Ohio Art Corridor
By Theresa Russell

Officially launched on October 30, 2018, The Ohio Art Corridor showcases outdoor art in the towns and communities that make up the Appalachian area of Southeast Ohio. The brainchild of David Griesmyer, this project seeks to revitalize the economy of this scenic area with both Appalachian art and culture. 

The first large sculpture created and donated by David, himself, is The School of Fish in McConnelsville, OH. Recalling his youthful family travels, he remembers his family stopping at roadside attractions that featured big things – the largest rocking chair, the biggest rubber-band ball, and other “big” things that attract. These memories inspired the creation of The Ohio Art Corridor.

Photo Credit: Emily Griesmeyer

While some art, like The School of Fish, is new and original, some of the art has been around for a while. In order to be included in the Corridor, it must meet three criteria:

  • The art must be outdoors and free.
  • The art must be large.
  • If the art is not large (over 12 feet) as one piece, it must consist of three sculptures in one place.

Currently there are eight sculptures scattered along 144 miles. To date, the sculptures are found in Pickaway County, Fairfield County, Athens County, Morgan County, and Muskingum County.  Other works, besides The School of Fish, that can be seen now are two gigantic murals in Circleville, Flight of the Hawk Park in Lancaster, Lancaster Downtown Sculpture Park, and Alan Cottrill’s outdoor statues. New sculptures will be added, and communities are encouraged to include existing local pieces of art.

The Mission of Art

According to The Ohio Art Corridor: “Our mission is to provide Appalachia access to culture, art, educational experiences while supporting and increasing tourism and revenue. We have many goals. We want to provide families an opportunity to go on a drive-in order to experience firsthand beauty, art, and culture. We want people to leave the big cities and come explore the beauty that Southeastern Ohio has to offer. We want to help this area prosper and grow economically. We have goals to partner with the public schools in the towns where the new sculptures will go. Having the children research the history of their town and then create a design based on that history would mean that generations would have investment in their community. They would have pride in being part of something so grand. We want children to aspire to greatness by being part of this incredible legacy project. Not only would they be proud of what they created but they would bring their children back to see it after they’ve moved away. We also have goals to partner with welding and art programs in the area to assist in the creation of the giant art sculptures.”

The program will continue to grow. Grab a map to help guide you to the different installations – a great way to discover the art and beauty of Southeastern Ohio!​

For more adventure, Find It Here. at Ohio.org. 

About the Author