Columbus is bustling with things to do this summer, and art-centric events are no exception. The big one is the annual Columbus Arts Festival from June 6-8, but there are a number of other exhibits, performances and happenings going on the next few months.
Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard would never be described as predictable, performing in everything from serious acting roles to donning drag for stand-up. Izzard’s current tour might be his most ambitious and original creation yet. He’s touring five continents and performing his act in multiple languages. When he comes to Columbus, it’ll be a chance to see comedy history in the making.
8 p.m. Thursday, May 29
34 W. Broad St., Downtown
“The Divine Sister”
The Short North Stage presents a play from actor and playwright Charles Busch, (“Vampire Lesbians of Sodom,” “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife”) that’s a campy, wild romp. The play itself’s about a nun determined to open a new school for her convent while dealing with a young postulant experiencing "visions," sexual hysteria among other nuns, a former suitor attempting to tempt her away from her vows and a host of other distractions. Paying homage to Hollywood films about nuns, this comedy will be ungodly good time.
The Garden Theatre
May 29-June 15
1187 N. High St., Short North
Columbus Idea Foundry Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Celebrate the Columbus Idea Foundry’s move to a new space in Franklinton. Mayor Michael Coleman will be on hand, as well as other guest speakers, kicking everything off. Attendees will then get a chance to tour the new facility and see “Fallen Feathers Project,” a memorial created from woodwork pieces to each of the 276 Ohio soldiers lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, being unveiled is the mobile taproom, a beer truck serving local brews. CIF will also have an open house from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 1.
Columbus Idea Foundry
3 p.m. Friday, May 30
421 E. State St., Franklinton
“The Cartoon Carnival: Celebrating the Humor of James Thurber and the Cartoonists of Today”
The Thurber House and Sunday Comix Group have collaborated to present an exhibit that pays tribute to legendary author, cartoonist and journalist James Thurber. The works are culled from images and stories from Thurber’s life and work, and will also include new cartoons serving as homages to Thurber. A reception is 6 p.m. June 19 and will include talks with Thurber House staff and Sunday Comix artists.
Wild Goose Creative
2491 Summit St., Campus
Columbus Arts Festival
The biggest arts event of the summer features more than 280 artists from across the country for three days, making it one of the most admired arts festivals. Besides the abundance of artists showcasing every medium, this year will also have Big Local Art Tent and new attractions, highlighted by The Art of Film and Italian Street Painting.
The Scioto Mile, Downtown
“Leaving the Atocha Station”
Available Light Theatre’s next production is an adaptation (by AVL’s artistic director Matt Slaybaugh) of Ben Lerner’s debut novel. “Atocha Station” centers on a young poet named Adam who receives a distinguished fellowship to live and work in Madrid. Instead of writing, Adam spends time reading Tolstoy, downing tranquilizers, smoking spliffs, going to parties and lying to everyone he meets, especially the women he’s trying find love with.
Riffe Center Studio One
77 South High St., Downtown
“Imagine! The Art of the Picture Book”
Exploring the art of children’s book illustrations, this exhibit features the work of some iconic artists through original drawings, paintings, prints and collages. Artists include Floyd Cooper, Peter Catalanotto, Will Hillenbrand, E. B. Lewis, Barry Moser, Chris Raschka, Aminah Robinson, Maurice Sendak, and Robert Sabuda. Leonard Marcus, children’s picturebook historian and critic for The New York Times Book Review, will host a discussion on “Why Picturebooks Matter” on June 19.
Columbus Museum of Art
June 20- Nov. 9
480 E. Broad St., Downtown
The summer exhibit at CCAD promises to be a fascinating composition. Diana Al-Hadid’s sculptures are masterfully constructed — incorporating architectural and paint elements to create massive pieces operating in a fantasy world. Al-Hadid is influenced by history, literature and technology while incorporating images and narratives form cultural aspects of her Middle East birthplace and upbringing in the American Midwest. Ken Nurenberg will present experimental illustrations and paintings with “Waiting Room” in the adjoining The Room gallery.
Canzani Center Gallery
July 11-Oct. 4
60 Cleveland Ave., Downtown
“Unfolding the Periphery”
Two MFA candidates at Ohio State, Diana Abells and Pete Morgan, will exhibit an immersive installation that moves viewers through a space that challenges their perception. The short-run exhibit combines the conceptual — imagination and memory — with the more tangible — architecture and geometric space — for a work that’s as much about movement as visuals. The reception is 3-4 p.m. Thursday, July 24
Hopkins Hall Gallery
128 N. Oval Mall, Campus
The summer exhibition at the Urban Arts Space features the work of Chinese contemporary artists. It promises to be a cultural experience containing some beautifully unconventional art ranging from paintings, sculptures, installations and more. The reception is 5-7 p.m. Thursday Aug. 28.
OSU Urban Arts Space
July 26- Sept. 6
50 W. Towne St., Downtown
“Anniversary Show: Re-Exposed”
Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the collective, Tacocat artists will be showcasing all the work and development they’ve experienced since moving into the space. Some of Columbus’ most exciting artists have studios at Tacocat, making the exhibit of its members new work must-see.
Aug. 1-31; opening reception Aug. 17
937 Burrell Ave., Grandview
Franklinton’s outdoor art-in-action event is always a great time. Artists will spend two days creating works on 4-by-8-foot panels, and the results will surely be splendid, thanks to the energy created by the rousing atmosphere. Just walking through the corridor of panels and paint cans is exhilarating. Urban Scrawl also features live music performances from some of our cities most excellent local acts.
400 West Rich
400 W. Rich St., Franklinton
Diana Al-Hadid photo courtesy the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery