By Jennifer Sadler and Kelsey Thaxton

Imagine the perfect afternoon scenario: peruse a stunning al fresco gallery with a dazzling array of artwork in every conceivable style and medium. Listen to an artist tell a great story about a work of art they’ve created that just so happens to be that one-of-a-kind piece you’ve been searching for to add to your collection. Learn something new and creative—engage in some hands-on art activities like throwing clay on a potter’s wheel, or flame-working glass canes into a beautiful bead. Take a stroll along a lovely Riverfront promenade. Then spread out a blanket, take in some sunshine and enjoy a delicious lunch while you listen to live music from some of Columbus’ best entertainers.

You can enjoy these experiences and much more at the 2012 Columbus Arts Festival presented by Time Warner Cable and produced by the Greater Columbus Arts Council as we celebrate our long-awaited move back home to the Downtown Riverfront, June 1, 2 & 3. The Festival will transform the heart of the city into an outdoor celebration of the arts as the nation's top artists display their work and attract art fans from all over the country.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to convene at the Riverfront to enjoy artwork created by more than 230 artists, continuous live entertainment, hands-on art activities and homegrown art from some of our most creative indie artist collectives. Plenty of delicious food will satisfy every appetite—from classic festival fare to gourmet offerings from community-favorite Dine Originals restaurants. Local food trucks will also be onsite serving everything from specialty crepes to Venezuelan-style street food.

Longtime fans of the Festival will be pleased to experience a familiar ambiance that’s been greatly enhanced by the Riverfront revitalization. Highlights include a beautiful new Bicentennial Park stage, two stunning new bridges, lush green spaces, a charming promenade, an awe-inspiring 15,000 square feet interactive fountain, plazas, paths and bikeways.

The Columbus Arts Festival will be the first festival to take place at the location that was designed with outdoor events in mind.

“As we celebrate our Bicentennial throughout the year, it is fitting that the Columbus Arts Festival is returning to its proper home, along the Downtown Riverfront,” Mayor Michael B. Coleman said. “The additions of Scioto Mile and the Main Street and Rich Street bridges will make this year’s Arts Festival the best one yet for our residents and visitors.”

Scott Huntley, who joined GCAC in February as the new Festival director says he’s very excited that the festival will be the inaugural large event to be held along the newly renovated Riverfront.

“The city has worked hard to build this beautiful venue and we are very happy to be holding the 2012 Arts Festival there,” said Huntley. “I feel honored to be directing the festival and to be a part of the Greater Columbus Arts Council. The arts community in Columbus is a strong one, our coordinating committee has been working overtime to create a show that not only brings in artists from all over the country, but showcases our local arts community as well.”

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Dots Artist Profile:  DERRICK HICKMAN

By Jennifer Sadler and Kelsey Thaxton

As the most comprehensive online events guide and resource for arts and culture in central Ohio, offers a virtual guide through the Columbus art world with a searchable database of events, concerts, performances and more. is an engaging place for artists and arts organizations to share what they do, with an average of 30,000 users per month. The Artist Directory allows visual, performing and literary artists to create a profile and portfolio to showcase their work—for free—and enables art enthusiasts to easily search for and connect with them. Our monthly artist profile series features interviews with a few of the many talented individuals who make up central Ohio’s thriving creative community. Local artist, Derrick Hickman, has been selected to present his paintings in the Emerging Artist program at this year's Columbus Arts Festival. We recently spoke with Hickman to learn more about his work and showing his work for the first time at a large outdoor festival.

"For the past ten years my work has revolved around the ideas of memory--particularly that of childhood memory.  My first series of paintings were large (9'x9' to 4'x4') text abstractions that acted as enlarged diary snippets that were both extremely public and hidden at the same time. This series has evolved in to a commissioned series called the word portrait project. Continuing the theme of giving up control of our narratives once they have been made public, I've turned the table and now viewers can commission word portraits through my site"

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Upper Arlington Cultural Division Presents Music in the Parks

The Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Division invites you to enjoy Music in the Parks, a free summer concert series on Thursday evenings starting June 7 through August 2, 2012. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and unwind with some great live music. Enjoy a diverse offering of performances from the whimsical Americana sounds of the Salty Carmels to Brazilian jazz of Kelly Delavaris to the neo-funk and R&B of Mojo Flo.

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CATCO-Phoenix Presents The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps, an adaptation from the novel by John Buchan from the movie of Alfred Hitchcock, has been a runaway hit in the English-speaking world, said Steven C. Anderson, CATCO-Phoenix artistic director. “Its tongue-in-cheek, satirical shout-outs pay homage to all of Alfred Hitchcock’s cinematic work and it is a must-see for the fan of mystery and suspense, and Hitchcock, of course.”

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Summer Fridays at the Ohio Statehouse

Summer Fridays at the Statehouse provides an opportunity for the public and downtown community to gather on Capitol Square to experience some of Columbus’ diverse arts groups and to visit the beautiful Capitol building. The free programming provides and opportunity for arts organizations and artists to connect with this downtown community; while offering entertainment and education.

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