Welcome to CAMPy WASHINGTON, where humor is a matter of civic pride.
Here’s George Washington, all dolled up to keep watch over the fine citizens of this urban neighborhood. He’s attended by Cincinnati’s famous flying pigs and a docile cow.
The purple gorilla and old-timey robot aren’t just mural stars: they have real life counterparts, statues that are an integral part of our local identity.
George is ready for his close-up.
The mural sits right off the highway, and is visible to random people filling their tanks at two gas stations. Although it doubtless makes them smile, its real importance is in brightening the lives of local residents who spend their days looking at manufacturing warehouses and crumbling 19th century brick buildings. In a neighborhood so far off the radar as to lack even the condescending appellation “up and coming”, public art really does make a difference.
My mom works and lives downtown. She takes different routes to and from her job, depending on weather, inclination, and schedule. She’s lucky to see the city from such an intimate angle. Being on foot allows her to stop and actually look at things, to take them in with consideration and deep thought. Columbus is a city awash with public art. It’s everywhere you turn: bold, unique, subtle, provocative, demanding attention, always evolving. Boredom is turned away; it has no place there. I accompanied my mom on her Wednesday commute. I am a writer, but the profound human experience conjured by urban surroundings-gritty, beautiful, humorous- is one of the things that fuels my creativity. These images represent a handful of the aesthetic wonders we saw that rainy day, that she sees several times a week as a matter of routine. Lucky lady.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”-Pablo Picasso
“A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.”-Oscar Wilde