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Online database connects public with artwork around Columbus

The Greater Columbus Art Council created both a statewide and Columbus-area database, which features murals, statues, fountains and more.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The beauty of Columbus is hard to ignore. Take it from one tourist from Indianapolis.

"Absolutely beautiful city, absolutely beautiful," Alton Wilson said. "Came here on a whim and got an Airbnb, and it was great."

City leaders would likely to be happy to hear that, especially knowing that Wilson and his fellow traveler, Adam Gauthier, spent time checking out the city's public art.

"This is something that a lot of cities are really starting to pay attention to," said Jami Goldstein, vice president of marketing for the Greater Columbus Arts Council. "Public art is really important for quality of life as well as the potential for tourism and generating visitors’ interest in cities."

Goldstein admits Columbus still has some work to do in supporting the arts but points to recent strides being made in Franklinton and the Short North. She also praised the new ticket tax that went into effect last month.

"We just look forward to growing this scene by people finding out more about public art, finding out what’s here, and exploring the options for what we can do in the future," Goldstein said.

One way to do that is through the council's new public art database.

"It would be really handy ‘cause I came here wanting to see parks, sculptures, so that would be something that you could just, like, search and then just, like, map it and go there," Gauthier said.

That is exactly how it works. On the site, users can search by category (mural, sculpture, fountain), attribute (free parking, indoors, ADA accessible) or by location via an interactive map. Each entry includes a picture of the public artwork, information about it and the location.

"Artists and art organizations give life to our city," Goldstein said. "They generate tourism, they build economic impact, they provide jobs, and they provide quality of life, and I think Columbus needs all of those things. We’re doing a pretty good job, but we can always do more."

For a link to the Columbus-area public art database, click here.

For a link to the Ohio statewide public art database, click here.