Artistic Impact

Collage of several Wexner programs representing artistic impact

The only contemporary arts center of its kind at a major research university, the Wex puts visual art, film/video, and performing arts on equal footing and serves as a creative laboratory for artists from around the globe and a forum for the exploration of new ideas.

"I can’t stress how essential it is that a place like this exists in the middle of the country away from the supposed cultural centers."
—Martin Scorsese

Since 1989, the Wex has offered nearly 500 residencies and commissions across all artistic disciplines, supporting works ranging from Brian Harnetty’s Shawnee, Ohio to visual artist Sarah Oppenheimer’s kinetic sculptural monoliths to filmmaker Kelly Reichardt’s Sundance entry Certain Women. Last season, we provided support for (among other projects) acclaimed Columbus-based musician Mark Lomax’s 400: An Afrikan Epic and celebrated choreographer Ann Carlson’s The Symphonic Body/Food. Forthcoming commissions include Triptych: Eyes of One on Another, a multimedia show about Robert Mapplethorpe with a score by Bryce Dessner, and the final installment of choreographer Faye Driscoll’s Thank You for Coming trilogy. Details about other major upcoming residencies can be found here

Works created at the Wex have gone on to tour across the US and to nearly two dozen countries, including Brazil, Lebanon, France, Australia, and Japan; to prestigious festivals like Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival; and to venues ranging from the Whitney Museum of American Art, to Film at Lincoln Center, to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, to Broadway—to name just a few. Artists who have created work here have collected top honors, including Oscars, Tonys, MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants, Cannes Film Festival awards, and the National Medal of Arts; works supported here have won the Bessie Award, awards at the Berlin, Rotterdam, and London film festivals, and more. 

The Wex hosts US and world premieres each year (and has presented more than 40 performance premieres and well over 200 film premieres since 1989). Additionally, its nationally noted, state-of-the-art Film/Video Studio churns out new work year-round, with about 20 emerging and established filmmakers and video artists working on their films here each year. A comprehensive and searchable online archive is being developed to catalogue these works.