Breath of Life/Columbus

Submitted by Stuart Williams


Client: Columbus Public Art 2012

Location: Columbus, OH, United States

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $22,000

Project Team

Public Art Agent

Malcolm Cochran

Columbus Public Art 2012

Public Art Agent

Shelly Willis

Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission


Stuart Williams


The facade of The Center for Science & Industry in Columbus, Ohio is transformed with kinetic waves of light. The installation is effectively doubled in size as it reflects in the river. All lighting is computer-controlled, energy-efficient LED technology. LED lamps, digital controller box, electrical cable, wood, steel. 12,500 sq. ft.


The goal was to create a monumental public artwork in the center of Columbus, Ohio, interacting with the facade of an iconic Columbus landmark. With its sweeping presence reflecting in the Scioto River, the illuminated facade — animated with rising and falling waves of light — faces downtown Columbus immediately across the river and becomes an artwork on the scale of the cityscape.


City of Columbus, Columbus Art Commission, Columbus Museum of Art, Experience Columbus, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Capital Crossroads SID, The Ohio State University, Otterbein University, 200Columbus The Bicentennial.

Center of Science & Industry (COSI), The Ohio State University, Dresden Sister City, Inc. & Columbus Sister Cities International, Columbus Landmarks Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, Capital Crossroads SID, Vincent Lighting, NEA Art Works.

Additional Information

Bridging the Atlantic, Williams was invited to plan a parallel installation for Dresden, Germany for 2015, to coincide with the 70th anniversary observance of the bombing of Dresden. The site is the historic Dresden Cathedral Ss. Trinitatis, built in 1738. Given Dresden's nearly total destruction at the end of WWII, I think the vision of one of it's most treasured historic landmarks appearing to breathe will be extremely moving. Dresden and Columbus are “sister cities.”