Growing with the Arts *
My how the Short North Arts District has grown! In 1985, the area just north of downtownColumbusand the Convention Center was a pretty rough commercial strip set between two redeveloping residential neighborhoods –VictorianVillageandItalianVillage. Developers had grand ideas for the fine old buildings and some vacant lots.
PM Gallery established an outpost at Buttles and High. Young professionals started hanging out at a local watering hole, The Short North Tavern. Spangler Cummings made a commitment to open a gallery next to a space being renovated for a cutting-edge restaurant to be called Rigsby’s.
It wasn’t long before the creative energies exploded. First Saturday Gallery Hops grew from a few hundred people to thousands wandering North High to visit galleries and restaurants. More galleries and restaurants joined the excitement. Add in a few boutique clothing shops, furniture stores, and some condos. Cap the expressway bridge over I-670 with shops and more restaurants to link the Short North visually to downtown and the dream has become a reality.
PM Gallery still offers some of the best contemporary crafts in Columbus. The Short North Tavern offers comfort to the creative types and is the hot bed for the annual wacky and weird DooDah Parade that winds through the area each July 4th. Rigsby’s continues to serve a discriminating clientele. Sherrie Riley Hawk now presents work by nationally known glass and fine artists at Sherrie Gallerie, in the space that Spangler Cummings originally brought to life with works by regional artists. Studios on High an early addition continues to sell beautifully crafted textiles, clothing, and pottery.
Maturing trees now shade the sidewalks. More fine galleries have joined the mix of restaurants and shops that have made the Short North their home. Don’t forget to investigate the side streets tangent to North High. Small, almost shoebox size galleries can often be found just around a corner, or down a set of stairs and Tasi’s, tucked on an alley behind the Short North Tavern has great breakfasts and lunches – artisan breads, yum!
So many restaurants! My favorites include: Lemongrass and Nida’s Thai on High (hint; their house special dirty ginger martini is great with the southeastern Asian spices). For a sweet treat, Jeni’s Ice Cream has won national acclaim for her unique flavors (I hope she brings back Chocolate Chili Flake) attracting regular customers and plenty of tourists.
* Design Ideas – Mid-century modern and more …….
The Short North is a great place for mid-century modern and specially crafted home furnishings and accessories. Newish to the Short North is funky + functional with its collection of funky and fashionable jewelry and clothing items as well as intriguing and sometimes just oddball home accessories – need a Cabbage Patch phone anyone?
One of my favorite places to shop is Flower Child. A bit north from the center of the Arts District, it seems to focus on mid-century modern in a quirky way – nothing sacred here. In fact there is quite a bit of kitsch among the serious furniture finds by modern designers.
Short North Arts District: 614-299-8050 or www.shortnorth.org
Flower Child: 989 North High St.Columbus, OH43201, 614-297-8006 or www.flowerchildvintage.com
funky + functional: 685 North High Street, Columbus, OH45215, 614-220-4590 or www.funkyandfunctional.com
Sherrie Gallerie: 694 North High Street, Columbus, OH 45215, 614-221-8580 or www.sherriegallerie.com