Travel Tidbits: airports offer art, history & music

MKE Slalom

“Slalom” at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Int’l Airport

Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport has a new piece of art – a kinetic work by Tim Prentice called Slalom in the baggage claim area.

The piece includes a gently undulating ribbon of reflective kinetic elements that float overhead and weave through the building’s support columns and will create an “ever-changing sequence of varied and unpredictable effects,” said Prentice.

SFO Museum presents: I Love You, California


Red diamond rattlesnake skeleton. Courtesy of Ray Bandar & SFO Museum

At San Francisco International Airport, the SFO Museum is presenting “I Love You, California,” an exhibit exploring the state’s natural history through the collections of the California Academy of Sciences. Look for “invertebrates from abalone to deep sea squid, birds such as acorn woodpeckers and tufted puffins, plant pressings including the state flower, the California poppy, land and marine mammal skulls, fossils, and a myriad of minerals,” illustrating the diversity of the “Golden State.”

The exhibit is in the Departures Level, pre-security, of SFO’s International Terminal through January, 2016, but if you don’t think you’ll be going that way before then you can see a selection of the items displayed here.

Free concerts

And in the Washington, D.C. area, Washington Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport are presenting the fifth season of the Summer Jazz Series of free concerts.


At Dulles, the concerts will take place near the East Security Checkpoint on the ticketing level between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. On Thursday July 30th, Two Smooth Duo will offer R&B tunes; on Thursday August 13, Lennard Jack and Fusion will play Caribbean jazz.

At Reagan National, concerts will be held from 12:30 to 2 p.m. pre-security on the Concourse Level across from Cosi near Terminal C or across from Cibo near Terminal B. The line-up includes the Heart Song Trio on Thursday, July 23, Lennard Jackson and Fusion on Friday, July 31 and the Potomac Jazz Project (classical jazz) on both Thursday, August 6 and Thursday, August 13. More details here.

(More) fresh airport art – at DCA & IAD

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Arts Program has rolled out two new exhibits – one at at Ronald Reagan Washington National and another at Washington Dulles International Airport. Both will be on display until May 30.

American Hollyhock

American Hollyhock,” by artist Beata Murawska is one of the works on display at Reagan National Airport.

At Reagan National Airport “Color of Joy: An International Perspective” showcases art from around the world, including collages, abstract, mixed-media and other artistic expressions. Look for the exhibit in the airport’s Gallery Walk art corridor, near the underground walkway connecting Terminal A with the parking garages.

Fall near Sycamore Island

“Down By the River” is at Washington Dulles International Airport in the Gateway Gallery, located in the connecting walkway between the AeroTrain C-Gates and the C Concourse.

The exhibit includes photos of scenes along the Potomac River and were provided by the f11Women’s Photography Collective, which has more than 40 photos on display at the airport.

Nikki Giovanni at Reagan Washington National Airport

If you’re passing through Reagan Washington National Airport on Monday morning, February 27, 2012, around 10 a.m. then make your way to the historic lobby of Terminal A for a poetry slam.

The event is part of the airport’s Black History Month celebration and the local high school students competing will be judged by  a panel that includes Nikki Giovanni, a well-known poet and a New York Times Bestsellers List author; Amy Young, poet laureate from Alexandria, Va.; and Vincent Young, published author, artist and Airports Authority employee.

Following the Poetry Slam, Nikki Giovanni will read selections from her works and answer questions from the audience. A real treat!

Airports named for U.S. presidents

In honor of Presidents Day, here’s a round-up of airports in the U.S. named for presidents.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK): Originally Idlewild Airport (built over Idlewild Golf Course), it was airport rededicated as John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, in memory of the nation’s 35th president.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Texas was named Houston Intercontinental Airport until 1997.

(Drawing of proposed National Airport ca. 1935; courtesy DC Public Library Commons)

Washington’s National Airport (DCA) was renamed Reagan National Airport in 1998.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR)  in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was Kent County International Airport until December, 1999.

And let’s not forget Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (SPI) in Springfield, Illinois and Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport (DIK) in Dickinson, North Dakota.

Are we missing any?