Broad and High

S8 E21 | FULL EPISODE

Short North Murals Past And Present

Wall-to-wall coverage of murals, past and present, in the Short North. Chris Steele, former president of Citizens for a Better Skyline, tells stories about the history of mural painting in the neighborhood. We also look at the Short's North The Train, Mona Lisa and The Journey murals.

AIRED: June 24, 2021 | 0:26:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> PRODUCTION OF "BROAD & HIGH"

IS FUNDED IN PART BY THE GREATER

COLUMBUS ARTS COUNCIL.

SUPPORTING ARTS, ADVANCING

CULTURE, AND CONNECTING THE

COMMUNITY TO ARTISTS.

EVENTS AND CLASSES AT

COLUMBUSMAKESART.COM.

>> FROM THESE CONTRIBUTING

SPONSORS --

AND VIEWERS LIKE YOU.

THANK YOU.

>>> THIS TIME ON "BROAD &

HIGH" --

IT'S WALL-TO-WALL COVERAGE OF

SHORT NORTH MURALS.

CHRIS STEELE, FORMER PRESIDENT

OF CITIZENS FOR A BETTER SKYLINE

TELLS STORIES ABOUT THE HISTORY

OF MURAL PAINTING IN THE

NEIGHBORHOOD.

>> THE UNION STATION ARCADE WAS

TO FOCUS THE ATTENTION ON WHAT

WE'D LOST AND WHY WE DON'T WANT

TO LOSE ANYMORE.

>> AND WE'RE EXCITED TO SHARE

TWO STORIES FROM OUR EMMY-AWARD

WINNING PROGRAM "d'ART" ABOUT

TWO ICONIC SHORT NORTH MURAL

PROJECTS.

THIS AND MORE RIGHT NOW, ON

"BROAD & HIGH."

♪♪

♪♪

>>> WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

I'M YOUR HOST KATE QUICKEL.

WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU

THINK ABOUT THE SHORT NORTH?

RESTAURANTS?

NIGHT LIFE?

GALLERIES?

WELL, ALL OF THAT IS TRUE.

BUT, THE MANY MURALS IN THE

SHORT NORTH ARE ALSO A

DISTINGUISHING FEATURE.

THIS WEEK WE'RE LOOKING BACK AT

THE HISTORY OF MURAL PAINTING

HERE.

I'VE INVITED CHRIS STEELE,

FORMER PRESIDENT OF CITIZENS FOR

A BETTER SKYLINE, TO SHARE

STORIES OF HOW MURAL PAINTING

BECAME A NEIGHBORHOOD PASSION.

HI CHRIS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING

TIME TO CHAT WITH ME TODAY.

>> NICE TO BE HERE.

>> THIS IS GREAT.

SO, I THINK WE ALL KNOW THE

SHORT NORTH HAS CHANGED A LOT

OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS.

CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT THE

NEIGHBORHOOD WAS LIKE IN THE

1980s?

>> WELL, IT WAS CERTAINLY A

NEIGHBORHOOD OF TRANSITION.

AND EMPTY STORE FRONTS, NOT MUCH

ACTIVITY ON THE STREET.

RIXBY FIRST CAME IN AND THAT WAS

A BIG MOVE.

THERE WERE EARLY GALLERIES.

THE APPLE GALLERY WAS GREAT.

THERE WAS ANOTHER GALLERY IN THE

FUNCTIONAL FURNISHING BUILDINGS

THAT HAD LIVE PERFORMANCES.

AND THAT WAS THE SEED THAT

BROUGHT IN WHAT WE SEE TODAY.

THE ARTISTS ARE LIKE PIONEERS,

YOU KNOW?

EVEN IN NEW YORK AND SOHO IS

SIMILAR.

>> RIGHT.

AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD KIND OF

EVOLVES AROUND THEM.

>> AND THEN THE ARTISTS GET

DRIVEN OUT.

>> IT'S SORT OF A SAD STORY HOW

THAT CONTINUES TO HAPPEN.

>> ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I

THINK OF WHEN I THINK OF WHEN I

THINK OF THE SHORT NORTH IS

GALLERY HOP.

I MEAN, THAT'S SOMETHING YOU

LOOK FORWARD TO AT THE BEGINNING

OF EVERY MONTH.

WHAT'S SORT OF THE BACKSTORY OF

THAT?

>> THE GALLERY THAT WAS THE

FUNCTIONAL FURNISHING BUILDING,

SHE CAME UP WITH THAT ALONG WITH

SOME OTHER PEOPLE TRYING TO

PROMOTE THE ARTS.

