June 10-12, 2022

at the riverfront in the Arena District

Columbus Arts Festival News

There’s So Much to DO at the Columbus Arts Festival

May 17, 2016

Contact: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With more than 300 exhibiting artists at the Columbus Arts Festival, there is certainly plenty to see June 10-12 on the riverfront, but there is also plenty to do at the Festival, which offers interactive opportunities for people of all ages and skill-sets to create, observe, celebrate and learn.

55th Anniversary Celebration and Opening Ceremony: Join Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, civic leaders, festival patrons and performers at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 10 at Coleman’s Pointe on Civic Center Drive. The mayor will kick off the Festival with brief remarks and then lead a procession of musicians, dancers, drummers and Columbus’ own Artists Wrestling League to the ABC6 Main Stage at Bicentennial Park.

Arts Festival 5K: The second-annual Arts Festival 5K starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 11. Runners can enjoy a flat, fast downtown course that includes running across our stunning bridges. All participants who cross the finish line will receive a beautiful, three-inch medal with a fabulously colorful ribbon. More information and registration at artsfest5k.com. Registrations are accepted now online and on-site the day of the race.

Hands-On Art Activities: Always a popular attraction, the Festival’s hands-on activity area in the Huntington Local Arts Pavilion (located on the west side of the river in front of COSI) has even more going on this year. Staffed by volunteers from 20 local organizations from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, activities range from painting murals, making animal-themed crafts, letterpress printing a poster, creating masks, performing in a short play and more. Almost all activities are free and open to kids and adults. With representatives on hand from organizations like Shadowbox Live, The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Columbus Crew SC and Traxler Custom Printing, there are activities to fit a wide range of interests and ages.

Big Local Art Tent: Located on Washington Boulevard in front of COSI, the Big Local Art Tent is where individual artists as well as arts groups and collectives from all over the capital city come together to create a unique and immersive experience. See how “makers” make with art demonstrations from local artists including Yasuko Jameson (polymer clay), Kevin Russell (pottery throwing), Devon Palmer (woodturning), Douglas Polcynski (leatherworking), Adlai Stein (blacksmithing), Colleen Rosshirt (stained glass) and Eric Shook (chainmaille/wire sculpture).

Guests can create their own work of art by participating in a make-and-take project that will teach a new skill, and send them home with an original piece of artwork. Art lovers of all ages will enjoy a wide array of art and crafts for sale in the large art gallery as local artists display their work for sale, constantly mixing it up with new daily arrivals.

Festival-goers can also meet local artists from 129 Studios, 400 West Rich Studios, Art Party Columbus, Beyond Origami, CapCity Creatives, Clintonville Arts Guild, Columbus Crafty Cotillion, Columbus Idea Foundry, Dublin Area Art League and Mother Artists at Work and many other artists creating in Columbus.

Children’s Gallery: Kids visiting the Huntington Pavilion will love the chance to play art collector in the Children’s Gallery. On Saturday and Sunday children ages 12 and younger are invited to experience the unique kid-sized gallery—located near the Art Makes Columbus/Columbus Makes Art Activities Village—with artwork donated by exhibiting artists. Each piece is priced at $5 and under.

Chalk Art Street Painting: More than 10 artists will use chalk to transform the pavement into masterpieces along Civic Center Drive. Festival-goers can watch live, cheer on and vote for their favorite. At the end of the Festival, prizes will be awarded to the artists based on votes.

MORPC Riverfest: Join the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission in celebrating our region’s water resources. Riverfest will take place in conjunction with the Festival along the Scioto River. Free canoeing and kayaking is available on Saturday, June 11 from noon to 4 p.m. For further information, see here.

CHROMA!: On Saturday night, June 11, Club Sharkey’s, located in the south end of the COSI parking lot, will come alive with pulsing sound and light, extending the fun at the Festival into the wee hours of the morning. Join Columbus’ own Nina West and DJ Charles Erickson to celebrate the diverse artistic talent that makes Columbus great. Attendees are encouraged to dress in white clothes that can be transformed into explosive works of art throughout the evening. Transformation stations will be spread across the venue, where revelers can use spray-on and brush-on textile paints, spin art machines, spray-in hair colors and face paints to turn themselves into walking works of art. CHROMA! will begin at 10:30 p.m., immediately following the last screening of the Film Festival of Columbus.

COSI’s New Dinosaur: During the Festival weekend, artist Daniel McCauley will assemble his large one-of-a-kind metal dinosaur T-REX Delilah outside COSI. The T-REX sculpture will be 11’ wide and 30’ long and join the rest of COSI’s dinosaur collection outside on the west plaza. Festival attendees can meet and chat with the artist at noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12.

GROOVE U Stage: Featuring the work of students from GROOVE U music entrepreneurship school, the new GROOVE U stage will feature musical performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Art Shark: Always on the move, the beloved mascot of the Columbus Arts Festival can be found on both sides of the river. Festival goers can say hi and take a selfie with Arthur S. Hark, who can be found swimming around the Hands-On Activities Area or at the Bicentennial Park fountain.

The Selfie Station:  The Art Shark isn’t the only fun selfie opportunity. Festival-goers can visit the giant picture frame just north of the intersection of the Rich Street bridge and Washington Boulevard. They can make Festival memories with Columbus’ beautiful cityscape in the background.

See the Festival map online at columbusartsfestival.org/festival/festival-map/

Festival Hours: Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To volunteer at the Columbus Arts Festival, please go to www.columbusartsfestival.org/get-involved/volunteer.php.

For more information on the Columbus Arts Festival, call (614) 221-8531 or visit www.columbusartsfestival.org for a complete list of artists, entertainers, stage schedules, interactive arts activities and more. The Festival website is optimized for mobile and Smartphone viewing.

The 2016 Columbus Arts Festival is sponsored by American Electric Power, Blue Moon Brewing Co., Chobani, CoverMyMeds, COTA, Graeter’s Ice Cream, Huntington Bank, LBrands Foundation, Kroger, The Ohio State University, OSA Technology Partners, Owners.com, Pepsi, Safelite Autoglass, The Sheraton Columbus, Svedka, SWACO and Toyota. Media sponsors include WOSU Public Media, ABC6, Dispatch Media Group, Lamar Outdoor, Ohio Magazine, Orange Barrel, CD102.5, Mix 107.9 and WCBE 90.5.

About the Greater Columbus Arts Council: Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, the Arts Council funds exemplary artists and arts organizations and provides programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. GCAC thanks the city of Columbus and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support.

For a selection of high-res images, visit the Festival’s Press Room Images page.