Art

Arts program at Philadelphia Int’l Airport turns 20

Christine Larson’s Farewell to Night

The arts and exhibitions program at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and, after 425 temporary exhibits and artist demonstrations, one of the first airport arts programs is still going strong.

Over the years, the exhibits have featured a variety of media including painting, photography, printmaking, wood working, ceramics, glass, and found objects such as a 20-foot clock made of hundreds of empty Yuengling beer bottles

Beer Bottle Clock

The current exhibit in Terminal A-East features a montage of Philadelphia’s 67 Historic Landmarks, recognizing the city’s designation as the nation’s first World Heritage City by the International Organization of World Heritage Cities.

Other exhibits in the terminals today include Christine Larsen’s Farewell to Night, a 100-footlong illustration of an imagined landscape where mystical characters celebrate the coming of morning  and Custom Bikes, which showcases hand-made bicycles from 5 different local bike shops.

 

The Exhibitions Program was founded by PHL Director of Image and Chief Curator Leah Douglas, who was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about the program via email:

What have been some of the challenges and successes of the art program during these 20 years?

“Twenty years ago there were few airport art programs to emulate so it takes time to model a program that works best for your airport, city, and region. Now passengers and employees are familiar with rotating art programs in airports and it something that they look forward to seeing.  The program has evolved into one of the area’s prized locations to exhibit because of the quality of our presentations and the quality and variety of the work that we show–in addition to the massive exposure with 82,000 passengers flying through PHL every day.”

What are some the most memorable exhibitions for you to put together?

“It’s always the next exhibition that I am looking forward to most and in particular, it is one that I am curating for this anniversary–It’s A Wrap: 20 for 20. This exhibition has to be the first-ever for an airport:  Twenty artists are invited to create interventions on existing architectural elements and furnishings. Several artists will crochet over top columns and rockers; 6 artists have been given ceiling tiles to paint on; 1 artist will apply colored tape in patterns along the glass of the moving walkway; and another artist will paint directly on 2 cement columns.”

Find more information about past, present and future exhibitions at Philadelphia International Airport here.

Fresh arts/entertainment at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport

 A fresh program of live local art and entertainment offerings – “ArtsWave Presents” – begins today, March 16, at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and continues on Friday afternoons through May.

Here’s what’s on tap for the next few weeks.  

·         2-3 PM: Friday, March 16: Northern Kentucky University Philharmonic

·         2-3 PMFriday, March 30: James McCray Choral Ensemble

·        More to come  Fridays: April 6April 20May 4May 25

CVG, which is currently undergoing a $6 million terminal modernization project, is also displaying a nice collection of items from the Cincinnati Museum Center, including the spacesuit of Neil Armstrong.

And, of course, this is the airport that has miniature therapy horses come visit with travelers.

Travel Tidbits from JFK and LAX

For the next four months, 14 hand-drawn, large-scale illustrations of iconic New York city locations, such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, can be seen in the corridors of Terminal 4 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The work is hand-drawn by British-based artist Chris Dent and also includes 18 smaller illustrations of NYC staples such as subway trains, taxis, slices of pizza and coffee cups.

National Employee Appreciation Month is being marked at Los Angeles International Airport with a Gold Star recognition program that celebrates employees who provide great service.

To make it easy for travelers to nominate a badged LAX employee, the airport has created a web form.  Nominations can also be made by texting STAR to 52948. Anyone who works for the airport, airlines, concessions, service providers, TSA and Customs are eligible.

To encourage travelers to particpate,  LAX Guest Services staff will be in the terminals next week sharing information – and handing out goodies.

Stuck at Pittsburgh Int’l Airport? Paint something.

You’ve likey seen those do-it-yourself paint studios in your neighborhood and wondered why they always seem to be full.

Now, if you’ve got some time to hang out at Pittsburgh  International Airport, you can find out.

In the perfect match-up of opportunity and activity, Paint Monkey, a Pittsburgh do-it-yourself paint studio has opened up a pop-up paint kiosk on Concourse B.

If you’ve got some time to spend, you can sit a while and paint a masterpieces on pre-sketched canvases in a range of sizes designed to fit into carry-on baggage. Or you can have your creation shipped.

If you’ve got less time to spend, Paint Monkey offers spin art (remember that?) and pre-painted artwork featuring iconic Pittsburgh imagery.

Prices start at $10 and images range from cupcakes, robots and unicorns to Pittsburgh skylines and abstract art.

Beckoning cats at San Francisco Int’l Airport

A new exhibition from the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport features a wide variety of maneki neko – those beckoning cat figurines we see today in the windows of Japanese and Chinese restaurants, inviting customers to step inside.

From the exhibition, we learn that the tradition of making beckoning cat figures dates back to the late Edo period (1615-1868) and through the years these auspicious objects have been made in ceramic, plaster, copper, bronze, wood, stone and iron.

In many cases, you’ll see the cat holding up its left paw in an effort to bring luck and good fortune to a business. Sometimes the right paw is raised – which is meant to invite good fortune, health and happiness into a home.

The colors of the beckoning cats also have meaning: white represents happiness and satisfaction; black symbolizes safety and is a way to drive away evil; and gold symbolizes money and fortune. The bibs on many maneki neko also hold meaning and are often painted with coins and other traditional symbols of luck and fortune.


Maneki Neko: Japan’s Beckoning Cats is located post-security in Terminal 2, on the Departures Level of San Francisco International Airport through August 26, 2018. All the maneki neko are from the collection of the Mingei International Museum of San Diego. And all the photos here are courtesy of the SFO Museum.