David Zinn temporary street art illustrations in Columbus

David Zinn has been creating original artwork since 1987, sneaking his whimsical art into the world at large, including Manhattan, village squares in Sweden, street corners in Taiwan, and also in downtown Columbus, Indiana! David’s temporary street art is mostly composed of chalk, charcoal, and found objects, and is always improvised to suit the location. The works are be temporary installations that eventually weather and disappear, but the community and the visitors to Columbus enjoyed them while they lasted.

Mill Race Center brought Zinn to Columbus in 2017 to encourage grandparents and grandkids to get out and be active while exploring the artwork, and in 2021 The Bartholomew County Historical Society brought David back to raise awareness of historic buildings in the downtown and celebrate their Centennial.

Sponsors of 2021 artwork: Tammy and Rich Freeland

Sponsors of 2017 artwork: NTN Driveshaft, Mill Race Center, Pitman Institute for Aging Well, Columbus Area Visitors Center, and The Office of Community and Rural Affairs

Select photos from the 2017 installations in Columbus

Select photos from the 2021 installations in Columbus

peering out, by david zinn
creature in brick by david zinn
creature in bricks, by david zinn
frog in pool, by david zinn

Sponsors for David’s 2017 visit
Mill Race Center, Columbus Area Visitors Center, Pittman Institute for Aging Well, Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and NTN Driveshaft, Inc.

Sponsors for David’s 2021 visit
Tammy and Rich Freeland and The Bartholomew County Historical Society.


  • David Zinn video feature on BBC News (first work shown in the video was created in Columbus)
Zinn art, map


Stop by The Visitors Center to pick up a free search-and-find guide to the  Zinn art locations.

Text from the guide:

David Zinn has been creating temporary street art since 1987, sneaking his whimsical installations into the world at large. The art is mostly made of chalk, charcoal, and found objects, and is always improvised to fit the location, as in the images above. Because David’s works are created in chalk and charcoal, they become weathered by the elements over time. However, three of the installations he created in Columbus remain, see if you can you find them!

The map will get you to their locations, they are all “hidden in plain sight” in downtown Columbus. It’s an easy walk, only a little over a half mile to see all three.