This page was printed from

Floating sculpture brings color to Columbus skyline

Swatches | April 1, 2024 | By:

A rendering of Current created by Janet Echelman and her design team. Image: Studio Echelman

A 229-foot-long floating fiber sculpture by sculptor Janet Echelman is now a permanent installation in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Crafted from fibers braided with nylon and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, Currenthangs between buildings at the intersection of Gay and High streets. It was first installed in June 2023 and is part of the Columbus Museum of Art’s permanent collection. 

An aerial view of Current hanging over Gay Street and High Street in downtown Columbus, Ohio, with colors transitioning from red to blue to represent aspects of the city, including its early red brick buildings and its riverfront park.

Its colors transition from red to blue to represent the city’s history, including Columbus’ earliest brick buildings and its riverfront park. Like many of the artist’s other installations, Currentis lit up at night with colored lights, transforming its appearance once more. 

“I hope that Currentcaptures that idea of interconnectedness and creates a space where people feel a sense of community and sanctuary. And I love that this artwork literally laces into the fabric of the city over the public street because it’s a place that everyone feels entitled to be present,” Echelman says. 

A daytime view of Current in 2023. The sculpture features more than 500,000 knots and 78 miles of twine.

Echelman, who opened her studio in 1999 in New York City, is known for her large artworks made from fiber materials and netting. Through wind and light, her sculptures shift and change colors depending on the time of day. 

With the help of her design team, including aeronautical and mechanical engineers, computer scientists, landscape architects, and fabricators, she has created more than 50 installations worldwide from Australia and Singapore to the U.S. and the U.K. Right now, she has permanent works in Portugal, South Korea, Canada and various cities in the U.S. 

Current at night suspended between buildings and illuminated with colored lights. Images 2–4: © Janet Echelman Inc./Infinite Impact

Currentis part of a long-term effort led by development firm Edwards Companies to create an artistic hub to attract more visitors and residents to the city’s downtown. The firm’s president and CEO, Jeff Edwards, funded the project and donated it to the Columbus Museum of Art, which oversees the care and maintenance of the sculpture. To avoid ice accumulation, the piece hibernates in the winter and is reinstalled in the spring. 

“As an artist, I follow nature. And I hope the winter functions like the absence of a lover, giving us a chance to experience it anew each spring,” Echelman says.

Share this Story