Studio Proof: OSU Urban Arts Space

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Since opening in 2008, the OSU Urban Arts Space, in the former Lazarus building downtown, has consistently featured truly exciting and original exhibitions from artists both local and international. The institution has added to this city’s vibrant and growing arts scene. It’s not surprising Columbus Alive readers voted the Urban Arts Space the best art gallery in the 2014 Best of Columbus poll.

While I encourage everyone to visit the space often to see what exhibits are on display — there’s usually something new to see every month — the current collection is particularly awesome. The three exhibits will close in the next few weeks and if you haven’t been, make sure not to miss out. And make sure you have budgeted at least an hour or more because you’ll easily lose track of time gazing at the work.

The two main gallery exhibitions, “Possible Impossible: Terry Allen Study Drawings for Public Works” and “25 on High: A Photographic Journey,” close on Nov. 8, so I’m going to focus on those. (But why not check out “Repetition Isolation: The Abundance Within” in the lobby as well?)

“Possible Impossible” takes an in-depth look at the creative process of multidisciplinary artist Terry Allen, who recently dedicated the “Scioto Lounge” public art installation along the waterfront. Allen is, simply put, prolific.

His public art is simultaneously incendiary and accessible, humorous and cerebral. Allen’s use of social commentary — specific to the sight of his installations — is as astute as they come. Viewing the pages of his notebook [pictured], where his installations begin, provides a glimpse inside the mind of a master.

Juxtaposing the analytical nature of the Allen exhibit is the charming “25 on High,” a photo series from 25 local photographers capturing High Street in all its glory and eccentricities. While there’s plenty of material for contemplation present in “25 on High,” I found it purely joyful to see how others view an area so many of us know so well. The images are at times hilarious, at times tragic. But as a collection, they personify the character — and characters — that makes High Street the special, weird, wild place we love.

photo courtesy of OSU Urban Arts Space]