Art

Travel Tidbits: Hawaii, Amtrak, Comic Book Art

Travel Tidbits from airports and airlines near you

Southwest expands Hawaii flights from California

Southwest Airlines announced new nonstop flights from Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) to both Kona (KOA), on the island of Hawaii, and Lihue, Kauai (LIH) will begin flying in January 2020.

Once these flights begin, you’ll be able to fly to all four main Hawaiian Islands nonstop from SJC.

Southwest will start flights between SJC and Lihue four days per week (Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun) starting January 19, 2020. Flights to Kona will be three times a week (Tue/Thu/Sat) beginning January 21.

These new flights will be in addition to Southwest’s existing daily, nonstop flights between SJC and both Honolulu and Kahului (Maui), which began in May.

Take the Train – half off

You can’t take the train to Hawaii, but you can take it lots of other places – for half price.

Amtrak just kicked off its September Sale, offering 50% off tickets nationwide. The sale runs Friday, August 16 through Saturday, August 17, 2019 and covers travel anywhere between September 1 and September 30, 2019. Even better: no blackout dates.

Comic art at John Wayne Airport

Like comic books? Then you’ll love this comic book art.

Mixed Media Collage artist Fernando Del Rosario brings his “Real Heroes” collection of inspiring quotes and original composed art – made from comic books – to John Wayne Airport (JWA).

“My Real Heroes collection is meant to grab you, lose yourself within each piece and come out inspired, motivated, and creatively recharged,” said Del Rosario. “Every one of these comic book pages is from my collection as a kid. And this is my way of sharing my story and my inspiration with the public.”

Del Rosario’s artwork is on display in the JWA Community Focus Space from August 15 – September 17, 2019.

Fresh art at Los Angeles International Airport

Heading to or through the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) or Terminal 6 at LAX?

Here’s some info about two now site-specific art installations to look for at Los Angeles International Airport, courtesy of the airport’s partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA),

“Forest, For the Trees” curated by Julie Kornblum

“Forest, For the Trees” is an installation featuring knitted, crocheted, woven and other fiber-based artworks made by more than 40 artists.

“This installation hopes to address the wonders and perils of the forest by creating an environment that is at once unique and fantastic,” said Los Angeles-based artist and project curator Julie Kornblum.

The installation is the newest iteration of Kornblum’s ongoing partnership with the Arroyo Arts Collective and Yarn Bombing Los Angeles. Artists independently created works in their own individual styles and techniques, from realistic woodland creatures made of felt, to stylized tree trunks and branches sprouting from used sweaters. 

Look for “Forest, For the Trees” at LAX in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Customs Hallway, on the Arrivals Level through January 2020.  

The Unemployed” by Jody Zellen

“The Unemployed” is a site-specific installation by Jody Zellen that features a large-scale, interactive digital projection and four video monitors.

Using data culled from online sources that list unemployment rates for over 200 countries, Zellen depicts this numerical information as animated figures, creating an alternative way to visualize these statistics. 

Zellen created a software program that randomly cycles through the unemployment data of the different countries and, for each country, depicts an array of figures made of simple lines moving within a grid on the wall.

The piece is interactive: as passersby move through the space, their silhouettes are projected onto the wall and transformed into a presence consisting of the ambling figures.  

The installation is open to the public in Terminal 6 on the Departures Level through September 2019 and is also available via a free app.

All photos in this post by Panic Studio LA, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Fresh art at LAX

Los Angeles International Airport has two new site-specific murals. Look for them in Terminal 7 and the connection between Terminals 7 and 8.

Renée Fox’s mural in collaboration with WriteGirl, “Songs of Freedom: Renée Fox + WriteGirl.” Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy LAWA + City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Displayed in the corridor connecting Terminals 7 and 8, Renée Fox’s 200-foot-long intricate mural, titled “Songs of Freedom: Renée Fox + WriteGirl,” mixes delicate graphite drawings of different species of local and regional birds with poetry by young writers mentored by the nonprofit organization, WriteGirl.

