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Philanthropy Friday: Bicentennial Towers

 Lynsey Harris, The Columbus Foundation Philanthropy Friday: Bicentennial Towers
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Artist David Best

Four unique 1,000-pound sculptures have been installed on the previously empty pedestals or plinths of the Broad Street Bridge, on the west edge of downtown Columbus.

The bridge, built in 1991, was originally designed with sculptural elements in mind, but they were never completed. The new plywood spires were created by California-based sculptor David Best and will be on display through December 2012. Best’s temporary project brings new life to Columbus’s major downtown bridge.

Made of computer-cut plywood, each of the four “Bicentennial Towers” is 16 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter. The towers are among the 13 public art projects in FINDING TIME: Columbus Public Art 2012, which is taking place in public spaces, plazas, parks, streets, and alleys in a 360-acre area of downtown surrounding the Statehouse and along the riverfront. Take a behind-the-scenes look at the construction and installation of the “Bicentennial Towers” below:

These public projects will transform downtown into an open-air gallery, with innovative and surprising public art accessible to all. Project partners have commissioned the site-responsive public artworks by international, national, and local artists to be created over the course of Columbus’ bicentennial year.

The Columbus Foundation is proud to be one of the numerous supporters of FINDING TIME: Columbus Public Art 2012, and has awarded two special Bicentennial Grants totaling $45,000 to support the public art effort.

For more information please visit www.ColumbusPublicArt.com.

Information about local nonprofits is available 24/7 through the Foundation’s online resource, PowerPhilanthropy, which is available to everyone who wants to be more informed about the nonprofits they care about. PowerPhilanthropy makes it easy to donate to the causes you care about at columbusfoundation.org/p2/.

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  • Great video! I love Mr. Best’s comment about seeing whether or not people like it. ;) It seems like public artwork installations can sometimes be pretty divisive. But it makes for great conversation!

  • mrpoppinzs

    Not my personal cup of tea, but I really like the spirit of this and the concept of temporary low budget art installations throughout the city.

  • I think they look amazing!!!! Its a proud day in Columbus

  • Mr. Best just seems like such an incredibly sweet, down-to-earth guy. I think it’s wonderful that he chose to help beautify our downtown with his art, even if only for a short time.

  • somemoore

    Drove by the sculptures this morning on my way to work. I almost rear ended the car in front of me. Amazing! Looking forward to seeing more things to come as the Bicentennial unfolds.

  • mbeaumont

    Very cool! Would love to see something permanent, I think the towers look great! Nice little video too.

  • Dar

    Very very cool. I wish this was the work of a local artist, but do appreciate it.

  • leftovers

    love it

  • @Dar – I love our local artists, but I don’t think we need to love them at the exclusion of artists from other parts of the country or world. Movies don’t have to be made locally to be good, nor does local productions of Broadway theatrical performances, nor do bands need to be local to put on a good show in Columbus, and so on and so forth. Let’s embrace national artists here as much as we embrace our locals. ;)

  • Wow really cool!

  • 6a

    I understand they are supposed to be temporary for the bicentennial celebration, but if there is a widespread good vibe about it, why couldn’t they be made permanent? Since the bridge was designed with this kind of thing in mind, what would it hurt?

  • Mr Man

    Well, they’re plywood, for one. Even treated plywood will not last through many wet Ohio winter/spring seasons.

    I haven’t seen them yet, but I love the idea. For a city without a strong public art connection, this could be a great showcase for different talents.

    Although part of me wishes that the serpent-mound inspired glass “awning” proposal was still in play. Not only does it showcase motifs and materials prominent throughout the state (we are the capital city, and have very few public indications of that status outside of state government buildings), but it would be spectacular in the true sense of the word.

  • crack12

    having seen these mini towers – I question the artistic taste of those responsible for this selection

  • While I think they are interesting looking, they look a little short for the pedestals that they sit on. I am still holding out hope for something with a WOW factor, such as the glass serpent mound recreation, as a permanent fixture on the Broad Street bridge.

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