafters, shop keeps and organizations have latched onto the idea is exactly why we deserve it. We have thrown down the gauntlet, set a goal and made enough of a ruckus about it that we have no choice but to succeed.

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  • placebohigh

    Excellent points! Cheers to WOSU! :) Really great commentary.

  • artbomb112

    Agreed.

    Reality is what you make it.

    Collaboration is a rock to build on.

    Columbus has great things to be proud of.

    Agreed.

  • LauraA

    nice article.

    hopefully will add a little gas to the indie art fire.

  • machew

    I don’t know. I’m still not completely sold on this name “The Indie Arts Capital of the World” I am no art expert, but I wonder if other cities can make this claim too? Has Columbus become world-reknown or even nationaly reknown for the arts? Also, we can’t find a shorter name? Names like “The Big Apple,” “Motor City,” “The Big Easy,” “Windy City,” and “Music City” are easily recognizable names that don’t take up an entire sentence to say.

  • columbus native

    machew wroteI don’t know. I’m still not completely sold on this name “The Indie Arts Capital of the World” I am no art expert, but I wonder if other cities can make this claim too? Has Columbus become world-reknown or even nationaly reknown for the arts? Also, we can’t find a shorter name? Names like “The Big Apple,” “Motor City,” “The Big Easy,” “Windy City,” and “Music City” are easily recognizable names that don’t take up an entire sentence to say.

    you will find one of these in every forum I tell you!

    You can’t claim a name that is already taken. So for setting precident hell yeah we deserve the name. There have been plenty of things that have pointed the worlds art communities to Columbus and there will only be more to come from at his point on.

    I also think if you look at any group of communities either local, national, or international. Then you will find similar qualities in the culture in general and arts in specific. However there is only one Big Apple, Windy City, Motor City, And Independent Arts Capital of the World. Why? becase the moniker is proclaimed and then marketed tot he masses. This is what we have here with the movement we have sparked.

  • dru

    ^^furthermore, being the Independent Arts Capital doesn’t preclude us from developing another moniker – broad or narrow. It’s not trying to define Columbus as solely the IAC and nothing else. It’s simply stating that one of our attributes is independent participation and support of a variety of arts.

  • columbus native

    exactly!

  • thefightinglibrarian

    Just heard this report this morning on OSU 820. Woohooo Indie Arts Capital!!

  • Walker

    machew wroteHas Columbus become world-reknown or even nationaly reknown for the arts?

    Definitive slogans are OUT.

    Aspirational slogans are IN.

  • chivespa1

    I’m glad most all of you appreciated the commentary. I really think it’s important that we all pitch in and do what we can to promote all of the good things about Columbus. Do whatever you’re comfortable with, do it on your own, do it with your friends, hell, do it with strangers even. While you’re busy doing it make sure and video it so that you can post it up to the chamber of commerce’s youtube site and show the rest of the world how you do it.

  • Walker

    The Alive wrote“I think Columbus has a lot of potential,” Harrelson said. “It’s nice and livable. All they have to do is find a niche.”

    Indie Art Capital supporters clearly believe they’ve found it in Columbus’ arts community. And according to Mary Contrary, an Austin installation artist participating in Austin’s Art Outside event last week, that’s at least one area in which Columbus has a leg up.

    “The gallery scene here is kind of non-existent,” she said, adding that even art supplies are difficult to find in Austin.

    READ MORE

  • arenn

    Promotion to the outside world is nice. The risk is that you start believing your own press and lose a sense of perspective on your place in the world. This applies not just to Columbus, but to anywhere.

    When a city like Columbus makes strides over where it has been, it is easy to celebrate and think you’re accomplishing something, and you are. But is that accomplishment as impressive when compared against what’s going out there in the world?

    I hear cities brag about their downtowns, for example. But every city has experienced some sort of downtown renaissance. Every city has condos going up now. There’s nothing unique about that. Similarly, almost every decent sized city has seen an improvement in its local arts scene, restaurant scene, shopping options, coffee shops, etc.

    So by all means market yourself, but don’t lose focus on what you still need to do.

  • Dutch Rub

    This whole “indie art capital of the world” tagline is just a contrivance. There’s a ton of great art in this town, but give me a break. It’s so nondescript…like we would say, “Yeah? Well, you can’t, like, prove that were not!” It’s just a marketing scheme to woo the yuppies into buying up all the overpriced condoes that just won’t stop springing up.

