The Cultural Arts Division aims to provide and promote a diverse, lively, accessible arts environment that advances the cultural assets and enriches the quality of life of the community. Housed within the Parks & Recreation Department, arts programming includes a public gallery featuring an annual schedule of exhibits at the Municipal Services Center, temporary and permanent public art projects, educational programming in the schools, summer outdoor concerts, and the City’s signature special event—the Labor Day Arts Festival.
To receive email updates on upcoming exhibits, programs and events please send your email address using the form below.
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The arts have been alive and well in Upper Arlington for almost 50 years, thanks to the volunteer efforts of the Cultural Arts Commission and the work of our cultural arts staff in the Parks & Recreation Department.
The City has commissioned an Arts and Culture Master Plan to set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to plan for, implement and enjoy a full range of creative endeavors, from public art to cultural programming.
Arts in Community Spaces brings art out of the gallery to the people. The program seeks to promote and provide unique opportunities for artists to share their works, while providing the community with educational, interactive, temporary art experiences at a variety of public venues.
All over the world artists and neighborhoods have been wrapping utility boxes in an effort to reduce graffiti and beautify their communities. Upper Arlington is taking part in this artful encounter with Outside the Box. We are thrilled to include the work of 10 juried artists, located on utility boxes on Tremont Road, Lane Avenue, Arlington Avenue and Northwest Blvd. Artists include: Susie Jordan (5 points), Jeanie Auseon (Tremont/Milden), Pam O’Loughlin (Tremont/Zollinger), Janis Mars Wunderlich (Northwest/Kingsdale), Nadine Block (Tremont/Ridgeview), Laine Bachman (Tremont/Farleigh), Michael Kaiser (Tremont/Northam), Caroline Chidester (Lane/Northwest), Duncan Snyder (Lane/ Wellesley) and Stephanie Rond (Lane/ North Star). This project was made possible through a grant from the Sharon and Don Cook Fund at The Upper Arlington Community Foundation.
Click on the image to explore the interactive map of Outside the Box artwork throughout Upper Arlington.
Since 1966, the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival has celebrated and shared the arts with the community and region within a beautiful park setting. Each year, more than 25,000 visitors flock to Northam Park on Labor Day to immerse themselves in hands-on art activities, interactive performances, live music, and the opportunity to explore and purchase fine art and fine craft work from some 200 artists working in a variety of media including paintings, photography, jewelry, pottery, sculptures and mixed media.
The Festival is made possible through the hard work of City Staff, a dedicated Coordinating Committee, a cadre of some 200 community volunteers, and the financial and in-kind support of our event sponsors.
A project of the Cultural Arts Commission, the Literary Arts Directory contains resources such as local writing groups & workshops, open mics and poetry readings, Columbus publishers, literary agents, writing conferences, book clubs and more.
Partnering with the Upper Arlington Public Library, we offer an annual writers’ conference where networking and professional development is nurtured. The conference features local author presentations, networking opportunities, small-group workshops, exhibits and resources.
Click image to open Literary Arts Directory (PDF 227KB).
Performing Arts includes our summertime Music in the Park series of free outdoor concerts, a theatre camp, a rock camp for young performers, and a film camp offered through a partnership with Columbus Children’s Theatre. Other performances are scheduled as opportunities allow, featuring local, regional and national acts.
Our popular, free summer concert series typically runs on Thursday evenings in June and July, bringing a mix of local and regional musicians of national acclaim to the outdoor amphitheater/stage of the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Sunny 95 Park. Each season you can enjoy a mix of musical genres, from jazz to blues, rock to bluegrass, while enjoying a picnic with friends and family.
In collaboration with Echo Realty, we also offer a concert on the Green at the Kingsdale Shopping Center.
Our Permanent Collection brings works of art into the hallways, entryways and offices of City buildings, fulfilling our belief that the arts improve the quality of life for all in our community. At present, the collection includes over 100 pieces, collected over the years through a combination of purchases, grants and gifts from artists and private citizens.
In 2018, when the collection was last appraised, its value stood at more than $286,000. Several of the oldest pieces have seen the most dramatic increases in value: works by Sid Chafetz, Ann Dewald, John Freeman and Gene Friley have doubled or tripled in value since they were purchased.
