Mural in Columbus’ Franklinton neighborhood (photo courtesy of Columbus Greater Arts Council)

How to Explore Public Art in Columbus this Summer

Connect with the wide range of public art found throughout our capital city using the Cbus ArtWalks App.

Walking along High Street in Columbus’ Short North Arts District, it’s hard to miss the sheer amount of art on display — works in storefront windows, large murals painted on buildings, chalk decorating sidewalks. Our capital city has long embraced creativity, and Columbus’ vibrant arts scene has grown along with its population.

In 2021, the Greater Columbus Arts Council created a new way to connect with public artworks with the launch of its Cbus ArtWalks App. What started as an online arts database published in 2019 has evolved into a mobile-phone app capable of helping plan self-curated tours and allowing everyone, from longtime residents to travelers to first-year college students, the ability to learn about Columbus and the art found here.

“The biggest thing that people are discovering is that public art lives closer to them,” says Jami Goldstein, vice president of marketing, communications and events at the Greater Columbus Arts Council, who took part in spearheading the ArtWalks project.

The app allows users to filter art by category, with types that range from historic statues to digital installations to architecture. Users can also explore by neighborhood (the app covers 65 in and around Columbus), and the map pinpoints where artworks can be found. Additionally, the app curates tours around various themes.

“We wanted people to be able to find the kind of art that they were interested in, as well as art that was near them and art that would be part of their community,” Goldstein says.

This type of user-centric experience is just the start for the Greater Columbus Arts Council, which has plans to continue expanding features to make art more accessible to everyone through a comprehensive public art plan for the city.

“This app is an important tool in that process,” Goldstein says, “because we’ve already put in people’s hands the ability to explore what’s out there and begin to get a sense of what they like and don’t like and how public art has shaped our community.”