Welcome to #QuirkyOhio, our 2017 blog series highlighting Ohio’s odd, unusual and downright wacky experiences, places and events. Follow along as we profile some of the quirkiest parts of the state.
Visitors to the lovely Topiary Park in downtown Columbus have the opportunity to see art come to life.
The 54 human figures, eight boats, three dogs, a monkey and a cat are the living representation of Georges Seurat’s 1884 post-impressionist painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte. The famous painting depicts Parisians enjoying a lazy Sunday in the park. But instead of Seurat’s signature pointillism style of applying tiny dots of paint, the scene at the Topiary Park is brought to life with bronze sculpture frames and yew shrubbery.
Topiary Park was the brainchild of James T. Mason, a local sculptor and employee of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. Guided by his vision and under his direction, construction of the park began in 1988.
Park visitors can capture Seurat’s perspective from the original painting by standing on the eastern-most hill to the left of the bronze plaque.
Seurat’s original 7-x-10-foot painting resides at The Art Institute of Chicago and has been the inspiration for a Broadway musical — Sunday in the Park with George — and was featured in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The seven-acre park, located behind the newly renovated Columbus Metropolitan Library, hosts concerts and other events during the year and is a beautiful oasis of nature and art in the middle of the city.
What are your favorite quirky destinations in our state? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below as we continue our tour of Quirky Ohio.