Columbus Arts and Culture

Columbus’ art scene is bursting with creativity. TripAdvisor, which named it one of the “30 Top USA Cities to Visit in 2018,” says it like this:

“This place is experiencing a bit of a hipster movement, powered by its fashionable, creative residents and abundance of outdoor concerts. Check out the Columbus Museum of Art, which has some exciting 2018 exhibitions on the way, including a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. If you’re a fan of comic and cartoon art, time your trip for September’s Cartoon Crossroads Columbus. The Short North neighborhood is where you’ll find all your trendy artisan shopping needs met, and you can get hands on with a class or workshop at the Columbus Idea Foundry.”

Art Across Columbus

PIzzutiLaugh, learn and enjoy the literary life at the Thurber House (the boyhood home of humorist, author and New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber) or take in what ARTNews calls one of the top art collections in the world at The Pizzuti Collection. The collection at the newly expanded Columbus Museum of Art includes works by late 19th and early 20th-century American and European masters alongside selections from beloved local artists, while the Wexner Center for the Arts allows for the exploration of contemporary art in all forms. Even the Greater Columbus Convention Center is packed with art – part of the largest collection of contemporary creations by Franklin County artists, owned by the Convention Facilities Authority. Take a photo inside the 14-foot interactive LED sculpture “As We Are” and become part of the art.

The Short North Arts District hosts Gallery Hop the first Saturday of each month, when visitors check out the area’s storied galleries during extended hours; Franklinton Fridays, on the second Friday of each month, offers the opportunity to explore the gritty arts scene exploding just across the river from downtown.

If you’re not here in June, make sure to plan a return trip for the Columbus Arts Festival, which annually welcomes more than 280 nationally acclaimed artists to the banks of the Scioto River, just one option from the weekly summer festival lineup. Music, dance, theater and touring productions also play a vital role in the city’s nightlife and entertainment options. 

Find additional arts activities in Columbus.

Fashion-Forward Columbus

Columbus has the third-highest concentration of fashion Highball Halloweendesigners in the country, behind only New York and Los Angeles. Hit the Short North’s eclectic boutiques or check out Easton, dubbed the “Rodeo Drive of the Midwest” by USA Today. To this day, Easton serves as a blueprint for the modern shopping center thanks to the brilliant minds behind it, including Les Wexner, founder of L Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel and La Senza).

Multiple fashion events throughout the year attract international audiences, including the Columbus College of Art and Design’s annual spring fashion show, the Fashion Meets Music Festival, Columbus Fashion Week, Alternative Fashion Mob and HighBall Halloween, billed as “Carnivale meets Mardi Gras” with a pinch of Halloween.

More Columbus shopping.