From August 21 through November 28, 2021, Exhibit Columbus will celebrate the unique design legacy of Columbus, Indiana with the theme, New Middles: From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of The Middle City? Thirteen public art installations will take this question head-on and illustrate their interpretation of what the future holds for places like Columbus, Indiana’s most notable “middle city.” This free and public art exhibition showcases renowned international artists and designers who will inspire you to explore, play, think and reflect on this remarkable place.

new middle type

Two preview events precede opening weekend. On Thursday, August 19 at 9:30 p.m., a series of short films will be screened at Midnight Palace, an art installation designed by J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Recipient, Future Firm (Chicago, IL).

midnight palace

Then, on Friday, August 20, the prestigious Preview Party will take place at Mill Race Park. This extraordinary evening hosts the architects, landscape architects, artists and designers who created the installations comprising this year’s Exhibit Columbus. Delectable food, libation and live music will set an innovative tone as the city hosts visitors from around the world.

preview party

Exhibit Columbus officially opens to the public on Saturday, Aug. 21 with introductions and conversations by the event curators and artists, special tours and live music at Mill Race Park. 

The day’s special events line-up begins at 10 a.m. with a guided tour alongside the Exhibit Columbus photography fellows. Space is limited; therefore, RSVPs are required.


Then at 1 p.m., Exhibition Conversations Part One will feature University Design Research Fellows at the First Christian Church. Exhibition.

Conversations Part Two begins at 7 p.m. at the Mill Race Amphitheatre and features Miller Prize recipients and Twilight Music in Mill Race Park. All opening day events are free and open to the public.

Another special event, Next Generation Day, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28. This family-fun experience is an exciting and interactive way to explore the Exhibition. The free Exhibit Columbus activity guide will include a “passport” to guide exploration through a scavenger hunt-type game. Prizes will be awarded to accomplished explorers that day.

Olalekan Jeyifous

Listed below are this year’s featured architects and artists for the thirteen public art installations.

2021 Exhibit Columbus thirteen featured artists and architects

J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients

  • Columbus by Dream the Combine (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Cloudroom by Esosistema Urbano (Miami, FL and Madrid, Spain)
  • Midnight Palace by Future Firm (Chicago, IL)
  • Archival/Revival by Olalekan Jeyifous (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Alternative Instruments by Sam Jacob Studio (London, England)

University Design Research Fellowships

  • Tracing our Mississippi by Derek Hoeferlin (Washington University in St. Louis)
  • To Middle Species, With Love by Joyce Hwang (University at Buffalo)
  • LaWaSo Ground by Jei Jeeyea Kim (Indiana University)
  • Spectral by Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller (Texas Tech College of Architecture, El Paso)
  • Window Dressing by Ang Li (Northeastern University)
  • This Appearance is _____. by Lola Sheppard and Mason White (University of Toronto & University of Waterloo)
  • Calibrate by Natalie Yates (Ball State University)

The High School Design Team built their installation with a team of more than 50 students and the expertise of Columbus-based Force Construction.

Exhibit Columbus through its exceptional presentation of architecture, art and design elevates our city’s design legacy and spirit of innovation. Celebrate our unique heritage with us by exploring Exhibit Columbus.