Public Art

What is public art?

Public art uses art and artistry to create or define a sense of place by incorporating original works of art by visual artists into public spaces. It involves the public from artist selection to dedication and is often integrated into the work of other design professionals, such as architects or landscape architects.

Why is public art important?

It enhances the city’s quality of life by:

  • Making the places where we live, work and play more welcoming and beautiful.
  • Creating a deeper interaction between the community and its environment.
  • Adding dimension to civic spaces.
  • Increasing the community’s assets by creating images that help define a space.
  • Allowing the community to express its identity and values.
  • Demonstrating pride in corporate citizenship.
  • Affirming the educational environment.
  • Enhancing roadsides, pedestrian corridors and community gateways.
  • Beautifying the transportation systems.
  • Helping green space thrive.

One of the innovative new partnerships highlighting Columbus’ public art is the Columbus Art Walks project organized by the Columbus Health Department and supported by GCAC. Art Walks currently features three maps–Discovery District, Arena District and the Ohio Statehouse. Later they will launch three new neighborhoods–German Village, Short North and University District! Arts Walks is a project of the Columbus Health Department with support from GCAC and other public and private organizations. Visit the Art Walks Web site for more information and printable maps.

Open Calls:

None at this time.


Installations and projects

“Flowing Kiss” by Lawrence Argent installed at North Bank Park in August 2013.

Finding Time (Columbus Public Art 2012)


Information about the Columbus Art Commission

The Columbus Art Commission (CAC) was established by Columbus City Code: Chapter 3115. CAC members serve without compensation and are appointed by the mayor with the approval of council. The primary role of the CAC is to approve all art purchased, commissioned, or accepted as a gift by the City, as well as all art proposed for placement anywhere within the Public Right of Way or on property owned or leased by the City. CAC approval is also necessary before any art subject to their approval can be in any way altered or removed. – See more at:

You can find helpful information and application forms at

Heritage Preservation’s Rescue Public Murals initiative

Since 2006, Heritage Preservation’s Rescue Public Murals (RPM) initiative has confronted the risks that community murals face by being located in outdoor, public spaces.

While working to ensure the protection and preservation of existing murals, RPM recognizes that many common issues that murals face could have been mitigated with careful planning and preparation. RPM has held conversations and brainstorming sessions with muralists, conservators, art historians, arts administrators, materials scientists, and engineers to document best practices for mural creation. RPM is pleased to announce that their website now contains these recommendations.

You may find Best Practices for Mural Creation at