#ArtUnitesCbus – Public Art

Art Unites Cbus GCAC webpage


#ArtUnitesCbus, a Black Lives Matter public art initiative

View complete list of exhibition sites and artists.*

AUC-collage554x350On June 1, 2020, after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police and the resulting protests, CAPA and the Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) partnered to launch #ArtUnitesCbus, an initiative to employ Columbus-based visual artists to paint murals on the plywood installed over the broken windows at the Ohio Theatre and the Arts Council office. Other businesses throughout the city joined in and by the end of June more than 200 murals had been created on plywood throughout the city.

The murals messages ranged from support for Black Lives Matter to tributes to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, to messages of love and hope. An online exhibition to catalog the Art Unites Cbus murals was created and the Arts Council committed to preserving and exhibiting the murals, and encouraging dialogue about the Black Lives Matter movement as our city, and our country, work toward racial equity.

The first round of Art Unites Cbus temporary mural exhibitions will be on view through the end of February 2021. Click on the image above to take a virtual tour.  The McConnell Arts Center in Worthington and King Arts Complex have additional related programming. Please visit their websites to learn more. In addition the Art Unites Cbus Film and Photography exhibition will open in the Arts Council gallery on Feb. 4. and the Schumacher Gallery at Capital University will be displaying several Art Unites Cbus mural boards as well as work by several of the Art Unites Cbus photographers in conjunction with Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, Jan. 18-Mar. 27, 2021.

These exhibitions are one component of public art and visual expression for a new aspirational racial equity campaign, Deliver Black Dreams.

cma_dbd-muralDeliver Black Dreams will use public art as a launch point for a sustained and future-oriented approach to achieving racial equity in Columbus, one that helps the community reimagine and design a city where everyone can live abundantly, and builds toward a future where Black people and those who love them are free to choose their destiny, free from oppression.

Led by Marshall Shorts, designer, principal at Artfluential and co-creator of Creative Control Fest, Deliver Black Dreams is a campaign OF, BY and FOR Black people. It is a campaign that seeks long-term change in the culture and across multiple sectors including health, education, culture, safety and more.

“Deliver Black Dreams is about creating a city for ALL of US, where ALL can live abundantly,” said Shorts. “Deliver Black Dreams is more than a campaign. It is a commitment. It is about connecting cultural products such as public art to tangible systemic change that reimagines a world where all of us can thrive. Deliver Black Dreams is centered in a Black voice and affirms that Black Lives Matter AND if they do then we must make a commitment to Deliver Black Dreams.”

The first of six large public murals was painted in early Nov. on 5th Ave, just west of Cleveland Ave. Click on the image above for artist names and details.

This Art Unites Cbus and Deliver Black Dreams efforts are made possible by the generous support of:

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Additional support is provided by Grange Insurance and PNC.

We have asked each of the sponsors for Deliver Black Dreams to supply their racial equity statement. Please click on their name below to read their statement.
American Electric Power
City of Columbus
Ohio State Energy Partners/The Ohio State University
Cardinal Health
Grange Insurance

The Arts Council remains committed to continuing this effort, expanding its reach and marking the milestones in our community’s fight for equity and social justice. We are listening. Please email us at artunitescbus@gcac.org with ideas for future public art supporting the Black Lives Matter and Deliver Black Dreams movements.

“#ArtUnitesCbus is just one small way the arts community is trying to help. These murals are not the answer, simply a message that we ALL can, and must, help heal our community,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, President & CEO of the Arts Council.

Funds are still needed for these efforts. If you would like to help support this effort please visit our Make a Gift page and select “ArtUnitesCbus” to make your donation.

*The Arts Council has made a significant effort to identify the artists who created these boards, however some remain unknown. If you are an artist, or are aware of an artist who is not credited in this document, please email us at artunitescbus@gcac.org with the name of the artist, site their work is exhibited at and any contact information you have.