This mural collaboration was curated by Elizabeta Betinski and is on view for ticketed guests through early February 2020. WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring association that promotes creativity and self-expression to empower girls. 

Tofer Chin’s mural “Intentions.” Photo: Panic Studio LA. courtesy LAWA  
and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.


In Terminal 7, Tofer Chin’s new mural, “Intentions,” greets departing airport guests at the United Airlines ticketing lobby. This mural will be there through September 2019.

Here’s some more background on Chin’s mural:

It features an abstract urban landscape of bold shapes and a spare paint palette of white, black and bright apricot. The shapes emulate shadows of buildings, and the glow of the apricot color is reminiscent of Los Angeles’ vivid sunsets. For Chin, who was born and raised in this city, the spirit of Los Angeles shifts at sunset as the metropolis’ iconic atmospheric light changes and becomes filled with deep oranges and pinks.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

Hope you had a restful holiday weekend. Here are some travel tidbits from airports you may be visiting soon. Or may want to.

First: check out this nice assortment of souvenir snow globes I spotted over the weekend at the Budapest Airport. Quality-wise, these are nicer than the snow globes we come across in many airports, and these had a nice assortment of local buildings to boot!

Will you be passing through St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) before November, 2019?

Courtesy STL Airport

If so, be sure to look for the exhibit sent over by the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) that highlights the special connection between plants and people through history. Plants and People: The Collections of the Missouri Botanical Garden is on display through November 10, 2019 in the Lambert Gallery near the C Concourse exit in Terminal 1 .

Here are some more snaps from the exhibit:

Courtesy STL Airport
Courtesy STL Airport

And, at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the SFO Museum has a new exhibition all about… Victorian pedestals.

Sounds like an odd topic, but we trust the SFO Museum to bring us exhibits that not only look intriguing but teach us something as well.

Here’s the pitch on the pedestals:

Victorian pedestals, meant to showcase sculpture, are fascinating decorative art objects to behold. The most ornate pedestals were made in the United States during the Gilded Age—a time following the Civil War until the turn of the twentieth century, when the country experienced rapid economic growth. From the mid-1860s through the 1880s, in particular, collecting and displaying sculpture led to an increased demand for pedestals. Wealthy Victorians preferred elaborate furniture on a grand scale and richly ornamented rooms. Several pedestals displaying artistic objects might adorn the drawing room or parlor. Victorians selected pedestals that suited their tastes and living interiors. Pedestals, as a result, offer an intriguing look at the design styles popular at the time.

Courtesy SFO Museum

The Style of Display: Victorian Pedestals is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport through January 12, 2020.

Welcome back: cool(est) art at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) starting buying and commissioning art back in 1972.

The collection is now worth millions of dollars and includes work by many noted artists, including Frank Stella, Louis Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg and many local and regional artists.

One of the more fun and fantastical works is by the MacArthur genius award-winning artist Trimpin.

And it is one of my favorites.

“On: Matter, Monkeys and the King,” is a colorful, 80-foot-long, Rube Goldberg-style kinetic musical contraption that can – once again – be found in Concourse A at Sea-Tac airport.


According to the airport art tour, Trimpin’s airport installation is a metaphor for the movement of travelers throughout the airport.

The mulimedia and kinetic piece is intended to depict “what sound looks like.” Two interactive mobile “contraptions,” as Trimpin calls them, are constructed from found objects. The work is witty and charming, embodying both sound and rhythm. The colorful shapes you see on the roof modulate in different ways the sound originating from within the glass case.

Here’ a short video of Trimpin describing the piece – and the work in action.

The work is charming. It is witty. And it is very complicated. And, sadly, it stopped working a while back.

For months the piece stood still. Then parts start disappearing. Then the 80-foot long glass case was empty. And I was pretty sure it wasn’t coming back.

But it did! Trimpin returned to the airport a few weeks back and fixed it.

Thank-you!

(All photos courtesy Port of Seattle/Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and Trimpin)