On Saturday, August 21, Exhibit Columbus—the annual exploration of architecture, art, design, and community—will open its third exhibition to the public. Exhibit Columbus commissions some of the most creative minds in architecture, design, and art to create new works in dialogue with the iconic buildings, landscapes, and public art of Columbus, Indiana.
Opening weekend will enliven downtown Columbus, as it celebrates the city’s architecture and design legacy with site-specific installations, photography, and a graphic identity and wayfinding system. This weekend is the only opportunity during the exhibition’s three-month run to see the exhibition alongside the curators, architects, landscape architects, artists, and designers who created the installations, as well as Columbus residents and visitors from around the world.
The 2021 Exhibition kicks off on Friday, August 20 with the Preview Party in Mill Race Park and then opens to the public on Saturday, August 21 with free conversations by the curators and participants, tours, and live music in Mill Race Park. The exhibition features thirteen site-responsive installations, including five large-scale works by internationally acclaimed J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients. Walking the entire exhibition route is about 1.5 miles and takes two hours to experience.
The theme of this year’s exhibition is New Middles: From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of the Middle City?. Curated by Mimi Zeiger (Los Angeles) and Iker Gil (Chicago), the theme explores ideas related to the Mississippi watershed, local ecology, animal habitats, and the city after dark. Each installation encourages viewers to learn more about Columbus’s unique history and imagine its future.
A community-wide event, this third exhibition will open at a time when there is growing confidence in gathering safely in large numbers as the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to decline in Indiana.
*2021 Opening Weekend Events*
Friday, August 20
Preview Party in Mill Race Park
A one-of-a-kind opening celebration in Mill Race Park on Friday, August 20. This is a ticketed event including an extraordinary evening of food, libations, and live music.
Saturday, August 21
Walking tours with Photography Fellows
University Design Research Fellows Conversations Part 1
Welcome and Introduction of the 2020–21 High School Design Team
University Design Research Fellows Conversations Part 2
J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Recipient Conversations
Twilight music in Mill Race Park
*2021 Exhibition Participants*
J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Recipients
Dream the Combine (Minneapolis)
Ecosistema Urbano (Miami and Madrid, Spain)
Future Firm (Chicago)
Olalekan Jeyifous (Brooklyn)
Sam Jacob Studio (London, England)
Seven installations are by University Design Research Fellows, which feature research by leading professors of architecture and design and investigate issues such as watershed ecologies, non-human habitat, and material reuse.
University Design Research Fellows
Derek Hoeferlin (Washington University in St. Louis)
Joyce Hwang (University at Buffalo)
Jei Jeeyea Kim (Indiana University)
Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller (Texas Tech College University)
Ang Li (Northeastern University)
Lola Sheppard and Mason White (University of Toronto & University of Waterloo)
Natalie Yates (Ball State University)
The High School Design Team’s installation will showcase the work of a group of Columbus-area high school students. Projects by Photography Fellows Virginia Hanusik (New Orleans) and David Schalliol (Minneapolis) will be installed in multiple locations downtown, featuring topics related to the Watershed, infrastructure, and climate adaptation. Jeremiah Chiu (Los Angeles) is creating a graphic experience in and around Columbus through a New Middles identity and wayfinding system.
Landmark Columbus Foundation is proud to announce this year’s anchor sponsorships, the 2021 Exhibition is powered by support from Cummins Inc. and the J. Irwin and Xenia s. Miller Prize is presented by Heritage Fund—The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County through a grant received from Lilly Endowment Inc. These sponsors create a strong foundation for widespread community support for Exhibit Columbus as one of the state’s most visible contemporary art and architecture programs, and one that is deeply focused on improving the quality of place.
The 2021 Exhibition, which has been endorsed as an official Columbus Area Bicentennial Project, will be on display through November 28 with additional projects and events occurring throughout, including Next Generation Day, an event geared toward youth and families, Mapping the Middle: Design Research Conversations, created in partnership with Ball State University and Indiana University to highlight the University Design Research Fellowship, and Watershed Weekend, a series of events featuring the Photography Fellows, Derek Hoeferlin, and special guests to learn more about the Mississippi watershed —its past, present, and future; and a collaborative project with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Visit exhibitcolumbus.org for the ongoing schedule of projects and events.