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Arts & Culture

Pick of the Litter: The artists behind Lane Avenue’s eye-catching dumpsters




Campus went from trash to treasure after 10 muralized dumpsters popped up as a part of a project put on by The University District in the alley between West Lane Avenue and Norwich.

(614) Spoke with the artists behind these eye-catching pieces of street art, referred to below by their Instagram handles.


If you want to start creating art take Lance Johnson’s advice: practice developing style, look at the art around you, and seek to find your own unique voice. Lance’s style is a splattering of colors that contrast drastically. He overlaps layers to create depth and leaves little to no empty space.

Photos: Willow Mollenkopf

It’s so interesting to see how his style combines with fellow artist Stephanie Rond on the dumpster they created together. Rond works with two or three-tone stencils, giving so much value out of one or two colors. Here she uses navy blue, light blue, and white to create characters that come to life and interact with their surroundings. In this case we see a young person admiring what is unmistakably the work of her counterpart. She also included a cute little raccoon. How fitting!


The first piece I saw by @jellofever (aka Khalia and Tyler) has white and blue horizontal streaks, the color of healthy skies, that are partially obstructed by a vertical orange line. Doodles on the metal canvas make you want to grab a Sharpie and join in. Khalia tells us that after their first day of painting, she refused to come back without gloves. Tyler also thought working around trash was kind of gross. He added that the occasional dump truck also, understandably, made their work difficult.

When it comes to using art in order to convey a message, Tyler said, “As long as you’re creating, you’re saying something.” The “HAPPY TRASH” juxtaposition is on point with the mission of this project: to make the ordinarily ugly into a source of beauty and positivity. Khalia and Tyler’s goal with Jellofever is to encourage others to read more and make more art, which is why I think local students should feel empowered to grab a Sharpie and join in the fun.


In Adam Hernandez’s work, colorful bubbles abound. It’s like a mosaic that’s never perfectly straight, but never perfectly round. Or a puzzle of the coolest Lego bricks you’ve ever found. All that being said, the birds are by far my favorite part. The different subjects from different angles suggests his simple theme, but highlight his sophisticated execution.

Through his art, Hernandez wants people like me and you to be more con dent in our individuality. If you see Hernandez’s work, he hopes that your day is brightened, even in “our oftentimes bleak world.” I for one am glad that his art has become a part of our community.

See more work/apparel at



“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Lisa “Sweet Thang” Celeste brought us tentacles on the treasure chest, but it’s her skull mural that really caught my eye from down the block. This beautifully juxtaposed skull depicts life breaking free from its forehead. Big bright leafy vegetation wraps itself around and grows through slowly decaying bones. You can count me amongst Sweet Thang’s fans, aka the #ThangGang. I love the colors—so alive against the dark background. Even from a distance this thing pops.

When I talked to Sweet Thang, I learned that she painted 10 murals in the past year as a side hustle. Sweet Thang works from concepts traditionally deemed creepy or out of the ordinary, and gives them a very unique allure. Thus, the charming name, “Sweet Thang.” Sweet Thang encourages aspiring artists to practice as much as they can.


My jaw drops for the big heartthrob box.
It doesn’t ask the viewer to think a lot.
Maybe that’s just what you need when you’re freezing in this parking lot. Simply a message of positivity while you try to find a parking spot.
Or maybe you’re out here hoping that you don’t get caught smoking like a chimney top.

*Thank you*

With all this beauty being added to our community in the most unlikely of places, it makes me wish dumpster murals were the norm in every community. In the words of Spongebob Squarepants, “You can’t have dirty garbage.”

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Arts & Culture

Watch: “World’s largest mural” in Short North is more than meets the eye

Regina Fox



At a glance, "The Journey AR Mural" adorning the Graduate Columbus hotel in Short North is stunning. Look a little harder, and it actually comes to life.

Standing at over 107 feet tall and over 11,000 square feet of augmented reality, "The Journey AR Mural," is the world's largest AR mural, offering technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

The gaily-painted snapdragons, hibiscus, Easter lilies, and hummingbirds bloom and fly when viewed through the Journey AR Mural app (free for iPhone and Android). Watch the murals come to life in the video below.

Los Angeles-based artists Ryan Sarfati and Eric Skotnes (going by “Yanoe” and “Zoueh," respectively) are the creatives behind the project.

In an interview with Short North Arts District, Skotnes revealed he was inspired to take on the project after learning that Columbus is home to the second largest population of Somali immigrants in the country—he hopes the murals symbolize strength and prosperity for its viewers.

To learn more about The Journey AR Mural, visit

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Arts & Culture

Undercover: Unique music festival showcases Columbus music talent this weekend

Mike Thomas



Since beginning in 2018, Columbus Covers Columbus (CCC) has grown into a signature event in the thriving local music scene. Now in its third year, this unique festival is centered on the concept of local musicians playing sets comprised entirely of music from other local acts.

