Painting the Streets

After a two-year hiatus, Via Colori returns in all its vivid glory to Goodale Park on September 13th and September 14th.   A celebration of creativity and non-competitiveness, this art festival brings together more than 200 local and national artists and more than 35,000 observers from throughout central Ohio and is one of the Short North Arts District’s largest events.

The festival is inspired by the Renaissance artists of the 16th Century who would paint the cathedral courtyards with religious icons and leave their chalk boxes open with the hope that passers-by would show their appreciation for the work by leaving some coins.  These days that coin (usually collected in the form of square sponsorships) is donated to help raise awareness and funds for Children’s Hospital.  Via Colori originated in Naples, Florida in 1994 and was founded by Rick Compton, a Columbus native and has now grown to include seven US cities with Columbus being the only participant in the state of Ohio.  In 2003, Via Colori came to Columbus and collaborated its first festival on what is now one of Columbus’ busiest freeways, I-670.  At the time of the festival, the freeway was incomplete and closed to commuters.

In addition to art, attendees of this free event can experience music, entertainment, gourmet food and a Saturday Night Street party.   The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the 13th and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 14th.  Those interested in participating as a volunteer, artist or square sponsor can visit for more information.