Columbus is always home to great art, but this time of year in particular, visitors can see a blossoming of new exhibitions from some of the city's foremost arts institutions. Here's a sampling.

Calvin & Hobbes at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum - March 22 - Aug. 3 In only the second exhibition ever of cartoonist Bill Watterson's iconic Calvin & Hobbes work, this show brings original pieces. The exhibition, curated by Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum curator Jenny E. Robb, explores Watterson’s mastery of the comic strip art form through engaging characters, thoughtful writing, and creative layouts.  It also includes original art by cartoonists who influenced Watterson, chosen by the artist from the museum's collection, such as Charles Schulz, George Herriman, Jim Borgman, Berkeley Breathed, Garry Trudeau, and Ralph Steadman. The museum is located in a brand new space directly adjacent to the Wexner Center of the Arts.


Cruzamentos at the Wexner Center - through April 20 The sounds and colors of Brazil come to life at the Wexner Center for the Arts on the Ohio State University campus. 35 known and emerging Brazilian artists display their works, in the culmination of four-year-long research process by Wexner Center curators. The gallery exhibition is accompanied by video, dance, film and music performances.

toulouse-lautracTolouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne at the Columbus Museum of Art - through May 18 Best known for the stylize and raucous lithographs and paintings of cabaret and cafe scenes that define Paris' Belle Epoque, this invigorating exhibition is based around the work of Henri Tolouse-Lautrec. Pulling in works from Mary Cassat, Juan Gris and others, visitors get a sense of the avant-garde side of life at the turn of the last century in the French capital. The exhibition comprises185 works, including paintings, drawings, theater programs, cabaret posters and even puppets.

Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition at the Columbus College of Art and Design - Feb 17 - May 2 The Columbus College of Art and Design has its campus in the northeast corner of Downtown Columbus, just north of the Columbus Museum of Art. After seeing Tolouse-Lautrec, the senior thesis galleries make an excellent addition to a day of art, this time, seeing work from emerging artists. The best part is that gallery shows change weekly, so you'll have the chance to see many new works. The Acock Gallery is free and open to the public 7 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and is located on the corner of Cleveland Avenue and Gay Street.

quilt nationalQuilt National at the Riffe Gallery - through April 13 Quilt National is a biennial juried exhibition that showcases textile art in its many forms. Artists from around the country submit their works, which use the traditional craft of quilting as their backbone. But these aren't your grandmother's quilts - they're unique works of art that tell stories - either of the inner life of the artist or of the broader world.