By Connie Nimmo Thorn

A few months ago, little critters started popping up in Columbus. These characters have already been spotted all over the world in places like Manhattan, Sweden, and Taiwan. Now, eight of these creatures are hidden in plain sight throughout Downtown Columbus.

When the critters travel, they like to go to colorful, artistic communities. Columbus is already well-known for its world-class architecture and public art. So, it wasn’t surprising when they rolled into town.

The bright and colorful animals are the creation of David Zinn, an Ann Arbor, Michigan native. He has created whimsical art in communities since 1987. His street art pops up on sidewalks, subway platforms, village squares, and street corners. The inspiration for the semi-permanent chalk art is improvised based on found objects and location.

Many of his friends are unique, one-of-a-kind creations, but some appear throughout his work. Sluggo, the bright green monster, and Philomena, the flying pig, are two of Zinn’s best friends. The duo has even been spotted in Downtown Columbus.

Zinn’s imagination runs wild everywhere he goes. Everyday objects become part of his eccentric creations. Where most people see a crack in the sidewalk, Zinn sees a creature crawling from the depths of an unknown land. Just a little perspective and a lot of creativity opens up a whole new world of whimsical public art.

You can find Zinn’s friends sitting on mailboxes, hiding in a lamppost, lounging on the side of a building, and creeping around some of Columbus’ famous architecture. If you walk up to this everyday art at just the right angle, the critters may trick your eyes. They look perfectly 3-D!

Zinn’s friends are semi-permanent works of art, and they won’t stick around Columbus forever, so be sure to visit them before they disappear. Use the map on this page to help you find them, then snap a photo using #VisitColumbusIN

Name: Sluggo
Species: Bright Green Monster
Location: WRZQ Radio Station

Name: Philomena
Species: Flying Pig
Location: Alley in Downtown Columbus

Name: Unknown
Species: Grass Troll
Location: Bartholomew County PublicLibrary

Name: Unknown
Species: Feline
Location: Viewpoint Books

Name: Unknown
Species: Monster
Location: Fifth Street near Washington Street

Name: Unknown
Species: Unknown
Location: Sixth Street

Name: Allergisaurus
Species: Dinosaur
Location: Mill Race Center

Name: Tinothy
Species: Robot
Location: kidscommons