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Art Initiative Bringing New Public Displays to Downtown in 2012

Walker Evans Walker Evans Art Initiative Bringing New Public Displays to Downtown in 2012
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The Greater Columbus Arts Council and the City of Columbus are collaborating on a new initiative called Columbus Public Art 2012, designed to bring new works of public art to Downtown as a part of the 200Columbus bicentennial celebration. The project recently received a $150,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, to help fund 10 to 15 public art project. The works will involve local, national and international artists.

“The seeds for this initiative were sown in summer 2009 when I led a studio for graduate students in the Department of Art at OSU,” said Malcolm Cochran, professor of sculpture and project director for Columbus Public Art 2012. “With the assistance of Cleve Ricksecker, director of the Capital Crossroads SID, 25 students were able to create works for vacant spaces Downtown. Through serving on the Columbus Art Commission, I saw the opportunity to build on that experience by proposing a program of significant public art. In early 2010 we were awarded initial funding by an Engagement/Impact Grant of $45,000 from the OSU Office of Outreach & Engagement. The Our Town grant solidifies our efforts, and it is gratifying to receive this endorsement on a national level.”

The Columbus Public Art 2012 project will be on temporary display next year in public spaces, parks, streets and alleys throughout the 360 acre area of downtown, primarily surrounding the Statehouse and along the Scioto riverfront. The goal is to transform portions of Downtown into an open-air art gallery where innovative public artwork can be accessible to all residents.

“Great cities are enriched by great art, and the residents of this great city deserve no less,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “I want to thank the NEA for this tremendous grant, which will enable us to bring new beauty and vibrancy to our community.”

More information can be found online at www.gcac.org.

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