Columbus Cap-UP

The Columbus Arts Pop-Up Project (CAP-UP) is a series of installation window displays by area artists. The project is a partnership between the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) and the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District (SID).

Wolf’s Ridge by Nikos Fyodor Rutkowski



“Wolf's Ridge” is the original name given to the area that is now Downtown Columbus by the settlers of Franklinton. This installation is the result of rumination on childhood memories and origin myths, imagining a scene of Columbus before it was a city, when it was still hunting grounds. It depicts a wolf stumbling across a tree that has near human features in the depths of winter. It is a fantastical image that seeks to evoke the mystery and magic of what takes place before beginnings.

The roots of this piece are in my Columbus upbringing, particularly the memory of the “talking tree” at Lazarus that entertained children waiting in line to meet Santa Claus. There was something haunting about that tree, it was both cute and slightly terrifying at the same time. I decided to base my tree on the distorted conflations of it that my mind created since last viewing it, rather than on historical documentation.

As a kid growing up very near Downtown, there were three locations that meant the world to me in the area: CCAD where I attended Saturday art classes; COSI where at least once a year my school would go for a fieldtrip and sleepover; and the aforementioned Lazarus. I have chosen to adopt a visual format that fluctuates between natural history museum diorama and department store window display. This piece has become an ode to the Columbus of my childhood.

Artist Bio

Nikos Fyodor Rutkowski was born in 1979 in Columbus, OH. He attended the prestigious Fort Hayes M.E.C. Fine Arts Vocational Program while in high school. Rutkowski received a BFA from the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2002. In 2007 as Vice President of the Franklinton Arts District he created and chaired the Urban Scrawl Festival, which has become a popular yearly event. He exhibits his work frequently throughout the Central Ohio area. Known primarily for abstract 2D images, Rutkowski’s CAP-UP project marks a departure into the arena of 3D installation and realism.