Your LEGO® creation could be on display at the Columbus Museum of Art. Our 2013 LEGO® DESIGN CHALLENGE, presented by the Center for Creativity at the Columbus Museum of Art, is a design competition that promotes the creative and original use of LEGO® bricks. Design finalists will be exhibited at the Columbus Museum of Art November 8, 2013 – January 5, 2014 in conjunction with our Think Outside the Brick exhibition.  The competition is open to groups, families, teens, and kids. Click below for details on this year’s challenge.

2013 LEGO@ DESIGN CHALLENGE & Submission Details

Deadline for submissions: October 1, 2013

CMA Wins IMLS National Award

IMLS Winner

Columbus Museum of Art to Receive 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the Columbus Museum of Art of Columbus, Ohio is one of 10 recipients of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The National Medal will be presented at a celebration in Washington, D.C. on May 8.

Columbus Museum of Art strives to redefine the art museum for the 21st century. It has earned a reputation as a model for innovative visitor engagement as well as being Central Ohio’s hub for social, creative, and dynamic experiences. Every exhibit includes connectors, unique participatory elements, which invite visitors to engage with art and with each other. More than 18,000 square feet of space is dedicated to imaginative experiences for visitors of all ages, and the museum has built strong program partnerships with 30 Ohio counties as well as Columbus City Schools. Columbus Museum of Art also proudly participates in the Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens Initiative.

“Museums and libraries serve as centers for lifelong learning and as cornerstones for our communities. Columbus Museum of Art is paving the way, linking art to education in meaningful ways, and we are proud to name Columbus Museum of Art one of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners,” said Susan Hildreth, director, Institute of Museum and Library Services. “This year’s National Medal recipients demonstrate the many ways museums and libraries alike build strong communities. These institutions are educating, inspiring, and leading lifelong learning while serving as community anchors.”

“Columbus Museum of Art is honored to be awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” said Executive Director Nannette V. Maciejunes. “We are committed to providing opportunities for people to cultivate and to discover the value of creativity in their own lives. Embracing this idea has enabled to grow as an institution and to better serve our community.”

Nineteen-year-old Jeffrey Tucker, who discovered video production through the Columbus Art Museum’s ArtLab program and now dreams of winning an Oscar, will travel to Washington and share the impact the museum has had on his life during the May 8 celebration.

“A great city deserves a great art museum,” said Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “I am proud that the City of Columbus now has both a National Medal winning library and museum.”

“The Columbus Museum of Art has always been one of Central Ohio’s jewels,” said Congresswoman Joyce Beatty. “By being awarded the Institute for Museum and Library Service National Medal it enhances its reputation throughout the national arts community and continues to showcases Columbus’ success.”

“The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is the United States’ highest honor for institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities,” said Ohio Senator Rob Portman. “I am proud that the Buckeye State can count the Columbus Museum of Art among the handful of art museums to ever have been awarded this honor.”

“I congratulate the Columbus Museum of Art on receiving the National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” said Ohio Representative Steve Stivers. “The extraordinary programs and collections at the museum are accessible to all members of the community and Columbus is incredibly lucky to have an outstanding institution like this in our area.”

“The Columbus Museum of Art is one of the many reasons why Columbus is a special place to live and visit,” said Columbus City Council President Andrew J. Ginther.    “The Museum serves as a constant source of pride for our community, helping to celebrate our past and inspiring us to a more culturally diverse future.”

This year’s honorees exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include a science center, children’s museum, music museum, art museum, and public libraries and library systems, and hail from seven states.
Earlier this year, 33 institutions were announced as finalists for the National Medal, and community members were encouraged to share their stories about their experiences on the IMLS Facebook page.

Medal winners were selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. After the ceremony, StoryCorps – a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans – will visit Columbus Museum of Art to document stories from the community.

For a complete list of 2013 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, please visit www.imls.gov/medals.