AND THAT CERTAINLY TOOK OFF AND

I WOULD SAY WAS A HUGE IMPACT ON

THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE CONCEPT

THAT WE WERE AN ART DISTRICT.

>> SO CHRIS, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR

ORGANIZATION, CITIZENS FOR A

BETTER SKYLINE.

HOW DID THAT COME TO BE AND WHAT

WAS ITS PURPOSE?

>> OUR GOAL WAS TO FOCUS ON

SAVING HISTORIC BUILDINGS.

STOPPING THE DEMOLITION BECAUSE

AT THE TIME, DOWNTOWN WAS OVER

HALF EMPTY ON-GRADE PARKING

LOTS.

>> WOW.

>> AND OF COURSE YOU DON'T HAVE

SYNERGY WHEN THERE'S NOTHING TO

DO.

COLUMBUS CLOSED UP AT FIVE.

THERE WAS NOBODY ON THE STREETS.

>> YEAH.

>> SO WE WERE TRYING TO SAVE

BUILDINGS, SHOW HOW BETTER

ARCHITECTURE COULD BE DESIGNED,

AND INFLUENCE DEVELOPERS TO MORE

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS OF THE

PEDESTRIANS.

>> DID THIS KIND OF COME OUT OF

NOWHERE, OR DID YOU HAVE SORT OF

A BACKGROUND IN THIS --

IN ART?

>> DEFINITELY I'M AN ARTIST.

I DID PERFORMANCE ART.

AND THERE WAS A BIG PORTION

OF --

OUR WHOLE OPERATION WAS

PERFORMANCE ART.

AND WE TRIED TO COME UP WITH

VERY FUNNY IDEAS THAT WOULD

ATTRACT ATTENTION.

WE ALSO WORKED IN TANDEM WITH

COLUMBUS LANDMARKS.

THEY WERE KIND OF THE

CONSERVATIVE GROUP AND WE WERE

THE CRAZY GROUP.

>> YES.

THE CREATIVES.

>> AND WE PLAYED OFF OF EACH

OTHER FOR YEARS.

>> THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A GOOD

TIME.

LOT OF IDEAS.

>> WE WANTED TO DO MORE THAN

JUST COMPLAIN, SO WE HIRED

ARCHITECTS TO COME UP WITH

ALTERNATIVES TO DEMOLITION.

WE HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON THE

CREEK CHURCH THAT STANDS THERE

TODAY.

A HUGE IMPACT ON THE WHIRLY

BUILDING IN THE BREWERY

DISTRICT.

AND WE PAID ARCHITECTS WITH THE

MONEY WE RAISED THROUGH HERITAGE

BALLS, SELLING T-SHIRTS.

THIS WAS TRYING TO SAVE MELMAN'S

T-SHIRT.

WE WANTED TO BE MORE THAN

COMPLAINERS.

WE WERE ALWAYS TRYING TO COME UP

WITH CLEVER IDEAS.

>> I LOVE THAT.

>> WE HAD A HAT CONTEST AT ONE

OF OUR BALLS AND EVERYBODY MADE

FANCY ARCHITECTURALLY INSPIRED

HATS.

AND WE WERE ALWAYS PASSING OUT

THINGS LIKE HERE'S PENCILS.

"COLUMBUS: WE'RE TEARING IT

DOWN."

THAT WAS A CONTRAST TO

"COLUMBUS: WE'RE MAKING IT

GREAT."

AND THEN FOR MELMEN'S WE SAID WE

NEED HISTORY AND WE PASSED THESE

OUT TO STOP THE GREEK CHURCH

FROM DEMOLISHING 16 BUILDINGS.

WE HAD A BALL AND WE CALLED IT

"THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION AT THE

MELMAN'S TAVERN."

>> OH, I LOVE THAT.

DID YOU GUYS DRESS UP FOR THE

BALLS?

LIKE, WAS IT FANCY?

OR WAS IT FUNKY?

>> OH, IT WAS PRETTY FANCY

ACTUALLY.

YOU CAN SEE WE'RE DRESSED AS

BUILDINGS TO ATTRACT

ATTENTION --

>> OH, THAT'S GREAT.

>> TO THE DEMOLISHING PLANS.

>> SO MUCH PASSION EVERYONE HAD.

>> OH, WE HAD A 1,000 MEMBERS.

>> SO, IT SOUNDS LIKE THAT'S

SORT OF THE ORIGIN OF THE

MURALS.

WAS THAT KIND OF A WAY TO SAVE

THESE BUILDINGS?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> CAN WE TELL ME ABOUT HOW

THOSE STARTED?

