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Columbus Commons to groom lawns with art

The OSU Urban Arts Space and the Columbus Commons are joining forces with other city organizations to bring art and culture downtown every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning Wednesday.

OSU Urban Arts Outdoors will be part of Lunch on the Lawn, located at the newly opened Columbus Commons park.

Urban Arts Outdoors will feature 10 artists from Ohio schools, selected in a competitive process, who will sell their work in booths around the commons’ lawn.

While 10 artists will be featured, their presence at the event depends on their availability June through August, said Zoey Boyles, deputy director of the OSU Urban Arts Space.

“We really wanted to distinguish it from the Pearl Alley (Farmers’) Market, which has been really successful nearby, so we thought to bring in an arts component with a unique outdoor gallery,” said Elise Yablonsky, project manager for Columbus Commons.

Featured artists include painters, photographers, screen printers and sculptors. Ten percent of the profits from the outdoor sales will go to OSU Urban Arts Space, which covers the rental costs of the booths, payment processing and booth staffing at the event, Boyles said.

Lunch on the Lawn will also feature various food carts, a farmers’ market sponsored by the Harmony Project, live music and performances by local artists and a reading area provided by the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

“Downtown is the heart of the city, and we wanted to encourage that downtown community atmosphere,” said David Brown, founder of the Harmony Project, a non-profit that raises money by putting on volunteer choir concerts throughout the city. “We wanted to make art and healthy living accessible to everyone regardless of income by providing fresh vegetables and good food.”

Brown also mentioned the importance of the park’s location between Franklinton and the King-Lincoln district of Columbus.

“These areas have been neglected for years,” Brown said. “We want to help in the rebuilding of these areas by promoting events like this. It helps strengthen the community.”

Aug. 31 is the last scheduled day for Lunch on the Lawn this summer.

“This is something that we would like to see continue next year and hopefully grow into an event that features more artists,” Boyles said. “We are just waiting to see what kind of materials are sold and the kind of turnout we will get.”

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