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Creativity is a Work of Art


The mission of the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) is to create great experiences with great art for everyone. Every day, we strive to connect people and art through exhibitions, collections, and engaged learning. One of the values that guides how we connect people and art is our commitment to celebrating, championing, and cultivating creativity.

When we were designing our Margaret M. Walter Wing, we were fueled by all these ideals. We knew our architecture must inspire, connect, and reflect Columbus’ vibrant cultural community. We knew we needed a larger, livelier, and more experiential space to highlight our collection that also created new opportunities for shared memories and engagement. By leveraging the power of architecture to shape the visitor experience, our mission-centered design was driven by possibilities; the architecture is shaped by interactions, reflected from the inside out.

The possibilities for creativity and visitor engagement at CMA throughout are endless. However, in our JPMorgan Chase Center for Creativity, we dedicate 18,000 square feet specifically to creativity. The Center is a catalyst, a jumping-off point for individuals and groups to discover their unique connections to creativity. The space provides myriad experiences that engage visitors with art and with each other, model the creative process, highlight creativity in action, and underscore the importance of creativity in our community.

Creativity is also a focus in our galleries. In the permanent collection galleries and in special exhibition galleries, CMA creates what we call connectors. A connector is anything that helps people connect with art that is not the art itself. A text panel or a bench can both be connectors. In addition, CMA uses connectors to experiment with interpretation: a board in a gallery with a question and Post-it notes encourages visitors to start or join a conversation, a puzzle in a gallery encourages visitors to look more closely at works of art, and a twist-tie building station encourages visitors to activate creative thinking and doing.

"CMA infuses creativity into everything we do for our visitors in our spaces..."

CMA infuses creativity into everything we do for our visitors in our spaces, our programs, our initiatives, and our events. By fostering and nurturing creativity, we can all contribute to the vitality of our cultural sector and the creative engagement of our communities.

Read Nanette's full article in Great Spaces magazine, on pages 24-27.

Great Spaces Fall/Winter 2019 - Square