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Gallery Hop keeps up with the times

Over 300 businesses and shops reside within the Short North Arts District, a High Street hotspot that features a monthly gallery hop with local vendors. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo Editor

Gallery Hop has been a Columbus tradition since its start in 1985, evolving like the neighborhood it’s in to provide a fun night out for anyone.

The Short North has transformed into a place to eat, drink and shop without detracting from the historic art scene –– which will all be highlighted this week in this month’s Gallery Hop.

Dozens of galleries will open their doors to show art from all over the world starting at 4:00 p.m. Saturday.

Today, there is more collaboration between the galleries, restaurants and boutiques in the Short North than ever before, said Michelle Brandt, owner of Brandt Roberts Galleries.

“We are seeing multi-disciplinary art, fashion and culinary experiences all working together with more collaboration,” she said. “It’s a great time to come out and experience the arts. People consume art differently than they did 15 or 30 years ago … the average person does not come to the Short North just to see one business; most people come to see the exhibits and get a bite to eat.”

In the past, Gallery Hop drew a smaller crowd with its focus solely on the arts. Although the main draw will always be the galleries, there’s a lot more to the experience than there used to be including street acts and nontraditional exhibits, according to the Short North website.  

Food trucks, like Hot Mamas and Dos Hermanos Taco Truck, swarm the neighborhood and restaurants stay open later to make for a festive environment.

Gallery Hop has a different vibe each month –– depending on the weather, the exhibitions and if the Buckeyes are playing. Judy Hoberg, who has seen this monthly event evolve over 31 years at Studios on High Gallery said each Gallery Hop tends to have its own flavor.

“It can have more of an art fair feel when the weather is great and there are food trucks around,” she said.  When the weather is not so appealing, there are less people and a more intimate feel.”

Hoberg said despite some changes in the area, one thing remains constant.

“Through all the years the crowds have remained consistently enthusiastic and people pour in our doors to see the artwork,” she said.

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