Travel Tidbits: Fresh Art at SFO

(Dancing figure by Gabriel Bien-Aimé, Courtesy SFO Museum)

A new exhibition from the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) celebrates the Haitian art form of cut-metal sculpture.

The exhibit, titled The Enduring Spirit of Haitian Metal Sculpture, is located pre-security in the International Departures Hall at SFO.

Here’s some background on this art form, courtesy of the SFO Museum:

Discarded steel oil drums have historically served as the base material for Haitian metal artists. The drums are flattened into sheets and designs are chalked on; pieces are then cut and sculpted using only hand tools and further enhanced by hammering, embossing, cutting holes, and bending the metal. Sculptures reflect everyday life portraits, imaginative themes, and motifs of Haitian Vodou, an African Diasporic religion. Some of the many forms that appear include angels and winged creatures, mermaids and other aquatic figures, musical bands, animals, and earthly, paradisiacal scenes.

Entwined figures by Georges Liautaud. Courtesy SFO Museum

Stuck at the Airport: Art at Albany Int’l Airport

(Artist: Sharon Bates)

Art – and a smartly curated art program – can turn a long wait at an airport into a rewarding cultural adventure.

And the team at New York’s Albany International Airport (ALB) caught onto that fact early on.

The airport created an Art & Culture Program back in 1998 when only a handful of other airports were presenting artwork.

And now, 25 years later, travelers at Albany International Airport can rely on being able to spend time in the airport enjoying permanent art installations, great temporary exhibitions, and exhibit cases showcasing treasures from area museums and cultural organizations.

(Adirondack Folk School exhibit cases at ALB)

The Stuck at the Airport art review team is looking forward to seeing the current exhibition in ALB’s Concourse A, titled Souvenir, in part because it features work by Sharon Bates, the founding director of Albany International Airport’s Art & Culture Program.

The Souvenir exhibit features artwork submitted to the participatory magazine, Cut Me Up, and Bates’ contribution was a series of miniature versions of some of her most memorable installations at ALB.

We hope she has made some extras, so we can take home some souvenirs.

“A Necessary Departure” at San Diego Int’l Airport

(“Blue Corona: Sunset Dances”/Artist: Lori Hepner/Location:Terminal 2 West, Post-Security, Stone Brewery Wall)

San Diego International Airport (SAN) is featuring a new temporary exhibition, titled A Necessary Departure, throughout Terminal 2 pre-and-post security.

A Necessary Departure is a collection of works from 17 local artists and organizations that examines personal transformations and how the community has remade itself after the pandemic.

Featured work in the exhibition includes sculpture, painting, photography, ceramics, site-specific installation, and more. All exhibition pieces will remain on display through 2023.

Here is a sample of artwork from the show.

[“Oneness.” Artist: San Diego MTO School/Kerry Soori McEachern. Location: Terminal 2 East, Pre-Security, Gallery]

(“The Wonders of Plastic”/ Artist: Terri Hughes-Oelrich/Location: Terminal 2 East 2nd floor, Post-Security, gate 24)

(“Farverig Sol”/ Artist: Kaori Fukuyama/Location: Terminal 2 East, Pre-Security, Checkpoint six)

All photos courtesy of San Diego International Airport

Travel Tidbits: Fresh Art at IND and RNO Airports

Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) has a new interactive mural, titled “Fly With Us,” by local artist Matthew McDowell that invites passengers to take pictures with their mural ‘wings.’

Coming Soon to IND Airport

 Art-filled Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is getting a new major piece of public art.

Indianapolis artist Brenna McCarty has been commissioned to create a new art piece that will be the first permanent art installation since the new terminal opened in 2008. 

Scheduled to be installed this fall, the new artwork will be a 40’ by 100’ hanging sculpture representing unity and global connection.

It will be suspended above the escalators and stairs leading into the Baggage Claim area of the terminal, so should be hard to miss.

Happy 25th Anniversary to PHL’s Art Program

 Congratulations to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), and Director of Guest Experience/art program curator Leah Douglas, on the 25th anniversary of the airport’s award-winning Airport Exhibitions Program.

Since 1998, local artists and arts organizations have filled PHL’s terminals with more than 500 unique exhibitions.

“PHL has a unique opportunity with its global audience to promote Philadelphia’s unique treasures to the world – its arts, culture, and history,” said Douglas. During the 25 years of the program, Douglas has drawn on the talents of local artists, the region’s cultural and creative organizations, and the holdings of the city’s museums to keep the art exhibits at PHL airport fresh, inviting, and inspiring.

Some of our favorite exhibitions include the Bottle Clock and the time PHL invited local people to display their special collections.

Beer Bottle Clock

PHL offers 32 exhibitions annually in 16 locations throughout the airport and has four locations where the artwork remains on view long-term. There are also live artist demonstrations.

So if you’re passing through PHL airport, don’t just sit at your gate, go see some art.

For a bit of encouragement, check out the “PHL HeART Scavenger Hunt Challenge” developed by Eric Dale. Twenty-five hearts made by local street artist Amberella are hidden throughout Terminals A-East and A-West. Guests finding 10 or more by following clues on QR codes can win prizes.