>> WELL, THE MURALS WERE MORE --

ALSO TO ATTRACT PEOPLE AND IT

ADDED TO THE IDEA THIS IS AN

ARTS NEIGHBORHOOD.

WE WERE INSPIRED BY CARL SOLWAY

IN CINCINNATI.

HE HAD A HUGE MURAL PROJECT

BEFORE US.

AND THEN OF COURSE NEW YORK.

THEY WERE ALL OVER.

SO, I THOUGHT THIS WAS THE

PERFECT ANSWER.

DO SOMETHING POSITIVE.

OUR FIRST TWO TRAIN MURALS, THE

UNION STATION ARCADE, WAS TO

FOCUS THE ATTENTION ON WHAT WE'D

LOST AND WHY WE DON'T WANT TO

LOSE ANYMORE.

THE TRAIN CONCEPT, WHICH IS THE

ARCADE.

I COLLECT PENNY SCALES.

AND I HAD IMAGES OF SCALES --

>> OH.

THAT WERE REALLY THERE.

>> YEAH.

SO, THAT WAS OPERATED BY

CHAZ B. TRICKY.

IT WAS OUTDOORS, PROBABLY

50 YEARS OR MORE.

>> WOW.

>> WE LOOKED FOR A BUILDING.

HERE'S THE BUILDING.

>> SO, YOU'RE KIND OF LOOKING

FOR A CANVAS?

>> YES.

>> EXISTING ON A BUILDING.

>> EXACTLY.

SO, THERE'S THE BEFORE AND

AFTER.

SO, WE WERE LOOKING FOR REAL

COLORFUL TRAINS.

AND ONE OF THE FUNNIEST PARTS IS

PRINCE CHARLES IS IN ONE OF THE

WINDOWS.

>> OH, YOU'RE KIDDING.

>> OF THIS ONE.

THE BIG YELLOW TRAIN.

>> AND WE GAVE HIM AN AWARD.

WE HANDED OUT AWARDS ALSO.

SO WE WERE FOCUSING ON POSITIVE.

>> WOW, CHRIS.

THIS IS SO COOL.

I LOVE HEARING ABOUT THE

HISTORY.

WELL, YOU'RE IN FOR A TREAT.

WE WENT INTO OUR WOSU ARCHIVES

AND PULLED A VIDEO FROM "d'ART,"

OUR EMMY-AWARD WINNING ART

SERIES WHICH RAN FROM 1988-1993.

HERE'S A STORY FROM 1989 ABOUT

THE CREATION OF THE SHORT NORTH

TRAIN MURAL.

>>> I THINK AS AN ARTIST,

TRANSPORTATION A VERY IMPORTANT

ASPECT OF HUMAN BEINGS.

I ALWAYS THOUGHT TRAINS WERE

ASCETICALLY PLEASING AS FAR AS

THE SHROUDING THAT THEY PUT ON

THE OLD LOCOMOTIVES.

BULLET-SHAPED, STREAMLINED, WAS

VERY DECO ORIENTED.

I THINK TRAINS HAVE A CERTAIN

ROMANCE TO THEM.

AND THEY ALWAYS SEEM TO BE A

SAFE WAY OF TRAVELING.

I MEAN, YOU'RE STILL ON THE

GROUND AND YOU'RE IN SOMETHING

REALLY BIG AND HEAVY.

>> AKERS HAS BEEN PAINTING

BILLBOARDS AND MURALS SINCE

1980.

ONE OF HIS MOST PROMINENT WORKS,

A MURAL OF THE OLD UNION

STATION, CAN BE SEE ON

HIGH STREET IN THE SHORT NORTH

DISTRICT.

>> I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING TO

ACCENTUATE THE PRESENCE OF THE

UNION STATION, SO I DECIDED TO

PUT LOCOMOTIVES ACROSS THE

PARKING LOT.

I THOUGHT THAT WOULD REALLY BE A

VERY NICE COMPLIMENTARY VISUAL

TO THE UNION STATION.

>> CITIZENS FOR A BETTER SKYLINE

COMMITTEE, A NON-PROFIT

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION, RAISED

THE FUNDS FOR THESE MURALS.

CHRIS STEELE, PRESIDENT OF THE

COMMITTEE, BELIEVES THAT A

VARIETY OF ART CAN BRING LIFE TO

THE STREETS OF COLUMBUS.

>> GENERAL RULE OF THUMB, IF YOU

HAVE A BLANK WALL YOU DON'T HAVE

LIFE.

AND WE'RE TRYING TO BRING LIFE

TO A PEDESTRIAN LEVEL.

THAT WHOLE AREA IS PERFECT NOW

TO BECOME AN ENVIRONMENT.

