Of the various objects that are found on the sidewalks and at the entrance points to the Ohio Statehouse, several are of a decidedly military air. They are Civil War cannons, produced by a foundry in Cincinnati in 1864.
Although it is perhaps odd to think of cannons as “public art,” I think these qualify. Made of bronze, the cannons are bright and metallic and attractive as they glint in the sunshine on a summer day. Their large wheels — reproductions, not originals — also have a certain sturdy beauty. The cannons are fully functional; they were being fired at some kind of Civil War reenactment that occurred some weeks ago.
What is public art? I think it is something designed to make people appreciate something — “appreciation” in the sense of enjoyment, in the sense of thankfulness, and in the sense of contemplation. The Civil War cannons of the Ohio Statehouse meet that test.