CCAD Faculty, Alumnus Creating Public Art for City’s Bicentennial

January 26th, 2012 by Katlin McNally
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Tim Rietenbach's plan for "Grazing"

Columbus, OH, is turning 200 and to celebrate the city has gathered 56 international, national, and local artists including CCAD alumnus and professor Tim Rietenbach to create in public art projects around the city.

The entire series is called FINDING TIME: Columbus Public Art 2012. It will consist of 14 individual projects ranging from an LED light display on the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) building to new carillon chime compositions at a downtown Columbus church.

The projects explore the common theme of time, including its passage and measurement, along with notions of temporariness and permanence.

Rietenbach (CCAD 1977) is working on a piece called Grazing to be installed June 1, 2012. The art work consists of steel-rod cows that will appear to float on the Scioto River in downtown Columbus. The cows will have multiple moving parts that will be engaged by the flow of the water. Rietenbach said the cows will represent a time when farms were smaller and cows were able to roam the fields in close proximity to the city.

“The cows will, in appearance, be defying the laws of gravity (walking on water). Needless to say that is where the idea began and if realized will be the most gratifying artistic tool,” Rietenbach said. “My hope is that when finished I will have constructed a living gesture drawing that is as much phantom as it is real.”

Some of the art projects will blend in with Columbus’ urban landscape, while others may cause some head scratching, according to a Columbus Dispatch article.

“I think head scratching is OK,” said Columbus Art Commission Chair Diane Nance in the article. “It challenges people to think about what art is and what art should look like in a public space.”

Starting in 2010, the initiative has received grants from several organizations including the National Endowment of the Arts and The Ohio State University.

The projects will be documented as they are installed at www.columbuspublicart.com.

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