December 19, 2017

Kaneko’s “Untitled, Dango” is First for Columbus

In November, the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority unveiled its newest major art piece, “Untitled, Dango,” a large ceramic piece by internationally renowned sculptor Jun Kaneko.

The dango, which means “dumpling” in Japanese, is among a number of such works crafted at the artist’s Omaha studio, but is his first piece of public art in Columbus, says Jim Reese of Reese Brothers Productions, the Authority’s art curator.

The rounded, wedge-shaped sculpture, with wide horizontal bands of black and gray and multicolor strips hanging vertically across the crown that end in a bulls-eye of colors at one corner, greets visitors at the west entrance to the Greater Columbus Convention Center, directly across High Street from the Hilton Columbus Downtown.

“The artist is represented in Columbus by Sherrie Hawk of Sherrie Gallerie and has wanted to do a public art piece here forever,” Reese said. “Michael (Jim’s brother and company co-leader) worked with Sherrie to see what could be done.”

That conversation led to a trip by Hawk, Michael Reese, Convention Authority Board Member Barbara Nicholson and the Authority’s Senior Project Manager Scott Reed to hand select a piece.

They fell in love with this design because it emulates the architecture of the building from above in a way that reminds someone of trains pulling in, Jim Reese says.

That is, in fact, a throwback to the sculpture’s  site, previously Union Station, the passenger rail terminal that reached its peak before World War II and was finally demolished in the 1970s.

Reese notes that Kaneko specially designed the bench upon which the dango sits specifically for the site and the piece.

More art?

Meanwhile, the Convention Authority continues to augment its collection of local public art, including a repurposing of the collection on Convention Center food carts, the “Art Makes Columbus, Columbus Makes Art” mural in the South Atrium and an upcoming application of the collection to bus shelter windows on High Street.

Additionally, there are plans to install a mural in the currently bare stairwell that leads between the two levels of the South Parking Garage.

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