Thousands of community members and visitors joined the participants, curators, and Landmark Columbus Foundation Staff to experience 13 new works of art and architecture and to celebrate in one of America’s most renowned design meccas.
Exhibit Columbus is the only program of its kind that engages in an international dialogue connected to the biennial exhibition structure while addressing the challenges that cities around the globe are facing today. The Exhibition is proclaimed a “public tour de force” by The Republic newspaper. Open through November 26, 2023.
This past Saturday, thousands of community members and visitors came to downtown Columbus, Indiana to experience the 2023 Exhibit Columbus exhibition, Public by Design, a ground-breaking exhibition that showcases how art and architecture can help build a sense of belonging while revitalizing and reimagining historic downtowns as equitable, beautiful, and joyful places.
A Columbus resident said on Facebook of the weekend: “Such a unifying and happy moment. We need more of this stuff in the world.” “What we’ve built together is very special—an exhibition that residents and visitors want to explore and feel connected with, one that is filled with new places throughout the city where we can create and share meaningful new experiences,” said Mayor James Lienhoop.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this community and what this exhibition is all about. This truly is one of the best places in the world to live, and it’s getting better every day.”
The day began with hundreds of people on foot—and dogs on leashes, toddlers in strollers, and kids on scooters—walking a meandering route around downtown Columbus for an Exhibition Tour to see the 13 newly commissioned installations and hear from their creators: four J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Recipients, seven University Design Research Fellows, High School Design Team, Communication Designer, and six Curatorial Partners.
Throughout the day, each installation was activated with free events for visitors of all ages, including musical performances, games such as bocce, and children’s storytime.
In the afternoon, the curators shared their vision and process for Public by Design in a Curatorial Conversation inside the iconic sanctuary of First Christian Church, where they discussed how Exhibit Columb us is different from every other architecture and design exhibition.
“We wanted to demonstrate the basic idea that the best work is built with a broad belief in the collective power of community work and engagement,” said Bryony Roberts, one of the curators and Miller Prize Recipient in the 2018–2019 cycle of Exhibit Columbus.
In the evening, the community gathered downtown for Rock the Block at Practice for Architecture and Urbanism | PAU’s installation, InterOculus, at the intersection of 4th and Washington Streets for dance performances by Dance Street Studio (Swing and Salsa), Monja Ninja (Japanese Dance)
Beyond Bollywood Beats (Indian Dance), RJ Bhangra Academy (Indian Dance), Dance with Us (Indian Dance), and Black Excellence (African-American Dance) who created a 15-minute show that told the history of the Black experience starting with post-slavery gospel, seventies soul, to today’s hip-hop hits.
After the show, the party continued with a free, public dance party. Thanks to state-wide and national support, there was no entrance fee for the exhibition or any of the opening day activities. Source by Exhibit Columbus and photos Courtesy of KUBANY.