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Art Without Borders

Wildflowers color the hilltop meadows… open air art These words—emblazoned on a goliath stone resting alongside a zigzagging woodland trail—reverberate through the trees as they are read aloud. The Japanese translation of the haiku, along with the phonetic pronunciation, is carved in a gingko leaf-shaped plaque on the side of an enormous rock. The poem echoes softly [...]
Danny Hamen



Wildflowers color the hilltop meadows… open air art

These words—emblazoned on a goliath stone resting alongside a zigzagging woodland trail—reverberate through the trees as they are read aloud. The Japanese translation of the haiku, along with the phonetic pronunciation, is carved in a gingko leaf-shaped plaque on the side of an enormous rock.

The poem echoes softly in my mind as I lazily pace my way through the Holmes County Open Air Art Museum. This is one of dozens of haiku stones that are scattered across the trail—the first arrival of a series of installations that make up the outdoor gallery. As my guide leads me through the winding trail, each haiku stone we happen upon tells the story of the seasons, an idea conceived and executed by Julie Warther, the regional coordinator of the Haiku Society of America.

“It really is an encounter. We place them around a bend so you don’t see them coming, and so when you approach them there is a giant stone with a poem.”

Open air art is a cornerstone of European culture, and is something that Jason Nies, proprietor of The Inn at Honey Run  and curator of the outdoor museum, wanted to share with all of Ohio.

“In my 20s, I went to Latvia quite a bit to visit family. While I was over there, I went to an open air art museum, and it was the coolest art experience I had ever seen. I always knew I wanted something like that.”

At the time, Nies didn’t have a getaway resort at his disposal to store such a magical amenity, so when he purchased The Inn at Honey Run in historic Millersburg, Ohio, he thought what time better than now to bring his dream to fruition?

Nies’ outdoor gallery spans across a mile and a half long trail alongside the resort—an almost hidden footpath peppered with artwork from artists from around the state. One of the most notable pieces is a massive, wooden installation, entitled “Woven.” Fabricated by Columbus artist Walter Herrmann, the structure is made of materials collected exclusively from the grounds at The Inn at Honey Run. Described as an Earthwork installation, Herrmann’s piece consists of thousands of sticks woven together to create an outdoor archway and outer wall, dredging up images from whimsical woodland tales like Where the Wild Things Are.

“It’s cool to just let the artists go nuts,” said Nies with an enthusiastic smile. “Initially, we just hike the trail together, and then I encourage the artist to construct whatever inspired them from the walk.”

It is this type of creative freedom that arouses a variety of different types of art: woven structures, a colossal totem pole, haiku stones, or something as seemingly irreverent as 12,000 paint sticks swinging gently from an overhead net. As we wander through the trail together, I see Nies’ passion project comes to life with each passing piece of art.

Another notable installation—conceived of and created on the grounds of the Holmes County Open Air Art Museum—is by Columbus-based tattoo artist Katharine Marie, who built a gargantuan cuckoo clock made of mostly organic materials found on site. Her piece, “Being Time,” stands over 15 feet tall, and invites an organic feeling of natural whimsy, a mesmerizing display of artistry and craft hidden in the middle of nowhere.

“The woods were illuminated, the sound of the inner clockwork rang through the woods to create an all sensory experience, and ‘Being Time’ was lit up for the first time for all guests to view,” said Marie, reflecting on her work’s debut.

As we finish the short hike, I reflect on Nies’ gallery—a delightful homage to European artisty veiled in the shade of foliage and fallen snow along a short wooded trail. With each stop, I felt the undeniable tug of inspiration—for me, art paired with nature just seems to make sense. With each season breathes a new aesthetic, an ever-changing backdrop providing new settings, making for a rotating gallery of sorts. Nies vows to continue building and expanding the project, making his open air art museum bigger and better with each passing year, an evolving concept lost amongst the trees. 

Calling all Columbus Artists!

Interested in creating a feature installation for the Holmes County Open Air Art Museum?

The Inn at Honey Run and the Greater Columbus Arts Council would like to welcome Franklin County and surrounding area artists, sculptors, designers, photographers and imaginative thinkers of all kinds to participate in this highly unique opportunity, where up to three installations for the Holmes County Open Air Art Museum (OAAM) will be selected. Contest concludes May 31.

Contest details, requirements, registration, and information are available at

For more information or assistance with submissions, please contact Alexandra Corron at [email protected]

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Arts & Culture

Q&A: Columbus artist Mandi Caskey wants to bring us together




Context plays one of the most important roles in our understanding of art. For instance, if you saw the unveiling of Columbus artist Mandi Caskey’s latest masterpiece, you’d probably equate the message to the daily protests that have been held in Columbus over the past week.

