Best of Columbus 2019: Editors' Picks for Arts & Entertainment

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
'The Rooms@Easton'

Art-Meets-Science Exhibit

From Feb. 16 through May 19, COSI had a free pop-up exhibit in an unexpected space: Easton Town Center. Designed to highlight “everyday” science themes, The Rooms@Easton was located inside the Station Building. Visitors entered the space via a main corridor with interactive science experiences; five rooms off the corridor featured optical illusions, wall-to-wall mirrors and more. A highlight was the White Room; its all-white contents slowly became a riot of color as visitors placed stickers on every available surface.


The Columbus Museum of Art had a great start to its year with the donation of Ron Pizzuti's 18,000-square-foot contemporary art museum, the Pizzuti Collection, plus the 40 paintings and sculptures found inside. The real estate developer won't say how much his donation is worth, but it's within the top three gifts CMA has ever received. Still, the donation represents a fraction of Pizzuti's total collection, which numbers more than 2,000 pieces and ranks in the top 200 collections worldwide, according toARTnews.

Happy Drummer

We dare you not to smile while taking in the rhythms of drummer Reggie Jackson, who performs often around town, appearing with Bobby Floyd and the Harmony Project, and who has toured with the late, legendary Dr. John and Grammy winner Diane Schuur. Jackson's infectious—and ever-present—grin does almost as much as his beats to lift the spirits of the audience when he plays.

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New Opera About a Historic Flood in Franklinton

It's true, there's little competition in this category. But even if operas about Ohio floods were as common as songs about heartbreak, 2019's “The Flood” would be the best. The collaboration between the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and Opera Columbus to commission a new work in which the impact of the devastating flood unfolds across generations resulted in a riveting production that garnered attention inThe Wall Street JournalandUSA Today.


On the fateful afternoon of March 12, an SUV ran a red light at the intersection of College Avenue and State Street in Westerville. No one was injured in the resulting crash, but Jimmy V's Grill & Pub at 1 S. State St. suddenly had a drive-thru. After damage to the building was boarded up, local muralist Adam Hernandez came to the rescue, covering up the eyesore with his colorful take on Columbus Crew SC's mascot, Crew Cat. “I've had the idea to paint a version of Crew Cat in my style now for a while. Mario Nedelkoski, one of the [restaurant's] owners, used to be Crew Cat in the early 2000s,” Hernandez says. “Also, a few Crew players frequent the bar. It seemed appropriate to me, especially after the #SaveTheCrew movement.”

Promotional Clip

During the yearlong exhibition of I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100, TV stations aired a rousing promo for the citywide artistic collaboration. Created by Warhol & Wall St., it featured poets Barbara Fant and Tripp Fontane reciting Langston Hughes' revered “I, Too” poem while local black artists painted, sang, played music and danced across Columbus. It was beautifully shot and surprisingly moving for an ad, perhaps because it was pitching something worth buying.

Hidden Sculpture Garden

To appreciate the art at the Sherrie Gallerie, you don't even need to walk through the doors. An outdoor sculpture garden, curated by owner Sherrie Hawk, livens up a parking lot tucked behind the venerable Short North gallery at 694 N. High St. Hawk started the garden about three years ago to create a rare gallery space for showcasing outdoor sculptures, changing pieces every few months, just as she does indoors. The current season, installed in May, features the playful and colorful ceramic work of Minneapolis artist Russ Vogt, as well as metal pieces from Northeast Ohio artist Terry Klausman.

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1994: Day at the Races

“Indy 500. An amazing total of four drivers from Central Ohio were in the field: Brian Till, Bryan Herta, Mike Groff and Bobby Rahal.”