LIKE, WE COULD GET ANTIQUE

LIGHTS IN THERE, INSTEAD OF THE

NEW LIGHTS, SIMILAR TO THE

LIGHTS THAT YOU SEE IN THE UNION

STATION MURAL.

WE'D LIKE TO SEE A RECORDING

CALL OFF, "NOW DEPARTING TRACK

NINE" --

SOME OF THE MOST FOND MEMORIES I

HAVE OF TRAIN STATIONS IS HEAR

THE CALLS OF THE TRAINS THAT ARE

ABOUT TO DEPART.

WE'D LIKE TO GET INTO THAT KIND

OF ENVIRONMENTAL ART, WHERE YOU

HAVE SOUNDS.

SO I THINK THERE'S MORE THAT CAN

BE DONE IN THAT AREA.

IT'S GONNA COST MORE MONEY.

WE HAVE ABOUT THREE YEARS OF

FUND RAISING AND HARD WORK TO

GET TO WHERE WE ARE THERE, AND I

THINK WITH A COUPLE MORE YEARS

WE COULD HAVE A WONDERFUL

ENVIRONMENT OF WHAT WAS A DRAB

PARKING LOT.

>> FINDING THE WALL AND THE

VISUAL TO ACCENTUATE IT IS THE

FIRST STEP IN PAINTING A MURAL.

THE TRAIN MURAL WAS DESIGNED TO

ACCOMMODATE THE 30 TO 12-FOOT

HEIGHT VARIATION AND OTHER

OBSTRUCTIONS.

>> THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT

THIS WALL, THE TRAIN WALL, WAS

THERE WAS OBSTACLES ON THE

WALL -- CONDUIT AND BOXES AND

METERS.

I BELIEVE IN TROMPE L'OEIL, AND

"TROMPE L'OEIL" IN FRENCH MEANS

"FOOLING YOUR EYE."

AND I THINK PEOPLE REALLY CAN

RESPECT SOMEBODY ABOUT THEIR

ABILITY TO MAKE SOMETHING

DISAPPEAR WITH PAINT.

AND THAT'S WHAT REALLY EGGS ME

ON, ON THESE DIFFERENT TYPES OF

SURFACES.

I FEEL LIKE I'M A CATALYST IN A

SENSE THAT I'LL DO THESE THINGS,

AND I'LL GET THE REACTION, AND I

HOPE IT'LL BRING MORE PEOPLE OUT

AND DOWNTOWN AND REALLY SHOW

THAT COLUMBUS IS A HAPPENING

TOWN.

I COULDN'T DO MURALS WITHOUT THE

PEOPLE, FOR ONE THING.

PEOPLE ARE VERY IMPORTANT,

BECAUSE YOU KNOW, IF NO ONE EVER

LOOKED AT MY WORK I WOULDN'T BE

DOING IT.

GET A LOT OF WALK-BYS AND

DRIVE-BYS, AND PEOPLE SCREAMING

OUT OF THEIR CARS, AND PEOPLE

HONKING.

FIREMEN ON THEIR WAY TO A FIRE,

YELLING, "ALRIGHT," YA KNOW?

IT'S -- IT REALLY MAKES ME FEEL

GOOD TO BE ABLE TO EFFECT SO

MANY PEOPLE.

AND IT'S -- AND WHAT'S SO GREAT

ABOUT IT, I FEEL LIKE I'M AT THE

FAIR WHEN I'M UP ON THE LADDER

OR IN THAT PARKING LOT, BECAUSE

I MEET THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE

DURING THIS PROCESS.

>> THAT'S REALLY NICE.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO DO

ALL THAT?

>> STARTED IN THE BEGINNING OF

JUNE.

>> YEAH.

>> JUNE 7th.

>> REALLY SHARP.

>> THANKS.

I HOPE TO BE FINISHED WITH IT

THIS WEEK.

SO, STOP BACK AND BRING YOUR

CAMERA.

>> SO THERE WERE OTHER MURALS TO

COME IN THE SHORT NORTH.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT OTHERS

THAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE, OR YOU

WERE INVOLVED WITH?

>> WITHOUT A DOUBT, "MONA LISA"

IS OUR FAVORITE.

>> YEAH.

>> IT ATTRACTED NATIONAL

ATTENTION.

AND WE WENT THROUGH A NUMBER OF

IDEAS TO GET THERE.

>> OKAY.

>> TOOK US ABOUT A YEAR.

>> WOW.

>> BECAUSE IT WAS A THEATER,

HERE'S ONE CONCEPT.

>> SO THE "MONA LISA" WAS NOT

THE INITIAL IDEA FOR THIS.