Mother’s Day Brunch at Columbus Museum of Art

 at Columbus Museum of Art

Treat your mom to a relaxing and inspiring day of art, food, and memories at one of the most lovely spots in Columbus during our Mother’s Day Brunch on May 12, 2013. See our Rothko exhibition (before it closes May 26, 2013) and our Czech Puppets exhibition, and dine on stuffed French toast, smoked salmon, quiche, pork loin and more from Barcelona’s Sidecar Catering. Adults: $30 members, $35 nonmembers; Kids 12 and under, $12 members, $15 nonmembers. Reservations for Mother’s Day Brunch available from 11 AM – 2:00 PM. Reserve your time now by calling 614-629-0359.

Mother’s Day Menu:
Crepe Station, Stuffed Brioche French Toast — with maple syrup, whipped cream, blueberries, and powdered sugar, Assorted Muffins, Danish, and mini Bagels with cream cheese, whipped butter, and jelly, Fresh Fruit and Cheese Display, Smoked Salmon Display, Mini Quiche — Western, Broccoli and Cheddar, and Cheese Bacon, Mixed Greens Salad, Orzo Pasta Salad, Stella Pasta (vegetarian), Roasted Herb Chicken, Tilapia, Sidecar Pork Loin with cream Savoy cabbage, Prime Rib Carving Station with Horseradish Cream, Herbed Mayonnaise, and Silver Dollar Buns, Roasted Red Skin Potatoes, Spring Vegetable Medley, O’Brian Potatoes. Specially for Kids: Mac & Cheese, and Chicken Fingers.

(Photo by Phil Chester).

PLEASE NOTE: Our Mother’s Day Brunch is now SOLD OUT.


Czech Puppets Behind the Scenes




Our Strings Attached: The Living History of Czech Puppets exhibition opens today. Thanks to our Curator Carole Genshaft, who documented the installation, you can see how the exhibition came together (from the unpacking and uncrating to putting the Czech puppets together). These rare objects are presented thanks to an international collaboration between Columbus Museum of Art, the Arts and Theatre Institute, Prague and the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.

More than 140 puppets and set designs are included in the Czech puppets exhibition, many of the puppet designs influenced by fairy tales, literature, and art influences such as surrealism and the Bauhaus, and more.

Since the late nineteenth century, Czech artists have been fascinated by the creative possibilities of puppets. Artists in opera, ballet, dance, drama, and film— who are not originally puppeteers—have used puppets to enhance their artistic expression. The use of string puppets by contemporary artist Petr Nikl and stop-motion filmmakers Jan Švankmajer, Jiří Trnka,  and Jiří Barta (all of their work is included in the show), and many others, demonstrates the increasingly vibrant legacy of traditional Czech puppetry. These and other European artists have influenced stop-motion animated filmmakers the world over including, Americans Tim Burton and the Brothers Quay. In addition to film techniques incorporating puppetry, Burton’s The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) and his latest film Frankenweenie (2012) and the Brothers Quay The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer (1984) and The Street of Crocodiles (1986) reflect the dark, gothic quality that permeates many, popular Czech puppet and stage productions. Judging from the success of contemporary Broadway productions such as The Lion King (1997), Avenue Q (2003) and Warhorse(2007), Americans are embracing puppetry just as their Czech counterparts have done for centuries.

Rothko and Red


I expect we will see a lot of red on February 14: red boxes filled with chocolates, bouquets of red roses, greeting cards splashed with red, those delightful heart-shaped gummy red candies that grocery stores only carry this time of year.

Meanwhile, inside Studio One of the Riffe Center, actors Kevin McClatchy and Tim Simeone of CATCO’s latest production will sound off on the question, “What is red?”

Mark Rothko is the subject of John Logan’s Red, the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play. The play explores the two-year span of time (1958-59) during which Rothko created the Seagram Murals, intended for the Four Seasons restaurant located in the newly built Seagram Building on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Rothko (played by McClatchy) and his fictional assistant Ken (Simeone) debate continually and heatedly about art, and its place and meaning in our lives.