The Cultural Arts Commission created a catalogue of the collection to date in 2008, which can be explored by clicking the link below.
The Arlington Hall Gallery is a place to celebrate UA residents living and creating in our community. This space hosts a variety of temporary exhibits with a flexible schedule.
Complete the Contact Form below if you are interested in exhibiting in the Arlington Hall Gallery.
The division’s Visual Arts programming seeks to enrich our lives with art exhibits and works of art showcased in the City’s offices and public buildings.
The Concourse Gallery—located in the heart of the Municipal Services Center—features a schedule of visual arts exhibitions each year that showcase the works of professional and amateur artists, and students from our community’s public and private schools. Pieces from the Permanent Collection can be found in many of the offices at the Municipal Services Center, Senior Center and Public Service Center.
The Concourse Gallery—located within the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road—is our main exhibition space. Here we program visual arts exhibits in a variety of media throughout the year, accompanied by gallery guides, receptions, school tours, workshops and artist talks. The Gallery is free and open to the public during regular office hours of Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm. Free parking is available, accessible from Tremont Road and Kenny Road.
Many, but not all, of the artworks exhibited are for sale, and are marked accordingly within each exhibit’s Gallery Guide. Any purchased artwork is required to remain on display until the end of the exhibition.
ArtSpeak presents a series of free lectures and Concourse Gallery tours, enabling visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the artists’ motivations and the works featured in these exhibits.
For Prospective Artists/Exhibitors:
- The gallery is comprised of 181 linear feet and 3,500 square feet of space, suitable for two- and three-dimensional artworks.
- The gallery is part of an open, public gathering space and therefore considered “low security.” Any groups scheduled to meet in the space are advised of our guidelines to protect and not obscure the artwork on exhibit.
- Works on exhibit are insured by the City of Upper Arlington.
- Artists are paid directly by the purchasers of any artwork, however the Cultural Arts Division does require a 10% commission for pieces that are sold.
- The Concourse Gallery exhibition schedule is developed by a Visual Arts Committee approximately two years in advance, with exhibit proposals reviewed on a quarterly schedule (January, April, July, November). This committee is comprised of a rotation of practicing visual artists, administrators and art patrons.
- The Visual Arts Committee strives to balance the desire for exhibition space by professional and community artists with the provision of an engaging and varied schedule of exhibitions. The works of student, emerging, amateur and professional artists—be they local, regional or further afield—are welcome and regularly featured within the gallery exhibition schedule.
Explore our Events Calendar for a complete exhibit schedule. Complete the Contact Form below if you are interested in exhibiting in the Concourse Gallery.
Artist Residency Program
The Arts in Community Education Program promotes the advocacy of arts education, helping to make the arts an integral part of learning for students in grades K–12 within the City’s public, private and parochial schools.
Funding and planning assistance is provided to place professional artists in our schools and community settings and foster involvement in the visual, literary, musical, theatrical and performing arts. Artists can visit schools for assemblies, performances, workshops and residences.
Complete the Contact Form below if you are a teacher and would like more information and to receive the appropriate application forms.
UA Arts Academy
In partnership with the Columbus Children’s Theatre, we offer a series of summer day camps that explore the performing arts. Theatre Camp provides an immersive experience in musical theatre for young performers. In Camp ROCK, students learn to play guitar, bass, drums and keyboards, even how to sing like a superstar, from some of Columbus’ finest musicians. In our Making Movies Camp, students work together as actors, directors, camera operators, editors and scriptwriters to create commercials, music videos and more.
Each camp is one week in length, with a showcase of students’ creativity on the last day. Look for additional details in the Spring/Summer edition of the Activity Guide.
How to Register:
1. Click the “Arts Link” image above
2. Enter your email address and check the box next to “Arts Link eNews”, “City iNSIGHT eNews”, “Activity Link” and/or “Sentinel”
3. You’re finished! You can now enjoy regular updates from the Cultural Arts Division
Arts Link eNews Archives
Back issues of Arts Links printed newsletter can be accessed via the Archives Portal – Newsletter search type.