From the grand museums of the Downtown to the gallery strand in Columbus’s art district of Short North, this city represents both internationally recognized and locally aspiring artists. Take a look at our favorite museums and artsy spots in the city.
In the gut-renovated, 1923-classical manse, which formerly served as the headquarters for the United Commercial Travelers insurance company, Pizzuti and curator Rebecca Ibel unveiled two exhibitions: “null” and “null,” a recent exploration into the rising stars of Havana’s art scene. (There’s even a deftly-curated sculpture garden, which was a hit at the opening).
A "makerspace" where hundreds of members use various equipment to realize their visions."It's like a gym for tools," founder Alex Bandar said. Instead of personal trainers, the former shoe factory is full of people learning everything from acrylic painting to digital photography and stone carving. Its welding classes are popular with people intent on sculpting. Tours are offered Saturdays at noon and Mondays at 6 p.m.
An old warehouse at 400 W. Rich Street is where more than 100 artisans now ply their trades. Most days, the workplace isn't open to the public, so a visit the second Friday of the month can prove rewarding. That's when artists throw open the doors to their studios. Each month brings fresh solo exhibitions to two galleries. And one-of-a-kind items can be purchased at the Handmade Market.
The Sherrie Gallery in Short North is a cozy space that specializes in contemporary glass, ceramic, and three-dimensional art. Exhibitions rotate seasonally, and the shop offers hand-crafted jewelry and home decorations that are unique to this local gallery. Sherrie is defined by provocative and unusual works that draw people in from the street and attract tourists from all over the country. This spot is a must while touring galleries in the arts district and for art lovers everywhere.
For any history buff, the Kelton House is a must-see in Columbus’s historic district. Built by Fernando Kelton and his wife Sophia in 1852, this beautiful Victorian home was rendered in Greek revival and Italianate styles. The Keltons were avid abolitionists who harbored runaway slaves, and their home became a critical stopping-point on the Underground Railroad.
The Wexner Center for the Arts, affectionately termed the ‘Wex,’ is a multi-functional arts space on the Ohio State campus. This geometric, minimalist structure houses a rotating list of exhibitions, which often feature a Q & A session with the curators. The Wex also hosts music, performing arts, and a superb Film and Video series that runs year-round and screens independent films.
In the art district of Short North is a funky art gallery and vintage toy shop, Rivet, which specializes in pop art. This gallery is a breath of fresh air after touring Short North’s high-end galleries on the famous Gallery Hop path. Quirky toys and artwork characterize this relaxed gallery. Underground artists showcase their work once a month, and they sell apparel and accessories in addition to prints, toy, and comic books.
The entrance is bright and welcoming, with sun pouring in from the conservatory glass ceiling and a series of vibrant glass sculptures on the mezzanine. The lower level hosts interactive exhibits that encourage touch and participation. Kids can climb the wooden ‘treehouse’ in the ‘Wonder Room’ or sculpt clay and draw postcards in the ‘Big Idea Gallery.’ The main collection features 19th/20th century American and European art, with headliner artists like Renoir, Degas, and Monet.