Free Space: What you can do

Sep 15, 2020

Hand painted all-caps black lettering that reads "Free Space" on a white background

Welcome! We're excited for you to experience a new free, flexible, mixed-use space we are piloting this fall that will include a microcinema, a community resource lounge, and a place for convening. Free Space emerged as an effort to respond to the extraordinary conditions of 2020 and manifold of needs expressed by community members in Columbus and at Ohio State. The initiative endeavors to provide support, resources, and simply space for conversation and connection. This experimental locale will occupy the Wex’s first gallery September 17 through December 27 (just look for the hand-painted "Free Space" sign by Columbus artist Lisa McLymont).

In addition to daily film screenings and programs organized by Wex staff and community partners, Free Space may be reserved for class discussions and other small gatherings. (We hope to extend the invitation to book the space to student and community organizations if the university’s current policy on gatherings is lifted, so please check back for updates!) To find out if a day and time is available, and to reserve the space for your group, please contact at least one week in advance. This is also the contact email for general questions and feedback.

More information on Free Space can be found below. Feel free to share! And at the bottom of this post, you'll find info on how to submit your own visual art or video to be included of the project.

Free Space is a cross-departmental collaboration generated by the Wex’s Film/Video and Learning and Public Practice Departments and created in dialogue with local artists and educators. It is organized by Dionne Custer Edwards, Dave Filipi, Jennifer Lange, Layla Muchnik-Benali, Jean Pitman, Alana Ryder, Jo Snyder, Chris Stults, and Lucy Zimmerman along with contributions by guest curators NO EVIL EYE (Rooney Elmi and Ingrid Raphael) and Cameron Granger and advising by Learning and Public Practice’s Community Artist Group: Tala Kanani, Bobby T. Luck, Claudia Owusu, and Jonna Twigg.



Free Space is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday through Sunday from 11 AM to 4 PM, as well as Thursdays from 11 AM until 7 PM. It is available for reservation by appointment only on Mondays, but the other galleries are closed Mondays. 

Film programs

  • Through October 11, Free Space will host Film Activism: Cinetracts ’20 Expanded, three programs of short films by artists participating in the Wexner Center Artist Residency Award project Cinetracts '20.
  • October 13–November 8, the microcinema will present Sequence 01: Diasporic Reckoning, curated by NO EVIL EYE
  • November 10 brings the program Everybody’s got a little light, under the sun, a shorts program curated by Columbus filmmaker Cameron Granger. That will screen through December 27.
  • Screenings of the Film Activism programs will take place at 1 PM and 4 PM on weekdays, with additional screenings at 6 PM on Thursdays and 11 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. Screening times may shift for subsequent film programs.
  • More details about the Free Space film programs is available here.

Tech and other gear for public use 

  • There will be a 65-inch monitor which visitors may plug their laptop into if needed (via HDMI cable) for classes or presentations.
  • It may be possible to accommodate additional tech needs, but these must be requested at least two weeks in advance.  
  • Twenty folding chairs are available, with markings on the floor to help ensure spatial distancing. Three tables are available, with each table able to accommodate two people. 
  • Hand sanitizer, gloves, and disinfecting supplies will be available in the gallery. Users are expected to wipe down any surfaces they have come in contact with before leaving.
  • Please enjoy beverages and food prior to or after visiting the galleries, as food is not permitted in exhibition spaces and face masks are required at all times.

Resources and art supplies

  • Visitors may bring laptops, notebooks, and writing instruments into Free Space but must check backpacks or other large bags and pens before entering the other galleries.
  • Art supply kits will be available in the space, which will also have materials to write letters to elected officials and a bulletin board for posting information and sharing resources.
  • Do you have a burning question, comment, or insight? Call or text the Wex Hotline anytime at (614) 813-3416. We are listening and happy to chat about whatever is on your mind. If we cannot answer your question, we will direct it to someone who might be able to help. It's quite possible we will pick up or respond in the moment, but if you don't get a live response, leave a message or text. Please allow  24–48 hours for a response. Texts and phone calls only, please.
  • In addition to the Wex Hotline, we are happy to connect with you during our Office Hours, held weekly in-person in Free Space, outdoors on the Mershon Porch, or virtually on Zoom. A schedule will be posted soon!

We look forward to seeing you!


Calls for entries

A collection of potential collage materials on a table in the foreground, with a yellow wall with a ladder in front of it in the background

The wall that will be home to Residue; Photo: Lucy Zimmerman

Free Space: Community Reel

How do you feel about the world? What’s on your mind? What feels important to you right now? We want to see things from your perspective! Youth and young adults (ages 25 and under) are invited to submit short videos in response to current events as part of Community Reel, an ongoing collection of short videos that will be presented online and in Free Space from September 17 to December 27. What Free Space and the Community Reel will become depends on you!

Questions to help get you started 

  • What political, social, and cultural changes do you dream about? 
  • What is the political vibe on your block? In your house?
  • How would you turn a political sign into a movie?
  • What does social justice—or injustice—look like to you?
  • What are our responsibilities to one another as community members and citizens?

Submission Guidelines 

  • The video must be one minute or shorter.
  • The video must be silent (no dialogue, music, or ambient noise). We encourage participants to think creatively about how images alone and the creative use of text on screen can communicate ideas and emotions.
  • Each video should be shot in one day, and the date should appear in some form—as text or within an image, like newspaper, internet, or phone. 
  • The content of all submissions should be connected to Ohio in some way.

Please submit work appropriate for all ages to view. We intend to show all videos submitted but will not show work that promotes or includes racist, sexist, homophobic or other discriminatory or explicit views, images, or language. Selected videos will be screened on our website and in the galleries at the Wex on a rolling basis through December 15. Participants do not need to have previous filmmaking experience to submit an entry. Films made with smartphones are not only acceptable, but encouraged. Group or class entries are permitted. 

How to submit 

  • Make your one-minute video using a smartphone, camera, or any video recording device that is available to you. If you need an editing app, iMovie, Movavi Clips Movie Making App, and Adobe Premiere Rush are available for free. We also recommend the low-cost apps FilmicPro ($14.99) and iStopMotion ($9.99).
  • Submit your entry form here. In the entry form, include a link to a downloadable version of your video (via Google Drive, WeTransfer, Dropbox, YouTube or Vimeo, for example).
  • If you have questions or encounter any issues with the entry form, e-mail Layla Muchnik-Benali.  

Free Space: Residue

Free Space’s Residue wall is a surprising, living, changing community paper wall of images and text, vision and words. Anyone is invited to share their perspective with an image, which we thoughtfully cut/collage/layer together with other submissions in Free Space, resulting in an ephemeral, organic, ever-changing collective work by members of our communities both near and far. Wex Community Artist Group members Tala Kanani, Bobby Luck, Claudia Owusu, and Jonna Twigg, along with our Learning and Public Practice staff Jean Pitman and others, will add new entries at least once every two weeks.

Submission info 

  • Please keep your original artwork. We're looking for a copy of what you've made. 
  • You can send your submission digitally in .jpg form to Include the word Residue in the subject line. We will print the work out on letter-size white copy paper to collage it onto the wall.
  • Paper copies can be sent via snail mail to Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St., Columbus OH, 43210. Include Attn: Residue on the envelope.
  • Paper copies can also be dropped off at the center during Office Hours.
  • We cannot credit individual work inside the piece but if you include your name in your email, we can add it to a list of participants. Or you can choose to remain anonymous.
  • Prints cannot be returned.
  • The Residue wall will be recycled at the end of the exhibition, but we strongly encourage you to come visit it often and watch it transform!
  • If you have any questions, email Jean Pitman at  

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