Artbeat 2019: Two new sculptures brighten Broadway in downtown Columbus
A collaboration between Columbus State University, Artbeat 2019 and Uptown Columbus has brightened downtown and made the sculpture walk more interactive.
Artbeat 2019 recently unveiled two new sculptures, “Bubbles” by Joshua Richmond and “Round and Round” by Yun Praught. They are the newest additions to the several other sculptures dotting Broadway.
Rick McKnight of Artbeat 2019 said they held a competition with CSU sculpture students in Michael McFalls’ class, asking for submissions that were colorful, interactive and safe. He said they chose to commission “Bubbles” and “Round and Round” and worked with Uptown Columbus to coordinate the sculptures’ placement.
“Bubbles” has been installed at the corner of Broadway and 12th Street in front of CSU’s Frank Brown Hall, and “Round and Round” is installed next to the John P. Thayer YMCA in downtown Columbus on the Broadway side of the building.
“Ever since I visited Columbus, I always wanted to have a piece down here because I knew I wanted to go into 3D art,” said Richmond, creator of “Bubbles.“ “And so I finally got the opportunity and it’s just a really big check off my list.”
Richmond said he drew inspiration from the Chattahoochee River whitewater course, especially from the waves created alongside Waveshaper Island.
Praught said “Round and Round” began simply as the idea of having a swing inside a circle and progressed to it’s current steel structure so it could handle the weight of multiple people on the swing at the same time.
“I wanted to do something interactive that’s fun and approachable for everyone so that they know art is not something super complicated,” Praught said. “It doesn’t have to be hard, it can be just fun and for everyone.”
“These two were just superior,” said Helen Johnson, chair of Artbeat 2019. “They were all good but these were by far our favorites and we feel like will have long-lasting value as public art in the Uptown and Columbus area.”
Johnson said the organization adds public art each year to what already exists.
“It’s something that’s permanent and continues to make really our Uptown area and Columbus an artistic experience to walk in, to play in, and certainly not only is great for our own community but is a great tourist attraction and a stimulus to the economy.”