    Here’s a better slogan for Columbus: The Public Transportation Black Hole of the World

    It’s still not as bad as everyone who’s jumping on the green bandwagon…yet they DRIVE EVERYWHERE! I wonder why…

  • Walker

    So… you don’t have any better suggestions is what you’re trying to say?

    Also: Every tagline ever created has been a contrivance.

  • roy

    Dutch_Rub wroteThis whole “indie art capital of the world” tagline is just a contrivance…It’s just a marketing scheme to woo the yuppies into buying up all the overpriced condoes that just won’t stop springing up.

    So that’s where it came from! Scheming real estate agents and condo developers.

  • Tsuru

    Besides Gallery Hop and a few cool galleries, where are all the opportunities for indie-artists to get their work shown?

    My portfolios ready.

  • turnedNOTburned

    Tsuru wroteBesides Gallery Hop and a few cool galleries, where are all the opportunities for indie-artists to get their work shown?

    My portfolios ready.

    +1 I’ve been stumbling around in the dark for the last 5 years, doing craft/art shows, but, I feel kinda “lost” on how to get better penetration as I change direction into move into “art” and away from “functional/craft”.

    There’s another thread on CU for Agora 2008, if you weren’t already aware… The deadline is tomorrow but, profile setup is super easy…. Got images? Not sure of your medium or where you want to go but, I’ve found the “about” sites to be at least “helpful” http://painting.about.com/od/careerdevelopment/a/ScottMasonTips.htm

    Might be another good thread topic – venues for Emerging artists..

    – Devo

  • blammo

    …and if your portfolio is really ready, there’s Spark tomorrow:

    http://www.columbusunderground.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13033

  • Walker

    Tsuru wroteBesides Gallery Hop and a few cool galleries, where are all the opportunities for indie-artists to get their work shown?

    My portfolios ready.

    http://www.agoracolumbus.com

  • Tsuru

    blammo wrote…and if your portfolio is really ready, there’s Spark tomorrow:

    http://www.columbusunderground.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13033

    Oh man… I got a shoot tomorrow at 2! But thanks! I make sure to watch for the next one.

    Walker wrotehttp://www.agoracolumbus.com

    Thank you very much!!

  • LauraA

    blammo wrote…and if your portfolio is really ready, there’s Spark tomorrow:

    http://www.columbusunderground.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13033

    spark! for March is cancelled. Sorry for the short notice. Due to two deaths in my immediate family I cannot be available to organize Saturday’s show. I apologize for any inconvenience but I must be with my family at this time.

    Thank you and I hope to see everyone in April,

    Laura Alexander

    (organizer of spark!)

  • Gandolph Gandolphini

    Anything pro Columbus indieness I’m for.

  • roy

    turnedandburned wrote

    Tsuru wroteBesides Gallery Hop and a few cool galleries, where are all the opportunities for indie-artists to get their work shown? My portfolios ready.

    +1 I’ve been stumbling around in the dark for the last 5 years, doing craft/art shows, but, I feel kinda “lost” on how to get better penetration as I change direction into move into “art” and away from “functional/craft”.

    Might be another good thread topic – venues for Emerging artists..

    A popular CUer is working on this as his IAC contribution. Health issues delayed the project but there are efforts underway to identify more ops to show, and sell, art.

  • Coremodels

    LauraA wrote

    blammo wrote…and if your portfolio is really ready, there’s Spark tomorrow:

    http://www.columbusunderground.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13033

    spark! for March is cancelled. Sorry for the short notice. Due to two deaths in my immediate family I cannot be available to organize Saturday’s show. I apologize for any inconvenience but I must be with my family at this time.

    Thank you and I hope to see everyone in April,

    Laura Alexander

    (organizer of spark!)

    :shock: So sorry to hear of this tragedy Laura, and I wish you the best in working through this difficult time.

    Thank you for the Spark! contribution, look forward to it’s continued success, but family is always the most important thing.

  • lizorak

    The abbreviation “indie” means “independent” and therefore in this case should imply that there is a lot of independent artists in Columbus. This meaning I suppose, ones that aren’t being represented by a Gallery.

    I think though, that a discussion about the semantics of the word “indie,” would be good – Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always associated the word “indie” with things that are trendy, hipster, crafty… which almost trivializes art in a sense by canning it. For example, I’ve been to a lot of “indie” craft shows where even though there are always a few very talented, unique artists – a lot of the “indie” craft work doesn’t seem independent at all but instead cookie cutter and cutesy.