When the mural on the abandoned highway overpass near Scioto Audubon Metro Park was started, that wasn’t the case. It was a message meant to distract us from the hardships that COVID-19 flooded our lives with.

Now, to some people, the mural’s message, which stretches over 400 feet, takes on a new meaning.

(614) caught up with Caskey to find out the inspiration behind the piece and how she feels about subjectiveness in art. Check out a brief Q&A below and some incredible aerial footage from photographer/videographer John Thorne.

Obviously a project this big can't be tackled alone. Who all helped bring this idea to life?

From what I've read, it seems like your idea for this was greenlight very quickly and easily. Why do you think people responded to the idea in your message so strongly?

What roadblocks did you run into during the process of creating the mural?

How do you think art helps people during times of unrest and uncertainty like we're in right now?

I think there's something to be said about how the mural was made on the basis of the coronavirus pandemic and bringing people together and now it can take on the meaning of the social change that needs to happen in this world. What are your thoughts on that?

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Arts & Culture

Columbus artists employed to paint boarded-up downtown for #ArtUnitesCbus




The Columbus arts community has really stepped up to the plate when it comes to trying to unite and inspire during tumultuous times. One of the latest efforts from visual artists around the area includes CAPA and Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) latest partnership, #ArtUnitesCbus.

“When I do these projects, I try to remember to have fun and enjoy my loved ones. Even though it’s a bad time, there’s always room for love,” visual artist Hakim Callwood said.

The creative venture will exist to employ around 20 Columbus visuals artists. Their job will be to paint murals in place of the broken windows at the Ohio Theater and GCAC office. 

The art installations are expected to be finished by the end of the week.

“#ArtUnitesCbus is just one small way the arts community is trying to help. These murals are not the answer, simply a message that we ALL can, and must, help heal our community,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, President & CEO of the Arts Council, in a GCAC press release on Monday

Now more than ever is an extremely important time to give our community artists a platform. 

“The Columbus artists are more of a family than I think people understand,” Callwood said. “Whether we all talking every day or hanging out together; it doesn’t matter. When there’s times of need we always use our talents to support.” 

Check out the progress of their murals below.

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Arts & Culture

Weekend Roundup: 5/29 – 5/31




With Ohio slowly starting to fully reopen, initial in-person gatherings have trickled into our news feeds.

Below are a few things you can check out over the weekend if you’ve been itching to leave your house and are capable of following COVID-19 guidelines.


Fair Food Weekend @ Oakland Nursery

One of the most disappointing summertime cancellations was the axing of the Ohio State Fair. For those still wanting to get their elephant ears or deep-fried oreo fix, Chester Foods will be bringing a pop-up food truck to the Oakland Nursery. Corn dogs, funnel cakes, fried oreos, fresh-cut fries, and lemonade shake-ups will all be on the menu. Fair food will be set up on both Friday and Saturday.

Time: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Address: 4261 W. Dublin Granville Rd.


Sonic The Hedgehog/Jumanji: The Next Level and The Hunt/The Invisible Man @ South Drive-In

With movie theaters in Ohio still closing their doors, the drive-in revival has been sweeping the state, nation, and world. Once drive-ins were given the go-ahead by DeWine, South Drive-In began to provide the double feature experience to eager moviegoers. Admission is $9.50 on Friday/Saturday and $7.50 on Sunday for those 12+, $2 for ages 5-11, and free for those under 4.

The showings for this weekend are as follows: 

Screen 1:

  • 9:05 p.m. Sonic The Hedgehog (PG)
  • 10:53 p.m. Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13)
  • 12:56 a.m. Sonic The Hedgehog (Friday/Saturday only) 

Screen 2:

  • 9:25 p.m. The Hunt (R)
  • 11:05 p.m. The Invisible Man (R)
  • 1:09 a.m. The Hunt (Friday/Saturday only)

Check out the South Drive-In website to see what social distancing guidelines need to be followed.

Time: Arrive 1-2 hours prior to first showing | Address: 3050 S. High St.


Reggae on the Patio @ Skully’s Music-Diner

If you’re in search of a relaxing Sunday, look no further than Skully’s. The music venue/bar will be opening its patio for those to have socially distance hangs, drinks, and wings. Skully’s will be setting the mood perfectly for a chill Sunday by spinning reggae music all night long. Get yourself out of the house and go catch some island vibes.

Time: 7 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Address: 1151 N. High St.

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