August 26, 2015

Convention Center, Garages, Follow Hilton’s Artistic Example

The Hilton Columbus Downtown has helped capture the city’s spirit and visitors’ imaginations with its stunning art collection of more than 150 original pieces by central Ohio artists.

Now, the Greater Columbus Convention Center and parking garages are following suit.

As part of a $125 million renovation and expansion set to begin this fall, the Convention Center and garages – which like the Hilton are owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority – will sport a wide range of art representative of the community.

“We want the art to reflect the diversity of this city,” says FCCFA Board Member Barbara Nicholson. “Whatever demographics you want to consider – age, ethnicity, gender – we want to make sure we are covering the entire community.”

The FCCFA is working with local youth art programs to help identify talent in kindergarten through high school to be represented in parking garages, including the new state-of-the-art, 800-car facility taking shape on Goodale Street.

“Youth art will be rendered onto wall tiles around elevators and stairwells,” Nicholson says.

“We’ll be using artwork from a number of children’s programs, including those at Franklin Park Conservatory, the King Arts Complex and the Columbus Museum of Art.”

Calls also have gone out to existing and aspiring artists for both interior wall art and exterior sculptures for the revamped Convention Center. Plans seeking interactive art for display in the Convention Center are still in development.

“This is an opportunity to put something in our properties that is memorable for visitors and highlights a wide range of talent,” Nicholson says, adding that featuring local artwork by both established and aspiring artists may help forge stronger connections to the community.

Most art selections will likely be made later in the fall, Nicholson says, though she says some could stretch into spring.

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