ArtPARK meeting space featured in Interior Design magazine

| December 6, 2019

COSHOCTON – Last summer, the artPARK on Main Street featured something completely out of the ordinary that combined a desire for modern art in Coshocton and a place where people could gather to share ideas together in one place. The Pomerene Center for the Arts introduced a new brightly-colored meeting space that many people found as the perfect place to host business meetings during the summer months.

“In the original design for the artPARK. there was a shade structure that was a part of the concept, and by the time we got around to that portion, we were out of everything,” said Anne Cornell. “Out of money, out of stamina, and so we did not do that shade structure for the middle of the artPARK. For a number of years, I’ve known about these summer temporary pavilions that happen in the art world and thought this would be a great way to bring art installations into the artPARK on an annual basis. Something new, something exciting, and then the next year, it’s something different.”

The structure, created by Behin Ha Inc. just outside of New York City, caught the eye of editors of the national publication, Interior Design, and an article along with photos were recently published in one of their editions.

After the meeting room was created, Behin Ha wanted professional photos taken of the space, and the Pomerene Center for the Arts helped to provide funding for the professional photos. Feinknof Firm out of Columbus was brought in and Brad Feinknof took professional photos of the space. He then sent them out to places and Behin Ha also sent out photographs in hopes they might be published. To Cornell’s surprise, the story and photos were picked up by the national magazine, Interior Design.

The meeting space was featured in the artPARK from June through November and involved many volunteers throughout the process of construction. Cornell reached out to Emily Marrison of the Coshocton County Ohio State University Extension Office to help make the meeting space a reality.

“Our focus is on volunteering, so we were hoping we could motivate folks to be a part of the project from the very beginning, from the planning aspect as well as the creation, putting it together,” said Marrison.

Cornell then reached out to artists who had already completed similar projects that she thought would be suitable for the space. In the fall of 2018, Cornell created banners of three designs by architectural firms that had already created spaces similar to what she was looking for. At the Coshocton County Fair that year, Cornell asked the community what they thought of each design and moved from there.

The winning structure was designed by Behin Ha, Inc. Once their design was chosen, he started working on concepts and came in April to Coshocton for community meetings and to select materials and color.

“It’s amazing that it worked out the way that it did,” said Marrison. “I’m still impressed that you (Cornell) were able to make those connections and that he agreed to be a part of it so wholeheartedly.”

The material chosen was plastic mesh from Snyder Manufacturing in Dover, OH.

“One of the things that designers are really looking at in these competitions is the impact on the environment, and so we were looking at materials that were a byproduct or the scrap,” said Cornell.

The color chosen was rocket red, which Marrison believes created the piece perfectly.

There were different colors to choose from, but the color at the end made it,” said Marrison. “It made the piece, I think. It would have been totally different if it had been a different color.”

Cornell and Marrison wrote a grant to the Ohio Arts Council which has an ArtsNext Program for innovative work. Funding for the meeting space came from that program as well as the Pomerene Center for the Arts Community Arts Fund created by Robert and Caroline Simpson at the Coshocton Foundation.

“A real key to all of this is, why does this matter?” said Marrison. “Why even have something like this here? I think a big part of it from extension’s standpoint was just, we’re all about developing community. We want to have this community to be connected to one another, and art is one of those ways that has a way of breaking down barriers for people. It just brings people together that might not ever cross paths with one another any other way, which I think is an important thing for this community because we tend to get into our own little things that we do. It has a way of dividing us, but this kind of work was something we hoped would bring a lot of different people together.”

Fifteen groups met in the meeting space during the summer months, which does not include those groups that did not make a formal reservation.

“A new space sort of opens up new ideas,” said Cornell. “The idea that you can have new ideas in a new space. It’s the first time that I know of that people made a point of coming to the artPARK and getting out of their cars to go into the artPARK.”

Cornell hopes that by having the meeting room and Coshocton featured in a national magazine that others may start to see Coshocton as more than just an Appalachian rural community.

“We are so much more complete than that,” said Cornell. “We are so much more interesting than that. We have such a different quality of life than that. We have problems, but we can imagine our way forward. One of the great strengths of art is that’s what it’s about. You don’t have to be urban to live life fully.”

Tags: ,

Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

Comments are closed.