Here at Stuck at the Airport, we’re big fans of the art and history exhibits passengers can enjoy while waiting for their planes. And we’re delighted to see that – pandemic or not – airport art programs are marching forward.
At Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) there’s a new LA Scenes group exhibition in Terminal 1.
And, in conjunction with the National Arts Program, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority is hosting the 13th annual Employee Art Show.
The colorful exhibition showcases 132 pieces by 88 airport artists drawn from tenants and vendors, staff, family, and retirees of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.
This show began in 2007 and includes works ranging from paintings, works on paper, photography, mixed media, sculptures, and crafts.
Look for this show in RNO’s depARTures Galler, located post-security in the C concourse through August 4, 2021
July 22 was artist Alexander Calder’s birthday, giving us an excuse to share some photos of his work in airports and on airplanes.
The photo above is of Calder in 1957 inspecting the installation of his work originally titled .125, after the gauge of the aluminum elements in Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (then Idlewild Airport). The piece was later redubbed Flight.
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) also has a work by Alexander Calder in its collection. This piece is titled, appropriately enough, Pittsburgh.
Calder’s work also appeared on Braniff International Airways airplanes in the mid-1970s.
The first was a Douglas DC-8 known as Flying Colors of South America. The second was a Boeing 727-200 named Flying Colors of the United States.
To learn more about the airplanes Calder painted for Braniff, see this article from 2020 by Chris Sloan in Airways Magazine.
Phase One of the project brought us a swanky new Alaska Airlines lounge, restaurants and shops, and bright new gate areas.
Phase Two includes the two gates that opened today in advance of 10 more gates that will open at the end of June. This upgraded space has a mezzanine area and a central atrium that will offer a live performance stage, lots of seating, and great views out to the airfield thanks to a giant wall of windows. And new dining and retail options will include PF Chang’s, Beecher’s, SEA Roast Coffee House, and a branch of Seattle-based outdoor store Filson.
This is our home base airport, so we were excited to mask up and take a tour.
First: Cookies. All Airport Events Must Have Cookies.
Passengers riding up the escalator from the train level at SEA’s North Satellite are now met with an impressive sculpture titled “Boundary.” Seattle-based artist John Grade created this life-sized portrayal of the expanding root structure of an old-growth Western Red Cedar.
The work is 40 feet high, extends 25 feet out from the wall, and stretches 85 feet across – a distance, the airport notes, is equal to the wingspan of a Boeing 737.
Blackleaf, by Montana artist Deborah Butterfield is cast in bronze from pieces of driftwood.
Bathrooms that use rainwater to flush toilets
We are disappointed that the newest restrooms in the North Satellite don’t have that much-appreciated red light/green light feature found in some SEA lavs that let you know which stalls are empty.
But we are pleased these restrooms make use of rainwater collected off the roof to flush the toilets. That will help save 2.8 million gallons of potable water annually – the equivalent of 4.5 Olympic swimming pools.