You’ve heard about the famous deer sculptures in Columbus.
But did you know that we have some pretty epic unicorn statues as well?
No, I’m not talking about that goofy Unicorn World event this summer that you may have seen promoted on Instagram. I didn’t go to that, and I’m guessing you didn’t either.
I’m talking about real, actual, honest-to-goodness unicorns beautifully sculpted out of bronze by a master artist of international acclaim – a man of mystery if you will.
There are three of these unicorn sculptures in downtown Columbus. They are gorgeous and yet somehow they flew under my radar until this very month, when I saw a photo of one and had to learn more.
All three bronze unicorns are the work of artist Jack Greaves. Here’s where you can find them:
- Unicorn in the Garden was made in 1987 and can be found at 67 Zimmerman Ct near the Thurber House. She is in a standing pose looking back over one shoulder, and she has a lily flower in her mouth for she was created in honor of the James Thurber short story by the same name.
- The Unicorn and the Rose was also made in 1987 and was cast from the same mold as the unicorn above, so she looks very similar. This unicorn holds a rose in her mouth. She is located at 56 South Columbia Avenue near the Columbus School for Girls.
- Unicorn was made in 1992 and is located at Gay Street and Marconi Blvd, on the South side of the US District Court building just east of the Scioto River. This unicorn is half standing, half kneeling.
Not much can be found online about the sculptor Jack Greaves, but he created many animal and human sculptures in Columbus – not just the three unicorns. As far as I can tell, he was born in the UK in 1928 and went to art school both in England and Rome. He then came to the US and was at The Ohio State University from the mid-1960s on.
Now, since you’ve made it this far, I’ve got an extra special treat for you: there is a fourth unicorn sculpture in the greater Columbus area and it may be my favorite. Located at Boardman Arts Park in Delaware, this is the biggest unicorn of all.
The Delaware unicorn is named Princess and she is made of recycled bicycle tires riveted over a steel frame. She is 10 feet long, 6 feet high and 4 feet wide, weighing in at 600 lbs. Best of all, Princess was created to be an interactive sculpture; guests are encouraged to hop up and have their picture taken.
Princess is a commissioned piece by Nigerian artist Ernest Nkwocha who works exclusively with recycled materials. The sculpture was funded in part by grants from the Ohio Arts Council and USA Today, with local contributions from Kiwanis, Fraternal Order of Eagles and individual donors.
Visiting Boardman Arts Park is a lot of fun with kids of all ages. We first visited the park – and met Princess the unicorn – during the lovely Delaware Pride festival which takes place there each June.
Next time you’re looking for something to do with friends, a date night idea or a fun outing with your kids, see if they’re up for a Columbus and Delaware unicorn hunt. I had a lot of fun finding these unicorns and I think you will, too.