Airport art

Fresh art at LAX, RNO, and SFO Airports

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

Airports, airplanes & Alexander Calder

Courtesy Calder Foundation

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.

Courtesy Library of Congress

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) also has a work by Alexander Calder in its collection. This piece is titled, appropriately enough, Pittsburgh.

Courtesy Pittsburgh International Airport

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.

Courtesy of the Calder Foundation

To learn more about the airplanes Calder painted for Braniff, see this article from 2020 by Chris Sloan in Airways Magazine.

Fresh art at Miami Int’l Airport

Brian Reedy, UFO over Bombay, 2020

UFOs have been in the news lately. So we are pleased to see a piece of art featuring a UFO included in a new exhibition at Miami International Airport.

Key West and Other Unusual Places includes printed works by Miami-based visual artists and printmakers Brian Reedy and Tom Virgin.

Reedy has a fascination with the supernatural and Asian architecture. So the work above, UFO over Bombay, makes sense.

Tom Virgin’s work reflects his travels across the United States.

Tom Virgin, Big Shark (from Escape Series), 

The exhibit will be on display in the The Eye Has to Travel Gallery near Gate D29 until October, 2021.

Airports mark National Selfie Day, Pride Month, and a magical painting

Sharing some of the Tweets airports shared on Monday about National Selfie Day, about short films to watch to celebrate Pride Month, and about the return of a magical painting.

SEA Airport reveals next phase of revamped North Satellite

Courtesy Port of Seattle

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s 1970s-era North Satellite is undergoing a much needed, multi-year makeover to create a state-of-the-art facility to serve Alaska Airlines flights.

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.

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New Construction Means New Art

This North Satellite project add 10 new pieces of art to the airport’s impressive collection. Some of the new works are tucked into the existing Nursing Suites. Others are already installed and are hard to miss.

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.

Courtesy Port of Seattle

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.