The Ohio State University campus is an expansive, beautiful and exciting place to see. And the sites don’t stop where campus ends and the city of Columbus begins.
There’s a beautiful symbiosis between the city and the university. They feed off of each other, inspire each other and partner to create innovative, exciting things to scope out.
So if you’re coming to town for a campus visit, to visit some friends or even just passing through, you absolutely don’t want to miss these 5 sights in Ohio’s capital city.
1. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum and Cartoon Crossroads Columbus
If you didn’t already know, the cartoon library at Ohio State houses the world’s largest collection of materials related to cartoons and comics. We’re talking original art, books, newspaper comics, magazines — you name it. Did you also know that hosts a whole new kind of comics festival founded by Jeff Smith, creator of Bone?
Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, hosted both at the cartoon library and downtown Columbus, features talks from today’s amazing artists and writers, exhibits and screenings. But why have it at the cartoon library? Smith said it was only natural.
In that case, the real question is, “Why NOT throw a festival to celebrate that fact?”
2. The Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center Collection
Ohio State is home to Hale Hall, home of the Hale Black Cultural Center named after the visionary Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr. who fought to increase opportunities for minority students. Just recently it launched one of the largest and most significant collection of African American art anywhere.
“Start at Home: Art from the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center Collection” is on display at 6 venues, both on campus and around the city. Around town, you can catch it at the Urban Arts Space and King Arts Complex. Around campus, see it at Hopkins Hall Gallery, Thompson Library, Hagerty Hall and at the Hale Black Cultural Center itself. With over 250 pieces from amazingly influential artists, this is definitely a must-see.
3. An art-filled stroll
Speaking of art — if looking to take in some of the best Columbus has to offer, all the while getting those 10,000 steps in, have we got a plan for you. Start on campus at the Wexner Center and wander your way through the Short North to downtown, all the while basking in some incredible cultural displays.
Ready to take in the culture of not just the university, but also the rich culture of this fair capital city? Check out the full list of stops here.
4. Buckeyes at COSI
Looking to see science in action — and then be science in action? Welcome to the Labs in Life at COSI.
The Columbus Center of Science and Industry has teamed with Ohio State to offer research students a seriously awesome research space called the Labs of Life, and visitors are often participants.
“We actually walk out on the COSI floor and ask, ‘Hey, do you want to do a science experiment?’” said Laura Wagner, the Ohio State professor who heads up the Language Pod. “Then we bring you in and run you as a participant.”
Whether they’re studying the English language, pharmacology or even just optical illusions, the researchers, students and staff at the Labs of Life are actively exploring the human life, body and spirit. Who wouldn’t want to participate?
5. Let off some STEAM
The second Friday of every month, Franklinton comes alive with a gallery hop, and this is when the STEAM Factory opens its doors to the locals. This interdisciplinary playground is serving up fun, intellect and innovation in ways never before imagined.
Will you engage in a lively conversation about the ethics of autonomous vehicles? Perhaps you’ll play a few rounds of DNA Damage, a game of behavioral and genetic roulette developed by faculty from the university’s Center for Life Science Education. No matter what’s happening any given evening, you know that things are heating up at the STEAM Factory.