Exhibit interest builds quickly: Facebook Live event planned following sellout

Interest in the three-month exhibition portion of the Exhibit Columbus architectural event has built so considerably that a Monday preview of its 18 installations has become fully booked with limited publicity.

Organizer Richard McCoy said Monday’s free gathering for 200-plus people at the Upland Columbus Pumphouse restaurant will be streamed live on the event’s Exhibit Columbus Facebook page.

McCoy said he hopes to schedule another in-person preview in Columbus, as well as one in Indianapolis, where there is also substantial interest.

“We (will) explain how Exhibit Columbus is putting our town on display this fall,” said McCoy, who is founder and director of Landmark Columbus, the nonprofit agency caring for the city’s architectural heritage, and also founder of Exhibit Columbus.

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McCoy said he expects that 10,000 people will personally visit the Exhibit Columbus artistic designs at locations around the city through late November.

The installation pieces range from $70,000 efforts by established national architects to a work from area high school students, according to organizers.

“Interest in this project is really heating up,” McCoy said.

That is reflected in national publicity in leading publications such as Architectural Digest and the Wall Street Journal.

Others feel as optimistic as McCoy about the upcoming exhibition.

Karen Niverson, executive director of the Columbus Area Visitors Center, said a year ago that the city could become nearly as well known for this event as cities such as Indianapolis are known for signature events such as the Indianapolis 500.

“I think that probably even more so today,” Niverson said. “Exhibit Columbus is really going to help define our community in the future. I think just the fact that a community of this size has taken on such an ambitious project says great things about us.

“In fact, it’s so ambitious and so bold that it makes me so proud to be part of a forward-thinking community that takes on these kind of initiatives.”

Niverson added that the national attention earned thus far from the overall effort is unusual in city promotions. She said it normally takes a few years to get such coverage.

“Richard and his team have done a super job of generating amazing press coverage,” she said.

Landmark Columbus and Exhibit Columbus are programs of the nonprofit Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. They also receive support from the Efroymson Family Fund, the Columbus Area Visitors Center plus corporations and individuals.

On Tuesday, the city extended special recognition of the Efroymson Family Fund’s major support of the project with a proclamation of Efroymson Family Fund Day from Mayor Jim Lienhoop.

Follow preview meeting on Facebook

What: One-hour meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday to present a preview of the 18 temporary architectural structures for the exhibition portion of Exhibit Columbus opening Aug. 26.

Live stream: On Facebook page for Exhibit Columbus.

Information: exhibitcolumbus.org.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.