City garage entrance getting ‘kaleidoscopic view’

A brightly colored mural depicting a “Kaleidoscopic View” of Columbus has been chosen to line the Jackson Street garage entryway as a city Bicentennial project.

Cristina Tuttle, an Ivy Tech Community College School of Art & Design student, created the winning design. It was selected from 20 created by Ivy Tech students and four from high school students who participated in a design summer camp.

The designs were unveiled last Wednesday at Columbus City Hall, where each student designer was introduced and the community was invited to vote on which mural might become the Bicentennial project.

Tuttle’s design incorporates a brightly colored abstract geometric scene of Columbus’ most famous design icons but presented as they would appear in a kaleidoscope.

In her introduction of the mural, she described her work as a “kaleidoscopic view of architecture in Columbus in a harmonious medley of design icons.”

Mayor Jim Lienhoop said when he initially viewed the mural, he thought he might have to have it explained to him but then realized that the mural was challenging him to understand it through the different depictions of the icons.

“The mural does make you think,” he said.

Lienhoop said he identified the First Christian bell tower in the Tuttle’s mural, and saw that is has a semi-circle above it.

“Some say that semi-circle is the circle of the clock, but I believe it implies the shape of the front of City Hall,” he said. “I think you can make it what you want it to be.”

In addition to the mural, the city is planning to use the class’ proposal to upgrade the floor, ceiling and lighting for the Jackson Street garage entryway, said Heather Pope, the city’s community redevelopment director.

Pavers that match those that line Friendship Alley will extend into the garage space, with Tuttle’s mural covering one side of the walkway. Along the other wall will be LED lighting behind metal chain link to illuminate the now dark space and the colorful mural. Columbus’ well-known Dancing C bike racks will line the side where the lighting is installed. New white ceiling paint will then be added.

Pope said that additional work may not be completed in time for the September Bicentennial ceremony, but the city is working to have it completed later this year.

R. Lloyd Brooks, program chair for visual communications at Ivy Tech, worked with the students during an eight-week summer course to create the designs. The college students, and most of the high school student in the summer camp, have agreed to work beyond the course schedule to paint the mural in August to have it ready before the Sept. 18 bicentennial torch run through Columbus, when the mural will be dedicated.

“It is the hope of the Mural Review Committee that Ms. Tuttle’s design is preserved and celebrated for many years to come as a celebration of our 200 years of Columbus history and the city’s stature as the sixth most acclaimed architectural gem in the country,” Brooks said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.