>> WELL, IT WAS, BUT THEY

WERE --

>> YOU HAD TO SELL 'EM ON IT?

>> WE MET RESISTANCE.

>> OKAY.

>> AND THIS IS ONE OF MY

FAVORITES.

>> I LOVE THAT.

>> SO, IT WAS A CIRCUS TOWN,

THAT'S WHY THE DOGS.

>> OH, THAT'S FUN.

>> AND --

>> SUCH DIFFERENT IDEAS.

>> YEAH.

>> SO YOU GOT THEM TO KIND OF

CIRCLE BACK TO YOUR ORIGINAL

IDEA.

>> YEAH, WE USED THIS TO SHOW

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL CHANGE IT COULD

BE.

>> IT'S A DRAMATIC CHANGE.

>> AND THE VERY FIRST PAINTING

BY BRIAN CLEMONS, HE ACTUALLY

PUT IN ALL THE CRACKS --

>> OH, WOW.

>> THAT WERE IN THE DEAL

PAINTING IN THE LOUVRE.

>> THAT'S INCREDIBLE.

>> AND REALLY GOT THE COLOR

BEAUTIFULLY.

>> IT LOOKS SPOT ON.

AND I LOVE -- I THINK THE THING

PEOPLE THINK OF ABOUT THE

"MONA LISA" IS THE EYES, AND I

FEEL LIKE HE CAPTURED THAT.

THEY KIND OF SEEM TO FOLLOW YOU.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

IT'S SPOOKY THE WAY THAT

PAINTING WORKS.

MONA'S LAYING ON HER SIDE,

BECAUSE THAT'S THE WAY SHE FIT

BEST.

[ LIGHT LAUGHTER ]

WE DID TRY FROM HERE UP, SO SHE

COULD BE LOOKING AT YOU.

BUT THERE'S A LONG TRADITION OF

"MONA LISA" BEING PLAYED WITH BY

ARTISTS.

>> MM-HMM.

>> AND SO WE FELT IT WAS

ACTUALLY PERFECT TO DO SOMETHING

DIFFERENT.

>> MM-HMM.

>> AND TO CONTINUE IN OUR

TRADITION OF GOOFY THINGS, WE

HANDED OUT A THOUSAND OF THESE

LITTLE "MONA LISA" PINS AND

YOU'D WEAR 'EM SIDEWAYS.

>> OF COURSE.

YOU GOTTA WEAR 'EM SIDEWAYS.

[ LAUGHTER ]

THAT'S SO CLEVER.

AND IT'S STILL THERE.

>> YEAH.

>> PEOPLE CAN STILL SEE IT.

>> YEAH, IT'S A RE-PAINT.

WE HAD PROBLEMS WITH MOISTURE

TRAVELING THROUGH THE BLOCK.

>> MM-HMM.

>> BUT THEN ONCE WE SEALED

INSIDE, THE SECOND PAINTING HAS

STAYED.

>> AMAZING.

IN 1990, COLUMBUS CELEBRATED THE

UNVEILING OF THE POPULAR

"MONA LISA" MURAL.

WOSU FOLLOWED THAT EXCITEMENT

AND CREATED THIS STORY.

ENJOY.

>> DO YOU WANT SOME?

YUM, BUBBLY.

>> WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE

CELEBRATING?

WHY IS THIS WOMAN SMILING?

BECAUSE THEY ATTENDED THE

DEDICATION CEREMONY FOR THE

CITY'S NEWEST MURAL.

>> DID WE GET YOU?

>> I'M ECSTATIC.

I THINK IT'S LIKE DA VINCI CAME

BACK.

TOOK US ABOUT A YEAR TO GET IT

OKAYED THROUGH ITALIAN VILLAGE.

SANDY WOOD, WHO WE'RE DEDICATING

THE MURAL TO, HAS PROBABLY BEEN

AT THE FOREFRONT OF BRINGING

THIS AREA BACK TO LIFE.

>> I'M HERE TO CELEBRATE THE

"MONA LISA."

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT?

>> I THINK IT'S GORGEOUS.

I THINK SHE'S GORGEOUS.

I THINK IT LOOKS GREAT.

TOOK THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD A

LONG TIME TO DECIDE TO PUT IT

ON.

AND WE STRUGGLED WHETHER SHE

SHOULD BE STANDING UP OR LOOKING

DOWN, OR YOU KNOW, ALL THOSE

ISSUES.

BUT I'M DELIGHTED WITH THE WAY

IT TURNED OUT.

>> SANDY, COME ON UP HERE.

>> C'MON, SANDY.

