Did you know that soon, a local artist will present a mural with a view? From the observatory in the Rhodes State Office Tower, Mandi Caskey has been working on her interpretation of the seasons of Ohio. We sat down with Mandi to learn a little bit about her art and give you an insider view of what to expect when the mural is unveiled.
Mandi Caskey is originally from Lima, Ohio. She came to Columbus by way of Columbus College of Art and Design, and she never left. You may have already seen some of her work because she is passionate about public art, but hear it in her own words, and take a look at some of her work.
Why did you stay in Columbus?
I stayed in Columbus because I see opportunity for me to change how people view public art.
What is the best (and worst) part of Columbus?
The best thing about Columbus is the community of people that you are surrounded by; there is always someone to lend a helping hand.
The worst thing about Columbus is the lack of public murals and legal walls for people to paint or install art.
Why are you such a proponent of public art?
Public art, such as murals, plays a major piece on how a culture of a city is formed. We have a few that have been around for years, and as awesome as Columbus thinks that is, they are old news. You have cities not too far away like Cincinnati, Louisville and Detroit that have legal rotating walls that are open for proposals a few times a year. That brings flocks of artists, which brings flocks of people to see said murals. The reality is, Columbus is slacking and I'm here to change that.
When and how did you become so passionate about public art?
I started creating street art when I dropped out of CCAD a few years ago. It felt good to create something that existed for no particular person or purpose other than to exist. Creating art for art's sake. Not putting a fancy tag on it and claiming it to be worth a million dollars and only the classy can look upon it. It’s welcomed and understood by everyone and anyone. Public art is free for anyone that would like to be inspired. I was tired of making art for just a singular person, or projects only to be seen and appreciated by a few. Art should be the voice that connects all people, normal, weird, poor or rich.
Why should the average person care about public art?
When you walk down the same road every day, and look at the same old bricks or grooves in the payment, life becomes stagnant and people become unhappy. Public art replaces areas that are blank and unloved with art that will inspire and promote conversation and positivity. It is scientifically proven that art promotes healthier brain activity. So why don't we have paintings everywhere?
When will people be able to experience the mural in the Rhodes Tower?
The mural in the tower will be completed November 1st, there will be a gallery opening sometime at the end of that month. Updates coming soon.
Besides the Rhodes Tower, where can people see your art?
I've painted the football players with Jacob Tanner alongside Land Grant; I have done animal paintings that are being hung up all over the city; I have street art in hidden in areas that only the worthy explorers can find. I've started a street art series where I paint single bricks all of the city. So, keep an eye out. There’s much more, but I'd rather people adventure around the city to find things themselves.
We’ll give you a clue where to find one of these bricks that Mandi created. Take a walk to Brioso on Long Street, order a cappuccino and keep your eyes peeled. The bonus is you’ll be fully caffeinated (and inspired) to search for Mandi’s next piece.