A new piece of public art is on track to be unveiled this summer at North Bank Park. “Flowing Kiss”, which will consist of two shining steel sculptures placed on black and white granite columns, is currently being fabricated. The 15-foot tall sculptures will be placed in the stone planters on either side of Neil Avenue, between Spring and Long Streets.
Colorado-based artist Lawrence Argent was selected for the project in June of last year by a seven-member jury, which was seated by the Columbus Art Commission. Argent has installed many high-profile public art pieces at sites around the country, including “I see what you mean” (a giant blue bear peering into the Colorado Convention Center), and “Leap”, which features a bright red rabbit jumping down to the baggage claim level of the Sacramento Airport.
Argent said his plan for the Columbus piece changed after his initial site visit, during which he tried to talk to as many locals as he could.
“Columbus is a very interesting city in many ways. I was was struck by the sense of affection and love for the city…I thought, ‘What can I do with this? How can I synthesize this idea and create something uniquely Columbus?’”
He explored possibilities related to “the motion of a kiss…trying to capture the moment of passion of a kiss or a moment of embrace, (and also to) see the effect of wind or energy blowing through objects.”
Once Argent came up with the initial idea, the challenge then became creating a form that was intriguing but that did not call to mind something familiar like an animal (or, as he jokingly put it, “trying to make sure it didn’t look like Finding Nemo or something).”
The artist is confident that he came up with something that will strike a chord with the community; “I think it will be magical.”
The $240,000 project is being funded primarily by the Riverfront Vision Account of the Miranova Tax Increment Financing district set up in 1998. Additional funding is being provided by the Ohio Arts Council Percent for the Arts Program.
Lori Baudro, city staff to the Arts Commission, says the goal for installation is July or early August of this year.
Photos courtesy Argent Studios Ltd.
More information about the project can be found at development.columbus.gov.