Art

Reassurance from a robot at Pittsburgh Int’l Airport

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, airlines are grounding aircraft and cutting flight schedules. And fewer and fewer travelers are passing through airports.

But in most cities airports are considered essential facilities. So they remain open.

One example: Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), which must stay open not only for the remaining commercial flights currently flying, but because it is home to two military bases: U.S. Air Force and Pennsylvania National Guard.

Anyone passing through PIT airport right now will find it quieter than usual.

But they might notice something different in the art installation known as “Fraley’s Robot Repair.”

Toby Fraley/Blue Sky PIT

Atticus Fraley created this storefront robot repair shop and sometimes makes changes to the items inside.

His most recent addition was to give a robot a hand-lettered sign with an inspirational message for this stressful time:

It says: “Dear Humans, you CAN do this – Robot.”

Let’s hope so!

Heathrow seeking “Most Instagrammable” title

Airports are a competitive lot.

And London’s Heathrow Airport is on a mission to become the world’s most Instagrammable airport.

In an effort to grab the title, Heathrow has commissioned the street artists behind four of the most Instagram-famous murals in the world to recreate their work in its terminals. 

The campaign brings together new renditions of Colette Miller’s iconic angel wings in Los Angeles (above), Rogue One’s ‘Floating Taxi’ in Glasglow, Alice Pasquini’s ‘Above the Lines’ in Rome, and Odeith’s ‘Anamorphic Frog’ in Lisbon. 

The installations are in Terminals 2,3,4, and 5 until this summer. And the airport is hoping that travelers will snap photos of themselves and friends with the images and post them on Instagram to help Heathrow move up from 2nd-most Instagrammed Airport in the World, past South Korea’s Incheon International Airport to #1.

It just may work.

Each artwork measures between 10 and 16 feet, so will be easy to spot. And each is very selfie-friendly.

The pieces are also strategically placed in terminals that have flights to their original street art location, which means that many passengers may also go and see the original and get their photos taken in both places.

Heading that way? Send us your Instagram photo with one of these images at Heathrow.

Curious about which airports are on the “Most Instagrammed” list?

Here you go.

WORLD’S MOST INSTAGRAMMED AIRPORTS

  1. Incheon International Airport, South Korea
  2. Heathrow, London, England
  3. Schipol, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  4. Sheremetyevo, Moscow, Russia
  5. Haneda, Tokyo, Japan
  6. Singapore Changi, Singapore
  7. Gatwick, London, England
  8. Narita, Tokyo, Japan
  9. O’Hare, Chicago, USA
  10. Dubai International, UAE

The street art will be at Heathrow terminals 2,3,4 and 5 in the departure lounges, after security, until the summer. See what people post by following #Heathrow on Instagram.

Airport news from San Diego and Anchorage, Alaska

Courtesy San Diego International Aiport

Monsters at San Diego International Airport

The newest group to land a five-month artist residency at San Diego International Airport (SAN) is Beck+Col.

The Los Angeles-based duo creates performances that explore alternate universes populated by colorful and playful monsters.

During their residency at SAN, lumpy, musical monsters will be visiting the airport and interacting and engaging with passengers with exaggerated gestures and operatic vocalizations.

It could be fun. Or scary.

San Diego International Airport has been hosting artists-in-residence since 2016. The first group to move in was a circus.

REAL ID at Anchorage International Airport

In what seems like a super-helpful, no brainer, Alaska’s Department of Motor Vehicles has created a way for citizens to get the new REAL ID driver’s license at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

This saves a time-consuming separate trip to the DMV offices.

Starting October 1, 2020, only REAL ID driver’s licenses will be accepted by the TSA at airport checkpoints. So here’s hoping airport DMV desks pop up at other airports too.

Super-real sculptures at Florida’s Airports

Miami-Dade County will be hosting Super Bowl LIV in February 2020 and, in preparation, Miami International Airport (MIA) is displaying artist Duane Hanson’s hyperrealist sculpture “Football Player. 

The sculpture is on display on MIA’s Concourse D, between gates D47 and D48 through February 2020 and is on loan from the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum.

MIA isn’t the only Florida airport to display the work of Duane Hanson. Both Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) each have a hyper-realistic Duane Hanson sculptures on permanent display.

At FLL, the Duane Hanson sculpture called “Vendor with Walkman” is in the Baggage Claim area of Terminal 1.

The airport has owned this artwork since 1990.

Orlando International Airport (MCO) has owned Hanson’s “The Traveler” since 1986. The sculpture is located in the Terminal A concourse between the East and West security checkpoints, near the food court.

Beyond these airports, many modern art museums have work by Duane Hanson in their collections.

Hanson, who died in 1996, created a special technique of casting in polyester resins reinforced with fiberglass. He’d make casts of living people and then painstakingly paint the figures to look exactly like the models.

Guitars at Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl Airport

A cool new exhibit about guitars is underway at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Phoenix is home to the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery and right now passengers traveling through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport are being treated to an exhibit featuring nine hand-crafted guitars, including both acoustic and electric style.

Exhibition highlights include Scott Walker’s hand-painted “patina” guitar (above), which has wood body that resembles oxidized metal. Also on display: an unusual 26-string harp-guitar by William Eaton and an electric mandolin by Joe Vallee, whose instruments are collected by prominent musicians like Steve Miller.

Visitors to the PHX Airport Museum exhibit will also find displays of the guitar-making process. Parts of a guitar are presented in an exploded view showing how a guitar is constructed. And the various stages of shaping the wood components of a guitar are explained.

Exploded view of an acoustic guitar, courtesy of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery

Phoenix Airport Museum’s exhibition, Shaping Sound: The Art of Guitar Making, is on view in two display cases at Terminal 4, level 2 near ticketing through May 2020. 

The 30-year old Phoenix Airport Museum has more than 900 pieces in its collection. The museum presents exhibits featuring both items from the collection and from area artists in several galleries throughout the airport.