Two-dimensional versions of Ohio State landmarks, such as The Oval, Orton Hall and Ohio Stadium will soon be embedded in a new mural.
The 22-by-67.5-foot mural is set to feature notable landmarks from downtown through the University District and the corresponding lines of latitude and longitude. The piece of art, created by local artist Ryan Orewiler, is scheduled to be installed at The Gateway this week.
It will cover a portion of a wall in the east end of The Gateway, above Jimmy Johns’ new location.
In recent months, The Gateway changed its name from South Campus Gateway, and what used to be called “the alley” running down the middle was converted to a plaza with the addition of a beer garden and more outdoor seating.
The mural will be an addition to those renovations, all funded by OSU’s nonprofit development arm, Campus Partners. With these changes, Christiana Moffa, property manager of The Gateway with Steiner and Associates, said they hope to emphasize the location’s physical and metaphorical role as an intersection.
“As we changed the name to The Gateway, our focus was that this particular location would be the entry point from downtown into the university,” Moffa said. “Thus, becoming the intersection of downtown and campus or university and city life.”
It was Moffa who first suggested the idea of the addition of a mural to Campus Partners, which the group agreed to.
“We’re doing all of this in this plaza area to beautify it and make it aesthetically pleasing for people, but we have this big cement wall. Why don’t we do something artistic up there?” she said.
Moffa discovered Orewiler’s work via social media and thought he would be a good fit for the mural.
Orewiler, a 2004 Columbus College of Art and Design graduate, said he painted his first cityscape, of the New York City skyline, when he was just eight years old. Over his career as
an artist, Orewiler has moved from painting cityscapes to a series incorporating architecture and grid lines in an abstract way. He’s also done work with incorporating longitude and latitude lines and most recently, silkscreen projects highlighting Columbus landmarks specifically.
“I like the urban environment so all of my work is reflective of that,” he said.
Orewiler said The Gateway mural is the first he’s done on such a large scale that allowed him to incorporate his previous experience. He created the mural digitally, using photographs of University District area landmarks.
Jami Goldstein, vice president of marketing, communications and events at the Greater Columbus Arts Council said that one of the main goals with sprucing up areas near the University District is to make students want to stay in Columbus after graduation.
“I’m certainly very interested in making sure that the community at large connects with the student population and helping students appreciate the diversity and vibrancy that Columbus has to offer, and I think Ryan’s mural certainly does that,” she said. “We want you to fall in love with the city and want to stay here after you graduate.”
Moffa added, “I know there’s a big push by the city of Columbus to try to retain students from any number of art institutions as they graduate and speak to them about the opportunities in the Columbus market.”
Moffa also sees more art projects like the mural popping up in the area in the future.
“The University District as a whole, as it develops, is going to be more involved in art, presentation of local art and even large-format art,” she said.
Work on the mural is set to begin on Tuesday, with the installation set to be completed on Thursday. The mural will be heat-applied to the side of the building in a material that is designed to last for one year, but could last longer, according to SignAffects, the company doing the installation.