    In this sense, is it or isn’t it beneficial to the artists community to label all of the work as “indie”? Does this trivialize the serious pursuits of local artists? Perhaps a better word that describes more of a sense of community among artists, where an open exchange of ideas are encouraged – and true, gritty, honest work is displayed and not work that can be given a name such as “indie.” What’s that word? Hell I dunno ;)

    That being said – recently having moved to Columbus – I have been impressed and surprised by the amount of talent that is in this town. The shows I have seen at Junctionview, ROYGBIV, and the like have been inspiring. I admire anyone who has the balls to make art and display it in the public realm….

  • columbus native
  • MikeReed

    lizorak wroteThe abbreviation “indie” means “independent” and therefore in this case should imply that there is a lot of independent artists in Columbus. This meaning I suppose, ones that aren’t being represented by a Gallery.

    I think though, that a discussion about the semantics of the word “indie,” would be good – Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always associated the word “indie” with things that are trendy, hipster, crafty… which almost trivializes art in a sense by canning it. For example, I’ve been to a lot of “indie” craft shows where even though there are always a few very talented, unique artists – a lot of the “indie” craft work doesn’t seem independent at all but instead cookie cutter and cutesy.

    In this sense, is it or isn’t it beneficial to the artists community to label all of the work as “indie”? Does this trivialize the serious pursuits of local artists? Perhaps a better word that describes more of a sense of community among artists, where an open exchange of ideas are encouraged – and true, gritty, honest work is displayed and not work that can be given a name such as “indie.” What’s that word? Hell I dunno ;)

    That being said – recently having moved to Columbus – I have been impressed and surprised by the amount of talent that is in this town. The shows I have seen at Junctionview, ROYGBIV, and the like have been inspiring. I admire anyone who has the balls to make art and display it in the public realm….would you like to lead such a semantic discussion earlier in the day at agora? we are doing this sort of cerebral thing on the 19 tv before the main show.

  • columbus native

    YES AN INDIE ART DEBATE!!!!!!!!

  • Bob Corby

    Further evidence of the “Indie Capital” is the local Small Press Comics scene.

    Columbus hosts at least 2 comic collectives “Sunday Comix” and “Panel” Not to mention dozens of other independent cartoonists. Also we host the largest small press and alternative comics show in the mid-west, SPACE (The Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo) .

    http://www.backporchcomics.com/space.htm

    http://www.comicspace.com/sunday_comix/

    http://www.ferretpress.com/

  • turnedNOTburned

    Hey, we gonna have some more “Sparks”? I’ll help :)

  • columbusdreamer

    lizorak wroteThe abbreviation “indie” means “independent” and therefore in this case should imply that there is a lot of independent artists in Columbus. This meaning I suppose, ones that aren’t being represented by a Gallery.

    I think though, that a discussion about the semantics of the word “indie,” would be good – Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always associated the word “indie” with things that are trendy, hipster, crafty… which almost trivializes art in a sense by canning it. For example, I’ve been to a lot of “indie” craft shows where even though there are always a few very talented, unique artists – a lot of the “indie” craft work doesn’t seem independent at all but instead cookie cutter and cutesy.

    In this sense, is it or isn’t it beneficial to the artists community to label all of the work as “indie”? Does this trivialize the serious pursuits of local artists? Perhaps a better word that describes more of a sense of community among artists, where an open exchange of ideas are encouraged – and true, gritty, honest work is displayed and not work that can be given a name such as “indie.” What’s that word? Hell I dunno ;)

    That being said – recently having moved to Columbus – I have been impressed and surprised by the amount of talent that is in this town. The shows I have seen at Junctionview, ROYGBIV, and the like have been inspiring. I admire anyone who has the balls to make art and display it in the public realm….

    I just learned what Indie stood for not to long ago. I don’t know if its something you say okay this is but this isn’t . its like hip hop . the beastie boys when they came out ..some people didn’t think they were hip hop

  • LauraA

    turnedNOTburned wroteHey, we gonna have some more “Sparks”? I’ll help :)

    i’m trying to get it together for january. if i ever catch my breath. seems like i have a deadline every month, or a festival, or agora. :lol:

    looks like it will slow up after cnote for about a month.

  • Cyclist

    LauraA wrote

    turnedNOTburned wroteHey, we gonna have some more “Sparks”? I’ll help :)

    i’m trying to get it together for january. if i ever catch my breath. seems like i have a deadline every month, or a festival, or agora. :lol:

    looks like it will slow up after cnote for about a month.

    I would like to volunteer again at these.

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