>> WE'RE DEDICATING THIS MURAL

TO SANDY WOOD --

>> YEAH!

[ SCATTERED APPLAUSE ]

>> FOR ALL HE'S DONE FOR OUR

NEIGHBORHOOD.

>> HERE, HERE!

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> HE'S PROBABLY OUR GREATEST

SUPPORTER.

>> I THINK IT'S WONDERFUL.

FIRST TIME I'VE SEEN PICTURES

LIKE THAT PAINTED ON A WALL.

>> I DO LIKE IT.

IT LOOKS GOOD TO ME.

I WOULDN'T WANT TOO MUCH OF THIS

SORT OF THING ALL OVER THE CITY,

BUT I THINK HERE AND THERE IT'S

NICE.

>> I CAME SEVERAL DIFFERENT

TIMES AND WATCHED ALL THE

DIFFERENT STAGES AND PROCESS,

AND IT WAS REALLY EXCITING.

LOVE TO COME DOWN THE ALLEY AND

JUST, KIND OF, IT'S THERE, JUST

PERFECT.

>> LOCATED ON THE BACK WALL OF

THE REALITY THEATER AT

736 NORTH PEARL STREET IS THE

THIRD MURAL COMMISSIONED BY THE

CITIZENS FOR A BETTER SKYLINE.

THE PROJECT WAS FUNDED BY THE

OHIO ARTS COUNCIL, THE GREATER

COLUMBUS ARTS COUNCIL, AND

PRIVATE DONATIONS.

ARTIST BRIAN CLEMONS WORKED TWO

MONTHS TO COMPLETE THE MURAL.

>> IT WAS A VERY INTERESTING

PROJECT, AND VERY CHALLENGING.

THIS MURAL WAS A LITTLE MORE

DIFFICULT THAN THINGS I HAD DONE

IN -- ON A SMALLER SCALE.

YOU HAD TO MOVE THE SCAFFOLDING

WHEN YOU GOT TO ANOTHER PLACE.

YOU COULD ONLY REACH SO FAR, AND

THAT ADDED A LOT OF FRUSTRATION

TO IT.

I USED ENAMEL PAINT ON THE

MURAL.

IT LASTS A LONG TIME OUTSIDE AND

IT'S GOOD COLOR-WISE AND MIXES

WELL.

>> THE MOST FAMOUS THING ABOUT

MONA IS WHEREVER YOU STAND SHE'S

LOOKING AT YOU.

AND SOMEHOW HE'S MANAGED TO GET

THAT SAME ASPECT IN THE PAINTING

TO COME ALIVE IN BIG SCALE.

>> THE EYES ACTUALLY WERE

PROBABLY THE EASIER PART OF THE

PAINTING TO DO, BECAUSE YOU WERE

WORKING IN A SMALLER AREA.

YOU COULD ACTUALLY REACH WHAT

YOU WERE TRYING TO RENDER.

AND PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

SEEM TO LIKE THE MURAL QUITE A

BIT.

I THINK THEY HAD FUN WATCHING IT

BEING DONE.

MAYBE THEY'D JUST LIKE SOMEBODY

TO BE OUT THERE ALWAYS PAINTING

AND CHANGING THAT THING.

>> THEY ARE A LOT OF FUN AND I

HOPE THAT THE CITIZENS FOR A

BETTER SKYLINE CAN PUT THEM IN A

LOT OF PLACES.

THE QUALITY OF THE WORK THAT

THEY'RE COMMISSIONING IS REALLY

EXCELLENT I THINK.

AND I HOPE WE CAN HAVE A LOT

MORE OF THEM.

>> WE'D LIKE TO SEE MAYBE THE

"AMERICAN GOTHIC" BY GRANT WOOD,

OR EVEN DAVID -- MICHELANGELO'S

"DAVID", OR WARHOL'S "MARILYN",

OR A HOPPER LIKE "NIGHTHAWKS."

THOSE ARE SOME THAT WE'RE REALLY

LOOKING FOR A BUILDING WHERE

THOSE WOULD FIT AND THE CONTEXT

WOULD PERMIT IT.

>> TO LEONARDO.

>> LEONARDO, AND TO MONA.

>> AND TO MONA, AND TO

COLUMBUS, OHIO.

>> AND TO COLUMBUS.

CHEERS.

♪♪

♪♪

>> SO, CHRIS, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS

THE LEGACY FOR CITIZENS FOR A

BETTER SKYLINE?

>> WELL, I THINK WE MADE GREAT

IMPACT IN THE WAY BUILDINGS ARE

BUILT AND STAY UP CLOSE TO THE

STREET.

