Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - 9

4
Floating sculpture brings color
to Columbus skyline
A
229-foot-long floating fiber sculpture by sculptor Janet Echelman is now a permanent
installation in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Crafted from fibers braided with nylon and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene,
Current hangs between buildings at the intersection of Gay and High streets. It was first
installed in June 2023 and is part of the Columbus Museum of Art's permanent collection.
Its colors transition from red to blue to represent the city's history, including Columbus'
earliest brick buildings and its riverfront park. Like many of the artist's other installations,
Current is lit up at night with colored lights, transforming its appearance once more.
" I hope that Current captures that idea of interconnectedness and creates a space where
people feel a sense of community and sanctuary. And I love that this artwork literally laces
into the fabric of the city over the public street because it's a place that everyone feels
entitled to be present, " Echelman says.
Echelman, who opened her studio in 1999 in New York City, is known for her large
artworks made from fiber materials and netting. Through wind and light, her sculptures
shift and change colors depending on the time of day.
With the help of her design team, including aeronautical and mechanical engineers,
computer scientists, landscape architects, and fabricators, she has created more than 50
installations worldwide from Australia and Singapore to the U.S. and the U.K. Right now,
she has permanent works in Portugal, South Korea, Canada and various cities in the U.S.
Current is part of a long-term effort led by development firm Edwards Companies to
create an artistic hub to attract more visitors and residents to the city's downtown. The
firm's president and CEO, Jeff Edwards, funded the project and donated it to the Columbus
Museum of Art, which oversees the care and maintenance of the sculpture. To avoid ice
accumulation, the piece hibernates in the winter and is reinstalled in the spring.
" As an artist, I follow nature. And I hope the winter functions like the absence of a lover,
giving us a chance to experience it anew each spring, " Echelman says.
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Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024

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