COLUMBUS’ LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY CELEBRATED WITH UNIQUE ART INSTALLATION IN THE SHORT NORTH ARTS DISTRICT
COLUMBUS, OH (December 16, 2021) — A first-of-its-kind public art installation now has a home in the Short North Arts District. “Pride Circles” by local artist Lisa McLymont is the first ever permanent public art installation to be installed in the public right-of-way in the City of Columbus on a sidewalk where the public is invited to traverse the art as they pass.
Commissioned by the Short North Alliance in partnership with Stonewall Columbus, “Pride Circles” is a representation of a few of the many pride and identity flags in the LGBTQ+ community. The installation takes shape in the form of a pond of unified ripples, where passersby can imagine themselves as pebbles that break the surface symbolizing individual efforts that combine to make waves in the waters of change–analogous to the the queer rights movement. These ripples coalesce around the entrance of Stonewall, creating a symbolic and welcoming embrace around the many voices and identities in the community who enter. Made entirely of thermoplastic, which is the same material that is used in most roadway markings, the installation is designed to allow the public to inclusively experience LGBTQ+ identities.
Amidst Stonewall Columbus’ 40th Anniversary year, in service and advocacy to the Columbus community, “Pride Circles” not only reimagines the gateway into the nonprofit’s Short North Arts District headquarters, it works to elevate an understanding of the ways in which small acts can result in big change and the unique interconnectedness of the LGBTQ+ community.
“It was such an honor to be privy to the thoughtful and intentional considerations that Lisa McLymont gave to accepting this commission and the creation of this piece,” said Densil Porteous, Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus, who joined the organization in January 2021. “Pride Circles is a wonderful physical representation of our community’s interconnected work and the accountability that we must all agree to so as to ensure we create positive ripples of change.”
“Pride Circles is a powerful project that both fosters inclusivity and continues to push Columbus toward more innovative infusions of art in public space,” said Betsy Pandora, Executive Director of the Short North Alliance.
“This public art installation helps us celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall Columbus and the LGBTQIA+ community. It is an impactful visual reminder that, while we have a long way to go, Columbus is dedicated to being a vibrant, equitable and inclusive city,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther.
The project was made possible with support from The Jack and Zoe Johnstone fund of the Short North Foundation, the Short North Alliance Art Fund, Stonewall Columbus, One Hospitality Group, and Griffin Pavement Striping.
A celebration with the artist is planned for Pride Month in June 2022 with details to follow.
About the Artist
Lisa McLymont is a multidisciplinary artist, graphic designer & social justice advocate. Lisa’s art is mainly expressed through drawing and painting, welcoming curiosity to explore many directions knowing that each new experience provides insight while creating work that connects past and future worlds. Lisa has two ongoing portrait series, “The Universe Tribe”, & “The Odes”, focused on nuances within identity and inspired by the powerful communicative styles of protest posters and dreamy expressionism.
Driven to affect the world in a positive way, Lisa’s art encourages others to know the power in collaboratively seeking change. She overcomes anxieties about the unrest in the world through a meditative process of making & taking time to view concepts at myopic levels.
Lisa McLymont was born in Manhattan, NY and has called Columbus, Ohio home since the age of ten. Formally educated in graphic design and visual communications at The Ohio State University, McLymont’s career as a self-taught, multi-disciplinary artist started in 2009, and has included forays into drawing, painting, murals, sculpture, and jewelry design, while letting inspiration found through research and the process of making lead. She is currently a member of the Columbus Public Art Commission, Maroon Arts Group, and is Black, Out, and Proud.
About the Short North Arts District
The Short North Arts District is the most vibrant spot in the City of Columbus, and is home to more than 300 exciting businesses, the majority of which are locally-owned or headquartered. It has received numerous national accolades, is considered a model for urban revitalization, and is known as the art and soul of Columbus. The Short North Alliance (SNA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving both the property and business owners of the Short North Arts District. For more information, visit www.shortnorth.org.
About Stonewall Columbus
Stonewall Columbus, an independent 501(c)(3)nonprofit, is one of the oldest LGBTQ+ community organizations in the country; founded in 1981, today Stonewall Columbus’ mission is to increase visibility, inclusion, and connection for the LGBTQ+ community. Stonewall represents more than 10,000 LGBTQ+ and allied community members in the Central Ohio region. Stonewall provides an array of evolving programs and services to the LGBTQ+ and allied communities supported by community donations, corporate partnerships, and grants. Annual Columbus PRIDE events and march are produced by Stonewall Columbus. Stonewall’s physical home is the Center on High–a community center for all. Stonewall envisions a community where we all THRIVE.
Download the full press release here.