Public art has been a notable part of the Columbia community for decades, and it continues to grow every passing year.

But how many local Columbia Residents even know about these masterpieces or the artists who make them? 

One Columbia for Arts and Culture, a local non-profit organization that supports cultural tourism in the city, has commissioned artists to create public works of art since 2012. With support from the city, art projects have continued to pop up, adding to the way that Columbia represents itself.

“It’s a good, sort of, presentation to visitors and guests to the city, to show off what kind of city we are,” said Lee Snelgrove, Executive Director for One Columbia. “It can also be used to build a collaborative spirit among our community.”

Christine Lotfy, a Columbia artist, had a special opportunity to leave her mark on her hometown. 

Her mural on Devine Street features four interlocking arms, with the phrase “Columbia, We’re In This Together,” as a symbol of unity.

“I wanted it to be like just a whole area of coming together, really realizing that every day is a new day,” she said. “So, I hope when locals and tourists come into town, they see that…and realize that this is how we should act with one another.” 

Public art continues to be the voice for local communities and represent the message they wish to be heard.

‘Frida Painting Dali’ on 2911 Millwood Ave at Pink Salon. Artist: Tripp Derrick Barnes, 2016

‘Tunnelvision’ on 1514 Marion St at Busted Plug Plaza in Columbia. Artist: Blue Sky, 1975

‘Lady of Devine’ on 2921 Devine St. at London and Lace. Artist: Shelby LeBlanc, 2018