Some of the temporary Exhibit Columbus architectural installations have become more than passing pieces adorning the local landscape.
Four of the 18 pieces, including two Miller Prize winners, will remain in place indefinitely while their futures are decided, according to organizers.
Here is an update of the four installations remaining for now, said Richard McCoy, director of Landmark Columbus, the local umbrella agency over Exhibit Columbus:
» “Wiikiaami,” by lead designer Chris Cornelius of studio:indigenous in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will remain in front of First Christian Church, 531 Fifth St., for an undetermined time while its new locale elsewhere is decided. The see-through, rebar makeshift tepee is symbolic of the Miami Indian tribes who first came to Indiana, said Cornelius, of native American heritage himself.
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» “The Exchange,” by the Los Angeles-based Oyler Wu Collaborative, at the south corner of the Irwin Conference Center at Fifth and Washington streets, will stay in place for an undetermined time while a deal is worked out to send it elsewhere.
» “Window to Columbus,” a glazed-brick wall with an inset window by the Amsterdam-based studio of Formafantasma, will remain until at least summer at The Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, 538 Franklin St.
» “Theoretical Foyer,” by Brooklyn-based ceramacist Cody Hoyt, will remain at Seventh and Washington streets until summer before any other decision is made. McCoy mentioned that Hoyt’s colorful bricks installation, inspired by textile artist Alexander Girard multi-colored seat cushions in the Miller House, was among the first works that locals hoped would stay permanently.
“We’re exploring what will need to happen (regarding maintenance and care) for them to stay longer,” said McCoy, “and then finding them permanent homes.”
Work to dismantle a fifth Exhibit Columbus installation, the 3.5-acre limestone work “Another Circle” from New York and Tuscon-based Aranda/Lasch designers, will be completed soon at Mill Race Park.
And some of its 2,800 pieces of limestone are staying behind — strengthening the bank along the East Fork of White River and protecting against sediment erosion along the water’s edge in parts of the park, said Mark Jones, director of the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department.
That move will save the city money for work that would have had to be done in the future, Jones said. Some of the other limestone pieces will be arranged decoratively near the park’s Fifth Street entrance, he said.
“Synergy,” still at North Christian Church, 850 Tipton Lane, and done by Indiana University students, will be moved soon to a location on the IU campus in Bloomington.
Exhibit Columbus, which attracted an estimated 40,000 or more visitors from Aug. 26 to Nov. 26, was labeled as an annual exploration of architecture, art and design, alternating between a symposium one year and an exhibition the next. It is a project of Landmark Columbus and a program of Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County.
“People have told us that the community at large really feels a kind of ownership of them, which is awesome,” McCoy said of response to the installations. “And that’s exactly what we had hoped would happen.”
Erin Hawkins, the Columbus Area Visitors Center’s director of marketing, said marketing of the remaining pieces will continue.
“The installations are so remarkable that they’re not something you can easily ignore on a local tour,” Hawkins said. “So we’re very happy to keep talking about them. We also look at them as a kind of pre-marketing for the 2019 exhibition.”
When the glazed-brick work “Window to Columbus” from Exhibit Columbus leaves this summer at The Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, other art will follow at 538 Franklin St. Richard McCoy, one of the leaders and founders of Exhibit Columbus, said the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives will curate future pieces there.