WE MADE SURE THAT IT WAS MORE

IMPORTANT TO SAVE BUILDINGS, AND

THAT BECAME OUR FIGHT, REALLY.

AND, WELL, I'M SO HAPPY THAT

THEY'RE STILL DOING MURALS

TODAY.

>> RIGHT.

>> WE RAN ABOUT 30 YEARS AND

THEN CALLED IT A DAY.

>> THAT'S IMPRESSIVE.

I MEAN, THE WORK YOU DID AND THE

SPIRIT AND THE PASSION, I THINK

IT'S MADE AN INDELIBLE MARK ON A

BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBORHOOD.

>> YEAH, I'M JUST HOPING THE

YOUNGER GROUPS THAT ARE COMING

BEHIND US WILL START SPEAKING

UP.

>> WELL THANKS SO MUCH FOR

TALKING WITH ME TODAY.

>> THANK YOU.

>> THE LEGACY OF MURALS IN THE

SHORT NORTH NEIGHBORHOOD

CONTINUES.

HERE'S A STORY ABOUT THE

11-STORY "JOURNEY" MURAL, ONE OF

THE TALLEST MURALS IN OUR CITY.

IT FEATURES A LOCAL SOMALI

WOMAN, HUMMING BIRDS, AND

FIGURES FROM GREEK MYTHOLOGY.

>> VERTICALLY, THIS IS THE

TALLEST WALL I'VE EVER DONE.

♪♪

>> WE'RE IN THE SHORT NORTH ARTS

DISTRICT.

AND WE ARE STANDING RIGHT NEXT

TO THE NEW GRADUATE HOTEL, WHICH

IS ALSO THE SITE OF AN

INCREDIBLE NEW PUBLIC ART

PROJECT THAT IS CALLED

"JOURNEY."

♪♪

THE PROJECT FEATURES THREE

MURALS.

ONE AT GROUND LEVEL, AND THEN

TWO ON THE UPPER STORIES OF THE

HOTEL.

IN TOTAL, IT'S ABOUT

11,000 SQUARE FEET OF MURAL

SPACE.

SO THE ARTISTS FOR THIS PROJECT

ARE RYAN SARFATI AND

ERIC SKOTNES.

THEY'RE BOTH LOS ANGELES-BASED

ARTISTS WHO HAVE DEEP ROOTS AND

BACKGROUND IN THE STREET ART AND

GRAFFITI ART COMMUNITY IN

LOS ANGELES.

AND THEY'VE BEEN DOING MURAL

PROJECTS ALL OVER THE WORLD,

MOST RECENTLY PAINTING BOMB

SHELTERS IN ISRAEL.

>> MYSELF AND MY ASSISTANT,

SHANE JESSUP, ARE ON THIS SIDE.

AND THEN ERIC AND HIS ASSISTANT,

ANGIE, ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE.

>> SO THE STORY OF "THE JOURNEY"

MURAL IS ABOUT COLUMBUS AS A

CITY OF PROSPERITY.

YOU SEE A HUMMINGBIRD CHARACTER

THAT'S FOUND THROUGHOUT ALL

THREE PIECES.

AND THAT HUMMINGBIRD REALLY IS

CONNECTING MYTHOLOGICAL

CHARACTERS AND HUMANS.

IT IS EXPLORING NEW AMERICANS

AND THE NEW AMERICAN JOURNEY TO

COLUMBUS AS A PROSPEROUS CITY.

AND ACTUALLY FEATURES

HODAN MOHAMED, WHO IS THE

FOUNDER OF THE COLUMBUS SOMALI

FESTIVAL, AS WELL AS THE FOUNDER

OF AN AMAZING LOCAL ORGANIZATION

CALLED OUR HELPERS, WHICH GIVES

NEW SOMALI-AMERICANS COMING TO

COLUMBUS ORIENTATION SERVICES

AND BASIC SERVICES SO THAT THEY

CAN GET ESTABLISHED.

>> OUR MISSION IS TO HELP

IMMIGRANTS OVERCOME SOCIAL AND

ECONOMICAL OBSTACLES.

♪♪

♪♪

IT IS A WELCOMING CITY.

AND WORKING WITH THE IMMIGRANT

COMMUNITY FOR THE LAST SIX

YEARS, THE ONLY THING IS

BUILDING BRIDGE.

THAT'S WHAT WE ARE MISSING.

AND THAT'S PART OF THE JOB THAT

I'M DOING RIGHT NOW.

>> SOMALIANS STARTED IMMIGRATING

TO COLUMBUS, I WOULD SAY,

PROBABLY IN THE LATE '90s, EARLY

2000s.