We are most excited for museum- and theatre-goers alike to have this unique opportunity to view both CMA’s thrilling exhibition, Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950, and the play based on such a significant time in the artist’s life. Red plays February 13 – March 3. Visit http://www.catco.org for Red showtimes and tickets.

(Pictured above: Tim Simeone as Ken and Kevin McClatchy as Mark Rothko in CATCO’s Red)

Guest blogger, Tory Matsos, Dramaturg, CATCO’s Red

Let’s Go LEGO!

Toys are amazing. Who among us could forget our favorite childhood toy? Odds are you may event still have it in a box in the attic, or even on display in a spare room or den (my own Care Bear play set graces one of the book shelves in my basement craft room). At the very least, you probably have photos of your childhood self with the favored toy lovingly tucked under an arm. Toys— especially the great ones — have the ability to jump start imagination, inspire play, and become objects of endearment, even into adulthood.

The really great toys also have staying power—many have remained virtually unchanged over generations. Such toys tend to be high quality, open-ended, and are often deceptively simple in concept and design. The perfect example of such a toy is LEGO. Long considered one of the best building toys available, LEGO bricks come in a variety of colors and hundreds of shapes and sizes. A bucket of LEGOs contains limitless possibilities and can be used over and over again with different outcomes every time they’re dumped out onto the table or floor. They’re also timeless and loved by all ages—brick building clubs are just as popular for adults as they are for children. They inspire experimentation and critical thinking skills, and everyone from artists to engineers can relate to and appreciate their creative potential. Few toys can bring families and multi-generational groups together to play like LEGOs!

I’m very excited to be a part of CMA’s LEGO exhibition and programming, Think Outside the Brick: the Creative Art of LEGO, and our collaboration with COSI and their LEGO Castles exhibition. Between our two museums, we’ll be sharing with Columbus  some incredible LEGO creations and LEGO-inspired art. I am especially excited to be managing our first-ever LEGO building contest, “Let’s Go LEGO!” Finalists for the competition will have their work on display at CMA and will win some great prizes. The contest is open to children (ages 6-12), teens (ages 13-17), adults (18 and older) and families or groups (at least 1 adult working with at least 1 child ages 4-17).

We have three fun and interesting categories to choose from:
• Imagination (build a creation that responds to the question, “What does imagination look like?”)
• Columbus200 (build anything you like using exactly 200 LEGO pieces)
• COSI’s Castle Challenge (build a castle that defends against dragons, catapults, and battering rams).

More details and submission information for the contest can be found at on our LEGO contest page. The deadline for online submissions is October 14, so pull out your LEGOs and start building—I can’t wait to see what the Ohio brick-building community creates!

If you have any questions about the contest, please contact me at Dayna.Jalkanen@cmaohio.org.

Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

Dayna Jalkanen, Educator for Family Programs

Connecting the Community


CMA worked with three high school students from Linden McKinley High School to find a way to reach out to their community. The result was the design and manufacturing of QR Code plaques that have been installed at 15 locations throughout Columbus.

Once scanned using a downloaded app on a smartphone these QR codes direct the viewer to a blog post which highlights a photography program they participated in at CMA called Columbus In Focus. Students involved in this program also held an exhibition of their work at CMA. Stop by CMA to see their photographs through September 8, 2012.

Thank you to the amazing community locations for supporting our youth by installing these plaques.

Riffe Gallery
77 South High Street

OSU Urban Arts Space
50 West Town Street

Kaleidoscope Youth Center
1904 North High St,.

