Phoenix Sky Habor International Airport

Celebrating motorcycle culture at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport

Paul Yaffe, Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation (Phoenix, AZ), The Copper Chopper, 2011, custom built motorcycle.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is celebrating motorcycle culture with a new exhibition called “Art of the Ride.”

On display are two motorcycles, including “The Copper Chopper,” a custom-built motorcycle by local bike builder Paul Yaffe in honor of Arizona’s 2012 state centennial, and black & white photographs from the 1970s by photographer Neil A. Miller that document bikers of that era.

Artist embellished motorcycle parts, paintings, a “Frankenstein” illustrated gas tank and a video showcasing various areas of the Grand Canyon State from a biker’s perspective, are part of the exhibit as as well, all giving visitors a glimpse into world of riding.

Hank Robinson, Hanro Studios Engraving (Avondale, AZ), Engraved Exhaust Tips, 2011, metal, Courtesy of Paul Yaffe

JC Mason, Rolling Art Motorcycle Paint (Tempe, AZ), Frankenstein, 2015, airbrush on half gas tank

As a ‘bonus,” there is a small exhibition about the Phoenix Police Motors program with historic images and items.

Look for “Art of the Ride” at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the Terminal 4, level 3 gallery through May 28, 2018.


Museum Monday: 75 years at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

There are more than 700 aviation and space-related museums in this country. Each Monday we try to profile one of them.  Eventually we’ll visit them all.

This week, we’re stopping at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which has an exhibit of photos, videos and historic memorabilia celebrating its 75th anniversary.

History exhibit at Phoenix Sky Harbor

According to airport history notes, the city of Phoenix purchased Sky Harbor Airport on July 16, 1935 for $100,000. That November, a dedication event took place that included speeches, an aerial circus performance and a dinner dance.

The original terminal building, hangar and tower were located on the north side of today’s airport property and at one time a chapel with a bell stood at the entrance of the airport.

Sky Harbor wedding chapel

Arizona didn’t require a three-day waiting period for couples wanting to get married, so the airport hoped to generate business by having an on-site wedding chapel for couples wanting to tie the knot as soon as possible.

Interested in learning more about the history of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport?

75 Years of Nonstop Service will be on exhibit until March 13, 2011 in the pre-security area of Terminal 3.  You can also go online, to Sky Harbor’s History section to watch video clips and read excerpts from research done for the airport’s 50th anniversary.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport pilot log