ON THE STREET: Graphic art project on 16th Street something new for Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Right at the top, longtime artist Cory Robinson acknowledged that this is a first for him: Having his work partially framed by stop signs.

But the Herron School of Art professor perhaps can claim additional street cred — all by virtue of having his brightly colored geometric patterns merged with those of Indianapolis interdisciplinary artist Shamira Wilson, literally right on a single block of Columbus’ 16th Street.

“It exceeded my expectations,” Robinson said of the just-completed effort, made possible by more than 30 volunteers.

So it is for the 16th Street Neighborhood Asphalt Art Project, coordinated through the Columbus Area Arts Council. Out of 200 applications nationally, Columbus was one of 16 cities selected for the Asphalt Art Initiative. A local committee from the 16th Street neighborhood selected the artists.

The ground plane mural, installed along 16th Street between the intersections of Home Avenue and Union Street, was made possible by the New York-based Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative grant program with additional support from the City of Columbus and Columbus Regional Health Healthy Communities.

The abstract artwork will remain for about a year to 18 months, according to the arts council. The project originally was planned for last year, but COVID-19 restrictions changed that. Kathryn Armstrong, the arts council’s executive director and also an artist well-versed in bright outdoor creations, including her own, is pleased with the result.

“I think the mural looks fabulous,” Armstrong said. “It’s very vibrant, and really adds to what is already lovely about that area.”

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.