SELF-GUIDED TOUR OF
DOWNTOWN PUBLIC ART
This smartphone content is intended to be used with the free, self-guided tour maps available at The Visitors Center, 506 Fifth Street, Columbus, Indiana.
1 – CHANDELIER AND PERSIANS
Head to the stairwell in the Visitors Center and look up to see Dale Chihuly’s 900-piece Chandelier and Persians. This is a rare Chihuly chandelier that is lit from inside with neon tubing.
Installed alongside Chihuly’s Persians, Yellow Neon Chandelier was a gift from J. Irwin and Xenia Miller in 1995 and installed shortly before Chihuly’s first major exhibition, Chihuly over Venice.
2 – MODERN TOTEM
MARTIN BEACH, 2014
Columbus sculptor Martin Beach created the 8,000-pound mesabi black granite, which came from a Babbit, Minnesota quarry.
The sculpture is an obelisk form consisting of two stacked, black granite stones, creating a modern and minimal interpretation of a totem, an ancient symbol of community, gathering, and family.
The library’s stone steps came from the same quarry as these granite stones.
3 – LARGE ARCH
HENRY MOORE, 1969
Henry Moore was asked to design a sculpture of the library plaza on the suggestion of I.M. Pei, architect of the library, who thought that a work in the plaza should serve as focal point as well as a counter-balance to the two modernist structures that surround it.
The site and size of the work encourages people to walk around and through it, as Moore intended, “As a young sculptor, I saw Stonehenge and ever since I’ve wanted to do work that could be walked through and around.” Large Arch is the largest Henry Moore sculpture in America. The sculpture was a gift to the community from J. Irwin and Xenia Miller.
Audio from a tour by Donna Sasse
4 – SERMON ON THE MOUNT
LOJA AND ELIEL SAARINEN
The Sermon on the Mount tapestry was designed by Eliel and Loja Saarinen, woven by Loja Saarinen and a group of weavers at the Cranbrook Academy, and installed in 1942.
The tapestry depicts 13 colorfully-robed people standing among vines and branches with birds, sheep, and other animals. They gaze up towards Jesus, who has many arcs and halos radiating from him. It hangs in the sanctuary to the proper left of the large wooden cross.
When it was installed, it was the largest hand-woven tapestry in the United States.
5 – EXPLODED ENGINE
RUDOLPH DE HARAK
The New York Times obituary for de Harak said, “For the centerpiece of the Cummins Engine Museum in Columbus, Mr. de Harak conceived a display he called an ‘exploding’ diesel engine; 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.”
6 – EOS
Dessa Kirk completed Eos in Columbus in the Brand’s Lumber warehouse. Originally part of the 2006 Sculpture Invitational, the piece was so popular with the community that a fund drive raised the money to ensure she had a permanent home in Columbus.
Comments made by Dessa Kirk about her connections to Columbus: “Columbus has all these amazing buildings by amazing architects…The one great sculpture, the Henry Moore, I want to be in the same city as Henry Moore, why not? It’s a beautiful thing – beautiful city in a beautiful setting. You want to see great architecture, go there. There’s New York City, but Columbus is where you want to go. And there’s great sculpture – my all-time favorite sculptor, Tinguely. I want to be a part of that, I want to be there hanging out with those guys…” (adapted from WTTW Arts Online)
7 – EXHIBIT COLUMBUS TOTEM
Located on the northwest lawn at Hotel Indigo, “Exhibit Columbus” was created for the inaugural Exhibit Columbus in 2017. Valicenti is a celebrated designer who owns Thirst, in Chicago, and is an AIGA Medal award winner, among his many honors.
8 – PHI GALLERY
The Phi Gallery at Hotel Indigo is one of CMAD’s exhibit sites which regularly rotates exhibits and hosts artist openings. The Columbus Museum of Art & Design (CMAD) is a not-for-proft organization with a long heritage of enriching the community through visual art and design experiences, by promoting free visual art and design exhibits that collectively engage all residents.
9 – ANCESTRAL WAY
Robert Pulley’s eleven organic forms appear to march in procession along the hillside as visitors exit the city. The hand-built stoneware fired ceramic sculptures combine references to the human figure with organic and geologic forms. Robert is a Columbus-based artist.
10 – IUCA+D GALLERY
Open Tue – Fri, 1 – 5 pm
The gallery exhibit changes regularly, past exhibits have included a Hamilton Wood Type display, “Mud and Fire” large-scale ceramic sculptures, “Eye of the Beholder – Fashion and Transforming Ideals of Beauty,” and “Fresh+Flash+Photographic” exhibition of contemporary photography.
11 – CRACK THE WHIP
A 4-foot tall bronze by Jo Saylors of children playing crack the whip, a children’s game dating to the late 1800s. The piece is meticulous in detail, right down to the wrinkles in the clothes and the off-balanced positions of the children. Commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. James K. Baker as a gift to honor Arvin employees, the piece was originally placed at the former Arvin Corporate headquarters on Central Avenue. After Arvin left Columbus, the piece was gifted to Heritage Fund and moved to its current location.
12 – DAQUQI
This nine-ton sculpture by Peter Lundberg takes its name from a poem by Rumi The piece is made of concrete and stainless steel, which has been ground with circular patterns.
Lundberg is known for his monumental concrete and steel sculptures and for his leadership in bringing sculpture to the public. His initiative and energy have resulted in the establishment of several new sculpture parks. He says, “For both the maker and viewer, sculpture, like music, carries a beat, a pulsing motion directed to and from the soul that when reveled in takes us into dreamlike states of mind.”