Art

Stuck at the airport: news from LAX, FAT and OAK

Lovely LAX

Here’s a lovely spring report from Los Angeles International Airport.

Heavy rains have left behind a rare super bloom of wildflowers.

LAX reports that the flowers are located across the airfield complex, with the highest concentration on the north airfield – between runways 24L and 24R. The bouquet of flowers spreads along the length of those runways, approximately 10,885 feet.

New arts lounge at Fresno Yosemite International Airport

Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) has added an arts lounge to its art exhibitions program.

Over the past year, the program has expanded to include larger works of art, live music performances and a partnership with a local art gallery featuring local photographers.

Travelers love the offerings so far. So the airport is adding more features. FAT’s new arts lounge has tables and chairs, couches, charging ports and “offers a friendly airport environment for travelers,” said FAT’s Director of Aviation, Kevin Meikle.

Showing now: Leslie Batty’s large scale works, including a painting of Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass and “Projections” by John Moses, a series of photography images blending iconic films with ghostly images from some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed films.

Oakland International Airport celebrates Southwest Airlines first flight to Hawaii

On Monday, the first Southwest Airlines flight to the Hawaiian Islands arrived in Honolul after leaving Sunday evening from Oakland International Airport.

Scores of passengers, airline and airport staff, officials and hula dancers crowded Terminal 1 at the Oakland International Airport for a send-off of the long-awaited launch of Southwest Airlines’ inaugural service from the US Mainland to Hawaii.

And there was cake.

Fresh art at PHX Sky Harbor Int’l Airport

When we travel we often seek out water as refreshment, in the form of $6.99 bottles of water we buy at airports. Water can also be a destination, in the form of visits we make to ocean beaches and mountain streams.

And, of course, water can provide artistic inspiration – as we see in the newest exhibition at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.


Rebecca McNerney’s fiber wall-hanging depicts dozens of illuminated backyard pools visible when flying ovfer Phoenix at night.


The Phoenix Airport Museum presents the art exhibition Water in the Desert, featuring water-themed work by 31 artists from Arizona, a state known for having a very dry climate.


Jerry Jacobson used water as an art medium by drawing with rust on paper.

Charlotte Bender, Arizona’s Ancient Seas, oil on canvas, depicts coyotes and saguaros coexisting with an ancient Arizona sea.

The exhibition is on view in eight pre-security display cases at PHX Terminal 4, level 3, and wil be there through July, 2019.

United Airlines contest seeks women-made art

In honor of Women’s History Month – and just because it’s a cool thing to do – United Airlines is hosting a contest that has as its prize an invite to paint an airplane.

United Airlines’ Her Art Here contest is designed to find and uplift underrepresented female artists, the carrier says, and will choose two female artists to visually represent either New York / New Jersey or California (key regions for United).

The winning artists will work renowned artist Shantell Martin to design the exterior of a United Boeing 757.

That’s pretty great exposure for the artists’ work.

Want to enter? Here’s the link to get you to the page for more information in United’s Her Art Here contest.

Entries can be from anyone who identifies as a woman who lives in the United States. Each entry must visually represent New York/New Jersey or California and all entries will be reviewed by a panel of experts, who will chose six finalists, three from each region.

The public will then be invited to vote on the submissions and there will be two grand prizes; one for each region.

Finalists and winners will also receive their own open gallery show, 100,000 United MileagePlus award miles and have their artwork on display in United Club locations and United Polaris lounges.

Deadline to enter is March 24, 2019. Good luck!

Fresh art at SFO and PDX airports

If you’re traveling through San Fransisco International Airport or Portland International Airport anytime soon, keep an eye out for new art.

Courtesy Sticky Co.

At Portland International Airport’s Concourse D, look up to see Portaurora, a new permanent art piece by Sticky Co., a Portland- and Amsterdam-based artist team.

This is an interactive installation: as travelers pass underneath they’ll see colors and hear sounds inspired by the Northern Lights.

“Although this is mostly a technology-driven project, we added a simple element – applying glitter to the ceiling – to enhance the aurora effect,” says Andrew Haddock, who leads the Sticky Co. team. “We wanted passengers to experience a bit of a surprise as they pass through the space.”

At SFO Airport, the SFO Museum’s newest exhibition is all about artisan-made surfboards.

Longyboard – Dudley “Hap” Jacobs. Courtesy SFO Museum.
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This exhibition features twenty-seven wooden surfboards made by surfboard artists – or “shapers” – that show the progression of surfboard design. Included are boards made from rare woods that represent surfing’s ancient history, boards that represent designs popular in the early 1960s and surfboard shapes best for paddling into large waves.

The SFO Museum’s new exhibition: “Reflections in Wood: Surfboards & Shapers” will be on display in the pre-security area of the International Terminal at SFO International Airport through August 4, 2019.


Hot Curl – by Donald Takayama. Courtesy SFO Museum

Mural Monday: terrazzo murals at Orlando International Airport

Next time you’re passing through Orlando International Airport, be sure to look at the floors in the north terminal.

Not just so you don’t trip, but so you don’t miss the permanent art installation made up of four large-scale terrazzo murals by international award-winning artist Scott Parsons.

Courtesy MCO Airport

The quartet of murals each measure around 28 feet by 32 feet and act as “welcome mats” or “gardens.”

The themes are wellness, fun, technology and space and included are images such as a roller coaster, a space shuttle and orange blossoms set amidst swirling splashes of color.

Courtesy Scott Parsons

“These designs are meant to be calming and joyful to the visitor,” Parsons says on his website, “The colors are rich and full of depth, subdued and complementary, forms flow one into the next, suggesting a journey with connections across the central Florida landscape. Each floor radiates from their center and enjoins numerous elements which repeat across all four floors to create a comprehensive and unified set of designs.”

Take a look at some of the mural details.

Orlando International Airport has lots more great art to keep an eye out for in the terminals including more terrazzo floor murals and, a favorite of mine, this work by Duane Hanson called “The Traveler” in Terminal A.

Orlando International Airport also has this treasure: a work by Jacob Lawrence, titled Space, Time, Energy, in Terminal B.