Columbus, Indiana is well-known for everywhere art and unexpected architecture. World class art and architecture surround the city, including works designed by world-renowned designers including Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Robert Venturi, I.M. Pei and Dale Chihuly. Art and design flourish within the culture of this community, making it a beautiful place to call home and bringing in thousands of visitors each year from all over the US and around the globe.

This year’s Exhibit Columbus, the second iteration of the acclaimed exhibition of temporary architectural installations is happening now through December 1, 2019, and consists of 18 installations, located throughout downtown Columbus. Designers were asked to center their work around the theme of “Good Design in the Community,” highlighting that good design can improve people’s lives and make cities a better place to live.

Artists were encouraged to think about what it would be like to live and work in Columbus, Indiana, and how the new installations being produced for the 2019 exhibition will impact those who interact with them.

Each artist included in the 2019 exhibition was challenged to provide a plan for how the materials of the artwork could be used after the exhibition comes to an end. This year’s “Exhibit Columbus” features several botanical installations. For example, “Into the Hedge,” designed by SO-IL and located at the Bartholomew County Courthouse, includes 150 trees that will later be planted at Miller House and Garden.

Residents throughout the community were encouraged to participate in the creation of the installations. Some Exhibit Columbus artists hosted events to allow the community to influence designs. In addition to these events, locals volunteered to help build the installations once the designs were complete.

“Exhibit Columbus” transforms downtown Columbus, Indiana, throughout the last few months of the year. The exhibit also gives visitors a reason to come back to a place they may have already visited, so that they may see the community through a different lens.

If you are planning on attending “Exhibit Columbus 2019,” here is a sneak peek into a few of the installations you can expect to see:

“XX” AT AT&T FACILITY
Agency Landscape + Planning

Inspired by Xenia S. Miller and switching operators, designers will plant a nursery, build a platform and stage a series of community-inspired events.

“SOFT CIVIC” AT COLUMBUS CITY HALL
Bryony Roberts Studio

Seating areas and platforms will be created with custom-fabricated steel structures, which are interwoven with colorful rope.

“UNTITLED” AT BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY PLAZA
Frida Escobedo Studio

The landscape of an elevated terrace, featuring native grasses, trees and wildflowers, will serve as a public space for gathering or quiet reflection.

“CORN/MEAL” AT CENTRAL MIDDLE SCHOOL
MASS Design Group

Five varieties of corn have been planted to create an educational area and meeting space for students and the public.

“INTO THE HEDGE” AT BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY COURTHOUSE LAWN
SO-IL

A grid of 150 arborvitae trees will serve as a whimsical environment by day and will be festively lighted at night.

View the winners of the 2018 “Exhibit Columbus” Miller Prize.

Learn more about Exhibit Columbus 2019.

All photos by Hadley Fruits, Exhibit Columbus