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This Massive New Art Installation Downtown Will Be Visible From A Plane

An exciting new art installation will transform Downtown Columbus this summer.

A new floating sculpture from artist Janet Echelman will be suspended above Gay and High Streets in the heart of downtown Columbus, anchored to the four buildings at the corners of the intersection.

The floating artwork, entitled ‘Current’, was created by sculptor Janet Echelman using 78 miles of twine and crafted with more than 500,000 knots. The red and blue cloud-like sculpture will stretch 126 feet in the air at its highest point. The sculpture was proposed back in 2021 by the Columbus development firm Edwards Cos.

Courtesy of Edwards Company

Echelman is a world-renowned artist, with sculptures across five continents and in major world cities like Singapore, Shanghai, New York, Boston, London, and more.

“Visible from an airplane, Current will be a beacon and a beckon, drawing people from across the city and region. It’s going to be a defining image for our downtown and put Columbus on the map as a community that cares about — and invests in — transformational public art,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “When you visit the historic corner of Gay and High Streets, you’ll know you’ve arrived at the nexus of culture in Columbus.”

Courtesy of Edwards Cos.

Echelman found inspiration for the piece from the history of Columbus, specifically our street arches. Columbus was one of the first cities to use illuminated street arches and like those OG installations, this one will also light up at night.

“When I approach a new project, I start by diving into the history of the place. I became absorbed in Columbus’ historical narrative and quickly fell in love with the city,” said Echelman. “The challenge to build such an ambitious permanent interconnected art commission over a municipal street attached to multiple private buildings might have been impossible elsewhere. I witnessed exceptional cooperation to achieve this public goal and came to understand firsthand what is nationally referred to as the Columbus Way.”

Edwards Companies has taken the development of the intersection at Gay and High street for years, having renovated the Citizens Bank building and building the Nicholas mixed-use building.

“With Current, we’re reaching into history to redefine our future. This piece will be the north star for Columbus’ new culture-centric compass. I envision this to be the first drop in the pond, sending waves throughout the Gay Street District,” said Jeff Edwards, CEO of Edwards Companies.

The scuplture will be installed on June 1, 2023 and will be cared for by the Columbus Museum of Art.