CCC is the brainchild of Columbus music promoter Tony Casa, who wanted to create a showcase for a supportive community of local artists to share their mutual admiration for each other's music.

As entertaining as the event is for spectators, CCC doubles as a valuable networking opportunity for local entertainers and creatives.

"There are great local merchants, games, and tons of networking opportunities for everyone in the community," says Casa. "This isn’t just a great show, it’s like a proper festival—but in the winter."

Since its inception, the event has expanded to include stand-up comedy, poetry readings, burlesque performances, live podcast recordings, and more, all in the spirit of promoting and celebrating the Columbus creative community.

CCC will take place from January 17-19 at Classics Victory Live at 543 S High St. The event is 18+, with tickets available at the door for $10. For more info including a full list of artists and vendors, visit Columbus Covers Columbus on Facebook.

Cover photo by Catherine Lindsay photography.

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Arts & Culture

Columbus band snarls is bursting with promise on debut LP

Mike Thomas



As the decade that birthed the fidget spinner and basically nothing else of note drew to a close, music blogs large and small dedicated astonishing amounts of digital ink to their inevitable “album/song/artist of the decade” rankings.

Usually restrained to a totally undaunting 100 items, these lists surveyed the topography of a ten year span that saw the legacy of rock music as we know it (straight, male, and horny) continue its gradual and unceremonious slide into irrelevance.

From relative newcomers like Courtney Barnett, Snail Mail, and Julien Baker, to established voices such as the Breeders, St. Vincent, and Sleater-Kinney, rock music in the 2010s was revitalized by female artists who enjoyed a larger portion of the spotlight in this decade than ever before.

Columbus-based alt-rockers snarls are firmly situated on this new wave, but the rapid success the group has enjoyed since forming in 2017 is entirely due to their own hard work and astonishing creative powers. Consisting of Chlo White on guitar and lead vocals, Riley Dean on bass and vocals, and sibling duo Mick and Max Martinez on guitar and drums respectively, snarls is the capital city’s contribution to the future of rock—and they won’t be contained to the 614 for long.

Photos: Brian Kaiser

Originating in the local DIY scene, snarls got their start playing house shows, eventually moving on to established venues throughout the city. The group’s sound incorporates influences from ‘90s grunge, to the emo stylings of bands like American Football, to the pop sensibilities of Halsey and Kesha. The result, as White puts it, is music that coalesces into a “melting pot of teenage angst.”

In the summer of 2019, snarls was propelled to a new level of notoriety when the video for the group’s single, “Walk in the Woods”—a glittering anthem of unrequited love sung over chorused-out guitars and with a hook more infectious than meningitis—premiered on the music blog Stereogum. The track also made the cut for the site’s “100 Favorite Songs of 2019” roundup.

“We didn’t even have a tripod, the camera was set on like four books and the backdrops kept fucking falling,” White recalls of filming the video, which the group self-produced.

“That song not only has given us more streaming, but has brought us so much press and cool shows,” Mick says of the track, which has accrued almost 40,000 streams on Spotify at the time of this writing. “I don’t think the Sleater-Kinney thing would ever have happened if that song wasn’t out. It’s crazy that just that one song alone has brought us so much opportunity.”

The Sleater-Kinney thing? That would be snarls opening for the legendary Pacific Northwest rockers at the Newport Music Hall on their recent tour stop in Columbus. While it was easily the biggest show in the young group’s career thus far in terms of profile and audience size, the members of snarls were up to the challenge.

“For me, it’s easy to switch between playing a house venue and playing the Newport,” Dean says confidently of the band’s milestone moment. “It’s still just a stage. It’s still just people watching me play my music. One’s just bigger.”

If the release of the group’s breakthrough single is any indication of snarls’ trajectory, it’s safe to assume big things are on the horizon. “Walk in the Woods” is just a taste of the group’s first full-length LP, titled Burst, which is planned for a Spring 2020 release. To help achieve their artistic vision for the album, snarls tapped Jon Fintel of Relay Recording to handle production duties.

“Jon has played a really important role,” Mick says of Fintel’s contributions to the recording process. “Not only does everything sound high-quality because of him, but even when we brought demos to him, it was like ‘let’s scrap this song because it doesn’t quite fit in, and I know that you guys can do something better.’ And then we wrote one of our favorite songs.”

For established fans, the description that snarls teases for their new release should come as no surprise: expect a long emotional arc cast across tracks that alternate between “perfect for dancing,” and others better suited to crying. For snarls, the completion of the recording provides a profound sense of accomplishment.

“I make a lot of art. I’m always making a photo, or doodling, or writing. But this is one of my—our—finer- crafted pieces of art that I am just really proud of, regardless of what happens with it, or if it goes anywhere,” says White. “If it just sits in a dark corner for the rest of my life, I’m still content. I’m just really proud of all the work that we collected in this little ten song record.”

Find snarls on all major streaming platforms. For tour dates, merch, and more, visit

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