Final piece of property’s $140 million renovation and expansion now in place
COLUMBUS – Following the completion of the Greater Columbus Convention Center’s (GCCC) $140-million renovation and expansion in July, the final piece of the project is now in place in the form of a dramatic, interactive 14-foot sculpture titled “As We Are.”
The piece is a 3-D universal human head made from ribbons of ultrabright LED screens and is equipped with a photo booth capable of taking 3-D pictures. Once the photos are taken, the portraits are then projected on the face of “As We Are.” The project is meant to portray the welcoming atmosphere and diverse culture in Columbus.
“Each portrait is roughly 17 times the size of the person represented,” said Matthew Mohr, the conceptual artist for the work and a professor at the Columbus College of Art and Design. “Eyes will be as big as dinner plates. Through magnification, the sculpture re-contextualizes each participant and ask all who see their portrait to consider who that person is and the life they lead, no matter their age, gender or culture.”
The sculpture, fabricated by Design Communications Ltd., of Boston, was commissioned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority (FCCFA), owners of the GCCC, as part of a $3.5 million investment in local art specifically for the recent modernization. “As We Are” is intentionally located in the new, two-level open atrium entrance at the north end of the center which is steps away from the Short North Arts District. This creates a true sense-of-place for convention attendees, as they can enjoy more than 150 pieces of distinctly Columbus art within the facility, then seamlessly continue their experience into dozens of galleries and more than 100 restaurants, boutiques and entertainment options throughout the neighborhood.
“Columbus has a great story to tell, and part of that story is a rich arts culture that adds to the experience of visitors and residents alike,” said Sally Bloomfield, chair of the FCCFA board. “We believe this is something to celebrate, and we hope visitors enjoy the art collection, along with the other exceptional improvements that have been made to the convention center.”
The renovation and expansion of the Greater Columbus Convention Center is highlighted by 373,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, the fourth largest offering in the city’s competitive set. Additional first-class upgrades include upper-level show offices, a nursing mother’s room and nine new meeting rooms with outside windows, for a total of 75 meeting rooms in the facility.
“Columbus is a city on the move,” said Dan Williams, vice president of convention sales at Experience Columbus. “The grand re-opening of the Greater Columbus Convention Center following 22-months of work marks a pivotal step in Columbus’ rise to the top as the next big destination for meetings, events and trade shows. We look forward to welcoming attendees to the new space during the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four and the 2019 American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting & Exposition.”
Columbus, one of the fastest growing metros in America, is a smart and open community with a walkable, dynamic convention package that can fit the needs of any group. Right outside the GCCC, attendees will find lively urban entertainment districts and welcoming neighborhoods filled with incredible arts, entertainment, fashion and culinary offerings; exciting collegiate and professional sports teams and events; and a spectacular downtown riverfront.
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As the destination marketing organization for Ohio’s capital city, Experience Columbus’ mission is to sell, market and promote the best of the city to visitors and enhance their experience. In 2016, Columbus was ranked “Highest in Visitor Satisfaction in the Midwest” by J.D. Power in the 2016 Destination Experience Satisfaction StudySM. For more information about all Columbus has to offer for meetings, conventions and trade shows, go to meet.experiencecolumbus.com.
Columbus, OH received the highest numerical score among 8 cities in the Midwest in the J.D. Power 2016 Destination Experience Satisfaction Study, based on 26,124 total responses, measuring the experiences and perceptions of travelers who visited a top 50 U.S. destination, surveyed February-July 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.