Thursday, February 12, 2009

Campus High Street Always Changing

North of OSU there is a major streetscape renovation strecthing for blocks of what was once called North Columbus. This streetscape is set to showcase the many ethic and unique restaurants and shops that are found north of campus. It will also include a few arches over the street somewhat like the Short North. At Hudson and High St. was once a small town called North Columbus where the streetcars turned around. A few blocks of century old commercial buildings grace this section.
The Big project is the new Ohio Union, the main student union at The Ohio State University. The old one was a sprawling hulk of a building that was a main reminder that OSU was big even in the pre-Baby Boomer 1950's. The future Ohio Union is another sprawling hulk of a building that seems to remind us that the Urban Infill style is alive and well. It looks like the Easton version of the Ohio Union. A new parking garage (right next to another parking garage) is included in the scheme. The above picture is of the back side facing the South Oval.
The High Street facade has many looks the insides look like it has some fun aspects. There are towers and look-outs, picture windows and brick. The main front door is not easy to find, but lets wait until the construction crew cleans up.

The above picture is just an exaple of the interesting renovations of some of the old classroom buildings with the juxtaposition of old and angled post-modern elements.
Yet, the big news is the end of Larry's Bar at the corner of Woodruff and High Street. Larry's Bar lasted over 80 years owned by three generations of one family. Of course, it wasn't a bar at first because that would put it in the middle of Prohibition. It became a bar in 1934 and had been a bohemian outpost until the end of 2008. Always an intellectual bar, they worked hard to keep the jocks out of the place. But alas, the jocks have taken over and made it into a generic sports bar with picture windows.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

February Gallery Hop: icy sidewalks

If you stayed away from the February Short North Gallery Hop you played it safe. Despite the seasonably warm weather, the ice and snow from the previous week had not all disappeared. Sidewalks on High Street had a wide path, but the sidewalks on the side streets were mostly ice. Biashara wrapped a tree in front of their shop with scarfs (above). The crowd stayed away, but plenty of people still assembled in the Short North.Sales abound among the galleries. Galleria Zona Cora Zon (above left) had a Carnival sale of a wide variety of pieces. Lindsay Gallery(above left) had a massive group show from his back room full of works from past exhibitors, some haven' t been seen in years. It is a great place to get your folk art fix.
The sales weren't all happy ones. Cameo (above), the glass art gallery that has had the prime spot in the Body Shop building for years is calling it quits. Glass art, perhaps, is losing its luster, especially outside of one man shows. Also on the blocks is Fourwinds home furnishings ( ) at 1st Avenue and High. Both shops have prime corner locations selling more of a merchandise product than unique pieces by artists trying to make great art.

Chris Mohler had a show of his heavy metal sculpture and figurative paintings in the Greystone Apartment Building. Mohler has been around over 20 years making a deep portfolio of welded sculpture, sometimes abstract, sometimes recognizable.

Shows of note: Sherrie Gallerie had a show by Christian Faur who has started to make photographic images composed of crayons. That is, he uses thousands of crayons with their tops as pointalist dots of color that form into an image from a distance. Faur also showed other mixed media work.
Rivet Gallery had an erotic photography show called "Darkness into Light" with the likes of such artists as Chas Krider. The show included "Yama", a fetish that incorporated a human skull by Wayne Martin Belger. It was kept in an artistic glass case and was only on view during certain hours. (other showings are scheduled for later in the month).