When you’re living in stressful times, art has a way of bringing joy into your life.
Feeling the need to bring some colorful and artistic art to the city, Catalyst Columbus is working to expand our cities mural art. Mandy Caskey and Brian Suiter found the perfect abandoned strip of downtown highway to do just that.
The mural took just six days to complete, with a crew of about 15 people. The whole project was collaborative, with artists, civil engineers, architects, and more gathering to see it to completion. Fighting the Ohio weather, work began with clearing the bridge of debris that had accumulated in the years since it’s closure.
After the clean-up, the crew began to paint the mural. The letters, which read “We are strong together” are 16 feet tall and although they’re tough to see from the ground, the message you see from above is crystal clear.
“There are much bigger issues around the world that people are dealing with, but we thought that art has a place in times of challenge,” explained Brian Suiter, co-founder of Catalyst Columbus. The message was originally intended to uplift the community during the COVID-19 outbreak, but a message of unity and togetherness can touch people for a variety of reasons.
To paint a mural this large, the crew, lead by Catalyst Columbus co-founder Mandy Caskey, used 50 gallons of paint and hours upon hours of labor. Catalyst plans to encourage more and more mural art around the city, with buildings and artists lined up. The key element to getting the projects going is funding.
In addition to funding this overpass mural, the Columbus Arts Commission also helped Catalyst acquire the necessary permits to paint the mural. Approval had to be granted from the Department of Public Service, the Columbus Transportation Department, and ODOT before work could begin.
Mural art isn’t just aesthetically pleasing. It adds value to the lives of those who walk or drive past it each day. It gives people who maybe don’t feel as comfortable or welcome walking into an art museum the opportunity to admire museum-quality work in an environment they feel more comfortable in. And, it gives artist the opportunity to express themselves in new and exciting ways.
The mural is located near the Scioto Audubon Metro Park in Downtown Columbus. All photos courtesy of Catalyst Columbus. To learn more about their mission to bring mural art to Columbus, you can visit their website here.