No city boasts everywhere art and unexpected architecture quite like Columbus, Indiana. In fact, Columbus has been called one of the best cities in the world for architecture and design lovers. Designed by detailed artists and adored by the community, these pieces of artwork are a must-see for any visitor!
Designed by Henry Moore, one of the most influential public sculptors of the twentieth century, the Large Arch is the largest of this kind of artwork in the nation. Located just outside of the Bartholomew County Public Library, its abstract and organic form provide a contrast to the geometric shapes of the buildings that surround it.
In Greek mythology, the winged Eos was the goddess of the dawn, and rose from her home at the edge of Oceanus, the Ocean, dispersed the mists of the night and opened the gates of heaven every day so that her brother, Helios, the sun, could ride his chariot across the sky.
The Eos sculpture in Columbus, Indiana is a beautiful tribute to the ancient Greek myth. Created by artist Dessa Kirk, located at the intersection of 5th and Lindsey, Eos faces the west as if she rises with the sun each morning. Eos is a must-see sculpture while visiting.
Created by Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, Chaos I is a thirty-foot, seven-ton moving sculpture. Chaos I cycles through a series of motions to simulate a day in the life. The structure is unique and represents both the calm and busy aspects of the world around us.
In a town filled with unexpected art and everywhere architecture, Chaos I is incredibly special to the community. Located at The Commons, Chaos I continues to move and delight in the heart of downtown Columbus, Indiana. (Photo by Richard Gaynor)
Created by Columbus sculptor Martin Beach, the Modern Totem is an 8,000-pound mesabi black granite sculpture. The piece is an obelisk form consisting of two stacked, black granite stones, creating a modern and minimal interpretation of a totem, which is an ancient symbol of community, gathering and family.
Located by the Library plaza, the Modern Totem is a pleasant and calming piece. The library’s stone steps came from the same quarry as these granite stones!
Created by local artist, Rick Bauer, Skopos translates as “the watcher” in Greek. The sculpture sadly floated away during the flood of 2008, however was found downstream weeks later. Skopos was later re-installed at Mill Race Park.
The Daquqi, a nine-ton sculpture by Peter Lundberg, is located in Garton Plaza. The Daquqi takes its name from a Rumi poem. The piece is made of concrete and stainless steel that features a circular detailing done by the artist.
Sun Garden Panels
Created by artist Dale Chihuly, the Sun Garden in Suspended Circle consists of 32 hand-painted plexiglas drawings positioned inside a round skylight and backlit by the sun. Each drawing depicts one of Chihuly’s series. Come view this unique artwork during the daytime, as rays of sun dance into the room through each unique drawing.
Yellow Neon Chandelier
You will find this beautiful hand-blown glass artwork inside the Columbus Area Visitors Center. Created by Dale Chihuly, the installation is nine feet tall and six feet wide and contains 900 hand-blown elements in shades of vibrant yellow.
You will find this unique piece alongside 3rd Street, between Jackson and Lindsey Streets in Columbus, Indiana. Designed by Robert Pulley, Ancestral Way is a series of hand-built ceramic sculptures consisting of eleven organic forms appearing to march in procession along the hillside as visitors exit the city.
This installation by Rudolph de Harak is both instructional and fascinating. Nearly every nut and bolt is deconstructed to its smallest detail and hangs in midair, suspended by floor-to-ceiling wires. The diesel engine is the centerpiece of the museum at the Cummins Corporate Headquarters. The New York Times obituary for de Harak says, “…it hangs by wires in midair, revealing its every part, including all the tiny nuts and bolts. It was one of his many approaches to extracting useful, fascinating information from the most minute details.”
Looking for more?
Check out our art guide to discover more remarkable art to experience in Columbus, Indiana.