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Main Branch
96 South Grant Avenue

Focus Learning Academy
190 Southwood Avenue

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Karl Road Branch
5590 Karl Road

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Northern Lights Branch

4093 Cleveland Avenue

Columbus Metropolitan Library
South High Branch

3540 S. High Street

Fifth Third Bank
Hilliard Rome Branch

2455 Hilliard Rome Rd

Linden Mckinley High School
1320 Duxberry Avenue

Marion Franklin
1265 Koebel Road  Columbus

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Parsons Branch

845 Parsons Avenue

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Linden Branch

2223 Cleveland Avenue

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Shepard Rd. Branch

790 N. Nelson Road

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Northside Branch

1423 N. High Street

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Whetstone Branch

3909 North High Street

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Hilltop Branch

511 S. Hague Ave.

The work the In Focus students created is on view at CMA May 3 – September 8, 2012. Columbus In Focus dovetails with CMA’s Radical Camera exhibition, which highlights the work of the Photo League, the pioneering documentary photography movement of the 1930s and 1940s. For more information about the Columbus In Focus teen photography program please contact Kristin Lantz at kristin.lantz@cmaohio.org.

The Focus program is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and Puffin Foundation West, Ltd.

Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

Kristin Lantz, School Programs Coordinator

By Teens for Teens

“Teens need a program that will make them believe that something is possible for them.” Dyshawn – CMA Art Lab Teen Intern

You may have seen one of CMAʼs 15 member strong Art Lab Teen Collective (ALT-C) in the halls of the museum shooting scenes for video projects, asking museum patrons with help filling out questionnaires or working with visiting artists on projects in the galleries. These are the same teens that took over Columbus Museum of Art last spring with fashion shows, live entertainment, street art and other radical forms of museum engagement. See the blog post here for more information about the event.

Columbus Museum of Art is on the cusp of engaging in a transformation of how we work with, program for, engage, value, and support teens in the Columbus community. We believe that continuously developing new ways to authentically engage teens is essential to the mission of CMA and the Center for Creativity as part of our effort to become a resource hub, and catalyst for great things in our community.

How do we inspire teens? What changes do we need to make in our museum community to make teen programing even better? How do we encourage teens in our Columbus community to be involved with the CMA? These are just some of the questions we set out to explore with some insightful members of the CMA community by hosing a teen focus group.

The focus group is a dynamic and integral part of our museumʼs effort to create great new teen programming. On Thursday July 26th a few ALT-C teens gathered in the Center for Creativityʼs Innovation Lab to zero in on what CMA could do to support teens to feel connected to their community, to be eager to learn, and to feel empowered to create positive change.

Weʼll do our best to make them proud. Look as new teen programs, inspired by this teen focus group, roll out this Fall.

For more information about CMA teen programs please contact Kristin Lantz, School Programs Coordinator at kristin.lantz@cmaohio.org or (614) 270-3501.

Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

Kristen Lantz, School Programs Coordinator

Curator’s Choice: CMA Photo Hunts Round 1

As promised Catherine Evans, William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography, has selected some of her favorite CMA Photo Hunt submissions out of the hundreds of great entries tagged so far. See what she chose from the Sign of the Times, Resourcefulness and Joy assignments, and what she has to say about why they work so well.

Sign of the Times Assignment

In this photo from Nick Carron (@urbancurse), verticals and horizontals are in harmony and intention with one another. It has an industrial feel, but has this human touch with the handwritten instructions.


This is an elegant reference to our current housing problem with a good use of filters to underscore a distressed situation. Nice work by @_Thisspace_.


A big and bold sign with a provocative imperative challenge in this shot from Tim Courlas  (@durtball).


Resourcefulness Assignment

This was a tougher assignment, however this picture by @mamawooste clearly embraces the resourcefulness theme. It’s an interesting use of recycling and meta-messaging all in one.



The light lands perfectly on the baby, and makes her the surprising center of this photograph from @uponadaydreamer.


Energy, movement and water come together in this dynamically cropped shot from Nick Carron (@urbancurse). The empty space in between is an effective compositional strategy.


Even without an actual human being, this is the perfect icon of summer joy in this picture from @LittleMissLibrarian.


Looking forward to seeing what you submit, and choosing favorites from the next several assignments. Great work from everyone who has tagged their photos so far!

Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

Catherine Evans, CMA’s William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography