With a degree in architecture from the Ohio State University in hand, Todd Kime founded his own architectural firm, Kime Design, 27 years ago. With its headquarters on Talmadge Road, across from Franklin Park Mall, his firm's work can be seen in Ottawa Hills and across the region.
Over the past 10 years Kime's reputation as an artist has also been growing, and he recently earned a commission for a piece of public art to be installed in Columbus.
"They put calls for qualifications out for artists to submit, and I was like, 'Hey, I'd like to submit a design for a project,'" Kime said. "It was for the city of Columbus's park department, their newest park down there, as part of kind of the revitalization ... We basically sent in pictures of past work and what our qualifications were and we were fortunate enough that we were ultimately shortlisted to three artists that they then asked to come up with a design solution for a piece."
The piece will be placed in Harrison Park as part of a collection containing four previously built pieces.
"We envisioned this piece that we ultimately called 'Through,' which is kind of this large steel frame that's made up of three large steel beams, and it's roughly about 10 feet wide and 12 feet high overall," Kime said.
"Then, within the beams, are large openings that we are going to fuse one-inch-thick pieces of glass ...You've got this real fragile, graceful glass and then we put that opposite of this gnarly, rusted steel. The goal was to make it look like it maybe was a little bit reclaimed from the buildings that they had torn down that were a little bit turn of the century buildings."
As the art portion of his business grew, Kime decided it was time to stop working from the basement and garage and move into a studio. He has been using a commercial space on West Bancroft Street for approximately a year and a half.
"It's great because it certainly provides the facilities for us to be able to do what we want whenever we want to do it and not have to worry about taking stuff out and bringing stuff home and finding some spot in the garage to store it until you could go out next weekend," he said.
Being selected for the Harrison Park project was a factor in Kime's decision to secure separate studio space.
"It was really a definite driving force in saying, 'Okay, it's time to go to the next step if we're starting to do real art,' meaning we've got cities commissioning us to do public art pieces for their parks," Kime said.
While Kime loves his art, he remains committed to residential architecture, which accounts for the bulk of his firm's business. Even after 30 years as an architect, Kime still loves the diversity of his job.
"We have very atypical days around here," he said. "There's days where we need to scramble around putting out fires ... Somebody calls and needs something taken care of, then somebody else calls, this needs done, that needs done, and you're just scrambling around, just trying to keep up, which is a nice problem to have."
Regardless of the differences between the architectural and art portions of his job, there is one thing about both that Kime adores: the creative process.
"What the creative process means to me is somebody coming to you with, hey, let's come up with an idea, and then taking that and coming up with a solution to that idea," Kime said. "I just love that portion of what we do. I love being creative, and it shows in simple things that I do in everyday life and certainly, certainly in our day to day careers, in both architecture and art."