Airport art

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.

First: Cookies. All Airport Events Must Have Cookies.

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.

Airports celebrate World Art Day

We’re big fans of art at airports.

So we were pleased to see airports around the country celebrating World Art Day by showing off the great art in the terminals.

Here’s a sampling. Let us know if we missed your World Art Day tweet and we will be happy to add it.

Tampa Int’l Airport Turning 50

Tampa International Airport (TPA) turns 50 on Thursday, April 15, and is celebrating with giveaways, a sweepstakes drawing, and special surprises for travelers passing through the terminal that day. 

The airport is hosting a sweepstake with a first prize of a $1,000 gift card for redemption at TPA’s shops and restaurants. The winner will also get a TPA swag basket and an exclusive airfield tour. There will be smaller prizes for second and third place. The contest is open until April 15 at 10 a.m. and winners will be announced later that day. Enter TPA’s sweepstakes here.

If you happen to be at Tampa International Airport on April 15, you’ll also be able to enjoy:

  • Giveaways for every 50th passenger going down the escalator, exiting the shuttles and at other key touchpoints.
  • 50th-anniversary décor around the Main Terminal 
  • A TPA branded photo station 
  • Special anniversary videos playing throughout the Main Terminal and on social media
  • Snacks and treats 

Fresh Art at TPA

Just in time for its 50th anniversary, Tampa International Airport also has some fresh new artwork to its collection. Both “Cove” by Jason Hackenwerth and “Untitled” by Soo Sunny Park are in the newly completed SkyCenter Atrium.

Travel Tidbits from SAT and SEA Airports

Fresh Art for San Antonio International Airport

San Antonio International Airport (SAT) has a new, hard to miss, piece of public art.

“Star of Texas (La Estrella de Texas),” by the renowned Mexican artist Sebastián, now sits on the south side of the SAT airport entrance, on Airport Boulevard.

The work is 17-feet tall and is painted in the artist’s signature fiery red.

“Public Art is a significant part of who we are, representing where we’ve been, where we are, and where we hope to go as a community,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a statement. “The ‘Star of Texas’ speaks to the long-lasting impression San Antonio leaves on visitors and residents alike. Whether visiting San Antonio for the first time or the 100th, or a resident leaving the airport for a vacation, we all know the feeling that keeps us longing for a fast return to this great city.”

Sensory Room + Interfaith Prayer and Meditation Room at SEA Airport

Airports in Pittsburgh, Miami, Atlanta, and elsewhere now have sensory rooms designed to reduce the stress for travelers with neurological or developmental disabilities. The latest airport to offer this feature to travelers is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). The new sensory room at SEA room offers a seated bench area, an orange squeeze chair, a rocking chair, dimmable lighting, a starry night ceiling, wool rock pillows, and other features.

Along with the sensory room, SEA also recently unveiled the Interfaith Prayer and Meditation Room. Features here include dimmable lighting, three alcoves of seating, a kneeling prayer bench, Qibla pointer, and luggage/shoe storage.

Both the Sensory Room and the Interfaith Prayer and Meditation Room at SEA airport are located h the train level of the A Gates Satellite Transit Station (STS) in the long hallway near the elevators.