AND IT'S ESTIMATED TO BE AROUND

SO IT'S DEFINITELY A BIG

COMMUNITY HERE.

>> I THINK NON-IMMIGRANT

COMMUNITY, THEY WILL SEE THIS AS

A PLACE TO GO BACK.

AND LIKE, IF THEY EVER HAVE A

QUESTION ABOUT IMMIGRANT

PERSONS, OR IF THEY HAVE A

COVERING -- A QUESTION ABOUT

COVERING YOUR HEAD OR ANYTHING,

THEY SAY, "LET ME GOOGLE THAT

LADY AND ASK."

FOR IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY, I THINK

WE WILL FEEL LIKE, "OH, YOU

KNOW, WE ARE WELCOME TO THIS

CITY."

AND WE'LL FEEL LIKE IT'S OUR

CITY, THOUGH IT'S ALREADY OUR

CITY.

>> SO I THINK THAT SHE DEPICTS

WHAT, YOU KNOW, A SOMALI MOTHER,

AN IMMIGRANT MOTHER GO THROUGH

IN THIS COUNTRY OF JUST -- YOU

KNOW, TRIAL, TRIBULATIONS,

TRIUMPH.

BUT ALSO BEING ABLE TO KIND OF

GIVE BACK TO OTHERS THAT MAY BE

LESS FORTUNATE THAN YOU ARE.

SO I THINK SHE'S THE PERFECT

PERSON TO BE ON THAT MURAL HERE

TODAY.

>> I THINK RIGHT NOW WE NEED A

LOT MORE INCLUSION AND LESS

EXCLUSION.

AND I THINK THIS IS A PERFECT

WAY TO COMMUNICATE THAT.

♪♪

♪♪

>> WE HAVE MANY, MANY TALENTED

ARTISTS HERE IN COLUMBUS.

AND WHEN WE LED OUR CALL FOR

ARTISTS, ABOUT 32% OF THE

APPLICANTS WERE LOCAL.

BUT THE LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE

NEEDED IN ORDER TO EXECUTE A

PROJECT LIKE THIS IS PRETTY

SIGNIFICANT.

AND WE'RE VERY FORTUNATE THAT

RYAN AND ERIC HAVE THAT.

SO AS PART OF THIS SPECIAL

PROGRAM, THEY WILL BE LEADING AN

ARTIST IN RESIDENCY PROJECT.

THEY'LL BE EDUCATING 20 ARTISTS

HERE LOCALLY ON THE SKILLS AND

TECHNIQUES THAT ARE NECESSARY TO

CREATE WORK THIS SCALE.

AND GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO

CREATE WORK THEMSELVES.

>> I CAME INTO THIS ALREADY A

MURALIST, NOT ON THE DEGREE THEY

ARE.

LIKE, I'M NOT DOING THE SCALE

STUFF THEY'RE DOING.

YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU

KNOW, AND YOU KNOW WHAT YOU NEED

TO LEARN.

BUT THEN THERE'S A SUBCATEGORY

OF THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW THAT

YOU NEED TO LEARN.

>> THE ARTISTS THAT WE'VE BEEN

WORKING WITH HAVE REALLY TAUGHT

ME A LOT ABOUT NEW SOFTWARE AND

BASICALLY HOW TO DO MY WORK

BIGGER.

SO I'VE DONE THINGS 20 FEET

TALL, BUT NO BIGGER THAN THAT.

SO THEY HAVE A LOT OF TIPS THAT

THEY WERE GENEROUS ENOUGH TO

SHARE WITH US.

>> I THINK ART IS -- IS SUPPOSED

TO INVOKE DISCUSSION.

AND I THINK THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT

WE'RE DOING HERE.

♪♪

>> THANKS FOR BEING WITH US FOR

THIS EDITION OF "BROAD & HIGH."

YOU CAN FIND ALL OF OUR STORIES

ONLINE AT WOSU.ORG, AS WELL AS

ON OUR FREE WOSU MOBILE APP.

BE SURE TO GIVE US A FOLLOW ON

FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND

INSTAGRAM.

WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK FOR MORE

GREAT STORIES OF COLUMBUS ARTS

AND ARTISTS.

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

>> PRODUCTION OF "BROAD & HIGH"

IS FUNDED IN PART BY THE GREATER

COLUMBUS ARTS COUNCIL.

SUPPORTING ARTS, ADVANCING

CULTURE, AND CONNECTING THE

COMMUNITY TO ARTISTS.

EVENTS AND CLASSES AT

COLUMBUSMAKESART.COM.

>> FROM THESE CONTRIBUTING

SPONSORS --

AND VIEWERS LIKE YOU.


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