City of Columbus
Mayor's Public Art Committee
Repairs to Flamenco
One of Columbus’ most beloved sculptures is undergoing much-needed repairs. Flamenco by Ruth Aizuss Migdal was brought to Columbus in 2014 as part of CAAC’s Columbus Sculpture Biennial. The artwork was purchased through community donations and became a permanent piece in the City’s collection in 2016.
The sculpture had broken welds, fading paint, and damage from graffiti. These repairs are funded by CAAC's Public Art Longevity Fund, established through "Fund a Need" at Uncommon Cause in 2022. Through partnerships, we make the most of these donations, ensuring the maintenance of our community's public art assets.
Join us for the rededication of Flamenco.
We will enjoy light refreshments and hear remarks from Dr. Bob Chestnut, Chief Medical Executive Director at Cummins Inc., Landmark Columbus Foundation, and the Columbus Area Arts Council. The group will then walk to the intersection of 8th and Brown Streets to participate with a bell ringing to signify the gateway opening and rededication of the sculpture.
FULL PRESS RELEASE
December 4, 2023
Repaired Flamenco Returns to a New Location in Columbus
COLUMBUS, INDIANA–A well-known work of public art returns to Columbus after being temporarily off-view for repairs. Flamenco by Ruth Aizuss Migdal is being temporarily installed in the median of the newly improved “Mill Race Park Gateway” on 8th Street between Lindsey and Brown Streets. The public is invited to an opening and rededication on December 14, 2023.
The planned maintenance, including welding repairs and new paint, is being paid for through the Arts Council’s Public Art Longevity Fund (PALF) – a fund started in 2022 by individual donors who contributed to that year’s Uncommon Cause Fund a Need. PALF is dedicated to providing dollars for the preservation and maintenance of our community’s public art assets.
The bright-red steel sculpture stood at the corner of 4th and Washington Streets just outside The Commons in downtown Columbus since 2014, when it was installed as part of Columbus Area Arts Council’s “Columbus Sculpture Biennial.” The artwork is owned by the City of Columbus and was purchased through generous community donations and dedicated as a permanent artwork on August 17, 2016.
Brooke Hawkins, executive director of the Columbus Area Arts Council and co-chairperson of the Mayor’s Public Art Committee, said that arts leaders worked with the City of Columbus to explore ideal timing and potential locations downtown for the piece upon completion of the repair work. As the intersection of 4th and Washington is currently occupied by InterOculus by PAU, one of the installations of the Exhibit Columbus Public by Design exhibition, the timing was suitable for the repair work and relocation. “Flamenco’s location at 4th and Washington was intended to be temporary. This beloved work deserves to be cared for properly, including finding a place where it can be viewed without obstruction,” she said.
Flamenco will be installed at the new “Mill Race Park Gateway” on 8th Street, a project of Landmark Columbus Foundation, and in partnership with the Mill Race Center, Columbus Regional Health (Healthy Communities Initiative), the Landmark Farm Foundation, the Lincoln Central Neighborhood Family Center, and the City of Columbus. The street beautification and traffic calming elements, designed by Hitchcock Design Group, aim to improve the connection between the downtown, residential, ColumBus Transit, the People Trail, Mill Race Park, and the Mill Race Center. This was done by enhancing street crossings, planting street trees, and installing a median and public art.
“This project is a true example of how we can leverage the excitement around Exhibit Columbus to create permanent improvements in our community. Flamenco will be the highlight of the project as the bright color and playful form draws your eye towards Mill Race Park and enhances your journey, much like Eos welcomes you along 5th Street.” said Laura Garrett, director of partnerships, Landmark Columbus Foundation.
In August, the Arts Council contracted Indianapolis-based company Brose Partington Studio to remove, repair, and paint the piece. In addition to his own artist practice, the Studio specializes in the maintenance and restoration of art objects. Flamenco was transported to Indianapolis, where the work is being completed. Migdal was consulted on the project to match the paint color and surface finish.
