New Public Art for Hilltop Neighborhood, Hilltop Rising, to be Installed June 2018
Summer Jam West has been on a mission to bring more public art to the Hilltop neighborhood. Currently, the group has secured five pieces by artists and has placed them in prominent places throughout the neighborhood.
The pieces currently installed include: an 80’ Fantastic Food Garden mural by Danielle Poling in Westgate Park, a 14’ stainless monarch sculpture in Westgate Park, a 95’ Movin’ & Groovin’ mural by Roger Williams on the Camp Chase Trail (just north of North Sylvan Avenue), an 8′ X 4’ art panel by Tiffany Christopher at La Chaparrita (on West Broad Street), and an 8′ X 4’ art panel by Brian Marcus on Cream & Sugar on Sullivant Avenue.
A call for submissions was held earlier last year to find the piece for 2018.
“Each of our major art installations reflect our theme for that year,” says Patti Von Niessen, Executive Director of Summer Jam West. “On the Wings of Change (the monarch sculpture) was a reminder of our 2015 theme, bringing awareness to the drastic decline of monarch butterflies. The Fantastic Food Garden mural was painted in 2016 and represents our theme for the year in which we brought awareness to community gardens, backyard gardening an urban homesteading. The Movin’ & Groovin’ mural is all about our 2017 theme, reminding everyone to stay healthy and fit through movement.”
For 2018, the group has decided upon the piece ‘Phoenix Rising’ by Andrew Lundberg. The sculpture will be renamed ‘Hilltop Rising’ and is currently under construction. It will be placed at the Hollywood Casino, one of the highest areas in the Hilltop.
“Our 2018 major art installation represents our 2018 theme of “Hilltop Rising,” says Von Niessen. “The phoenix, much like the Hilltop, is rising from the ashes with renewed growth. The GM manufacturing plant, Delphi, used to be a major employer on the Hilltop. This sculpture is a reminder of that plant, like metal parts rising out of the ground.”
Lundberg was chosen from a group of seven artists that applied for this year’s public art installation.
Von Niessen elaborates on why Lundberg’s idea rose to the top. “We loved the multi-metal construction, we loved it’s rawness, we loved that he was ultra-local and close to the Hilltop, and we loved that he read the critiques on social media and adjusted his design slightly to address those issues.”
The permanent installation is scheduled to be put in place in June.
Summer Jam West was founded by Von Niessen in December of 2014 and she has been Executive Director since that time.
“The first year, we were just feeling our way around,” she says. “We brought awareness to artists who live with a disability. Since then, we’ve had time to grow and plan and think big. The following year, with the installation of the monarch sculpture, ‘On the Wings of Change’ by Rachel Pace, the world opened up to us and we were no longer just another festival. We committed to place permanent, public art on the Hilltop.”
The grassroots organization receives funding from grants and corporations, as well as revenue from vendor fees, souvenir tees, and support from local businesses. Other supporters include the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Puffin Foundation West, Heartland Bank, Hollywood Casino Columbus, Ohio Arts Council, United Way of Central Ohio, and City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.
“Everyone who works on Summer Jam West is a volunteer,” she says. “We put our money into the arts and the art and music festival. The Hilltop has no access to art or music. For many people that live up here, Summer Jam West and our permanent art installations are the only times they have access to the arts or live bands.”
“When people think of the Hilltop, they think of homelessness, poverty, drugs and crime,” she says. “They don’t think of art. We want to change all of that.”
The 2018 Summer Jam West will take place July 14, 2018 in Westgate Park. For more information, visit summerjamwest.org.
The other submissions: