Even 55 years in, there are still new things happening at the Columbus Arts Festival. The event has always been a regional arts festival, but an increased emphasis on the badass scene here at home has emerged over the past few years, something Jami Goldstein, vice president of marketing, communications & events for the Greater Columbus Arts Council, said is no accident.
"Part of [our] mission is to provide access for artists and also to provide a broad exposure to the arts in Columbus," Goldstein said. The Council's ongoing Art Makes Cbus campaign is applicable to the festival as well, highlighting "the incredibly vibrant cultural scene here," she added.
From the time Mayor Andrew Ginther opens the festivities at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 10, kicking off an opening procession that includes the Centennial High School Marching Band and the Artists' Wrestling League and runs from Coleman's Pointe to the Main Stage at Bicentennial Park (a real thing), until the Art Shark officially declares the festival over on Sunday evening (not a real thing), the familiar will be side-by-side with the new. Here are a few new things to look for this year.
"Gallery of Echoes"
The festival partnered with Shadowbox Live to present this multimedia performance-to-art piece at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the Main Stage.
You may recall a 2014 version of "Gallery" featuring Shadowbox performance in front of large-scale projections of works from the Columbus Museum of Art. For this new version, Shadowbox takes inspiration from the work of 20 Columbus-based artists. As video of the artwork is projected onto three giant screens, Shadowbox performers will engage in music, dance and spoken word.
The 20 featured artists are: Catherine Bell Smith, Chelsea Bennett, Adam Brouillette, Richard Duarte Brown, David Butler, Buzz Crisafulli, Katie Golonka, Larry Hamill, Jaiymie Kiggins, Said Oladejo-Lawal, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, Stephanie Rond, Mireya Schoo, Rachel Schutt, Jake Seabaugh, April Sunami, Sunapple Studio, Christopher Tennant, Amandda Tirey and Roger Williams.
Additionally, many of the original artworks will be on display throughout June in The Vanderelli Room.
Welcome to the festival's inaugural after-hours dance party, at which you can also become a piece of art.
Chroma gets started at 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Club Sharkey's (located just south of the COSI parking lot). Nina West will host and DJ Charles Erickson will provide the music.
Guests are invited to wear all-white or light-colored clothing to be transformed into works of art throughout the night.
"Come as a canvas, leave as art," Goldstein said.
COSI will open its theaters to the public for free evening programming on Friday and Saturday, and will offer access through its riverside doors for the first time. Theater tickets will be buy-one-get-one during regular COSI hours throughout the festival.
Charles Csuri's "Celestial Clutter," "Equidistance" (a piece made specifically for the festival by COSI's Ty Owen) and "Waiting Far Away" from the Museum of Science in Boston will be featured in the Planetarium. A selection of shorts from local filmmakers, co-curated by Gateway Film Center, will loop Friday night in COSI's Giant Screen Theater.
COSI will also host a Meet the Artist with found-object sculptor Dan McCauley at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and will offer a weekend full of interactive science demonstrations on an outdoor stage on the English Plaza.
The festival is the first major event to make use of the newly redeveloped riverfront, and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is holding its annual Riverfest on the Scioto during the festival.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoon the Groove U Stage will feature live music fully booked and produced by students of Groove U's music entrepreneurship programs. Acts include Time Out and Snow Day.
A partnership with Pelotonia will offer patrons who bike to the festival secure bike parking that will also benefit Pelotonia's effort to raise funds to support cancer research.