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Melissa Starker, Creative Content & PR Manager
Aug 25, 2021
In the spring of last year, in the earliest days of protests over the murder of George Floyd, businesses in downtown Columbus boarded up their windows and the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) came up with a response that would help solve two pressing problems at once. For #ArtUnitesCbus, A Black Lives Matter public art initiative, GCAC asked local artists to beautify those storefronts with messages of support for racial justice and equality, and paid the artists for their work at a time when COVID-19 threatened the livelihoods of many creatives.
When the plywood boards were removed, GCAC stored them for future viewing, and now the organization has brought a bit of downtown to returning students at Ohio State. Though we're still a few weeks away from being able to share work by Jacqueline Humphries in the galleries, we're excited to host some of these works on the Wex Plaza.
Stephanie Rond, Gesture to High Water; poem: Dionne Custer Edwards; models: April Sunami and Jessica Roach, photo: Melissa Starker
They're displayed as large cubes, which were installed with help from our team of preparators at several locations around campus. Among the works greeting students on the Wex Plaza is a collaboration between Stephanie Rond, a fine and street artist and proprietor of S.Dot Gallery, and our Learning & Public Practice Director, Dionne Custer Edwards.
Photo: Dave Dickas
Other Columbus artists represented on the plaza include Jade Davis, Aly Moore, and Justin Nottke and Kristen Schwenger. More panels can be seen outside the Hale Black Cultural Center and Thompson Library, with additional works inside the library's atrium. The outdoor component will be on view through November 24.
Photo: Melissa Starker
GCAC has also installed #ArtMakesCbus panels indoors and outdoors at Ft. Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, and indoors at the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Main Branch and Columbus College of Art & Design. We're so thankful to GCAC and participating artists for sharing this work to launch the school year.
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