Rededication: The “Mill Race Park Gateway” opening and the rededication of Flamenco will occur from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm on December 14, 2023. The event will start at Cummins LiveWell Center (806 Jackson Street), where attendees will hear remarks from Dr. Bob Chestnut, Chief Medical Executive Director at Cummins Inc., Laura Garrett, and Brooke Hawkins. The group will then walk to the intersection of 8th and Brown Streets to participate in a bell ringing to signify the gateway opening and rededication of the sculpture.
From PublicArtArchive.org: Flamenco, the sculpture by Ruth Migal, is an abstracted dancing female silhouette rendered in red painted steel. The central form is a typical dress worn by flamenco dancers with a tight-fitting torso with a ruffled top and bottom. Radiating around this central element are several zig-zagged forms surrounding the dress and expressing the energy of the figure. Painted a bright red, this fixed sculpture radiates excitement and movement as if the torso is engaged in a dynamic dance. This sculpture is part of a series of works focusing on the dancing woman and aims to exemplify their power, joy, perseverance, and free spirit. As Migal states, the sculpture "expresses independence, strength, and lust for life.”
Ruth Aizuss Migdal is a first-generation Jewish American born in Chicago. Holding a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she earned her MFA from the University of Illinois in painting and printmaking. Although trained as a painter, she began exploring sculpture after doing a study of the human torso in clay. Quickly she began creating large abstract figurative sculptures in bronze and steel. Generally depicting the female torso in larger-than-life sizes, her work expresses the free spirit, joy, independence and strength of women.
About the Columbus Area Arts Council
The Columbus Area Arts Council (CAAC) is a non-profit organization that enriches the community through arts projects and programs, including events, exhibitions, local artist development initiatives, and grants to artists and organizations. CAAC provides resources and develops strategies that impact local culture and quality of life. Through its exhibitions, CAAC showcases diverse art forms and artists from the local community and beyond. This provides a platform for artists to share their work and helps to build a sense of community around the arts.
About Landmark Columbus Foundation
Landmark Columbus Foundation cares for, celebrates, and advances the cultural heritage of Columbus, Indiana. In keeping this spirit of innovation in design and community collaboration alive, Landmark created the program Exhibit Columbus in 2016 as a vested way to connect design excellence to quality of place. To fulfill its mission Landmark Columbus Foundation directs three locally-engaged and globally-connected programs that are interwoven in their impact and networks: Landmark Columbus, Exhibit Columbus, and Columbus Design Institute.
Public Art Longevity Fund
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Public Art Longevity Fund. Your generosity allows us to ensure the enduring presence and impact of public art in our community.
Eos by Dessa Kirk
Image by Don Nissen, Columbus Area Visitors Center
Mayor's Public Art Committee (MPAC) Members
Mary Harmon, Community Volunteer, Appointed by Mayor
Daniel Martinez, J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program, Appointed by Mayor
(Open), Local Artist, Appointed by Mayor
Grace Kestler, City Council Representative
Richard McCoy, Landmark Columbus Foundation Designee
(Open), BCSC Designee
Jennifer Riley, J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program, Post-Secondary Institution Designee
Shanda Sasse, The Commons, Columbus City Parks Designee
Erin Hawkins, Columbus Area Visitor's Center Designee
Tricia Gilson, Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives Designee
Brooke Hawkins, Non-voting - Director of Columbus Area Arts Council
Mary Ferdon, Non-voting - City of Columbus Administration Designee
The Mayor of Columbus created and established this public art committee to encourage the creation, installation, proper insurance coverage, and maintenance of public art in Columbus, through both public and private initiatives.
Jackson Street Parking Garage Mural
Image by Tony Vasquez
Public Art Resources
Explore a remarkable collection of public art for a city of 48,000 – you will find works by internationally-known artists, up-and-coming artists, and local artists.
Large Arch by Henry Moore
Image by Hadley Fruits,
Landmark Columbus Foundation