Port Columbus International Airport

Airport art inspired by Victoria’s Secret catalog

From now through September 7, 2011, Candy Store Grid, an installation of more than 100 12″ x 12″ brightly colored paintings by Bridgette Bogle are on display in the Port Columbus Gateway to The Arts, an exhibition space at Ohio’s Port Columbus International Airport.

According to Bogle, the water-soluble oil paintings are loosely inspired by the bright, bold designs found on Victoria’s Secret flannel pajamas.

“I received the holiday catalog in the mail and each page exploded with color and choice. The pages I fixated on were covered in a diversity of options for flannel pajamas – pink plaid, green stars, big dots, small dots, stripes and hearts. Every hue was represented in a bold cacophony of color and pattern. I was taken in by abundance and wanted to own every style; it was a case of sensory overload,” explained Bogle. “Painting these patterns was a way to purge myself of the desire to own everything, to consume beyond my means, to eat up the entire world. They allowed me to celebrate the boundless choices I saw without having to buy them.”

If you have an extra moment, take a look at Bogle’s blog, which includes a fun account the time spent installing the work at the airport:

“At least ten people asked some variation of which kids / schools made the artwork we were hanging. One woman was even disbelieving when I said it wasn’t kids’ work……”

Fresh airport art at Nashville, Port Columbus and San Francisco Airports

Nashville International Airport  (BNA) has kicked off the winter season of its Flying Solo art series and through mid-March you’ll be able to see work by  Virginia Derryberry

Nashville Airport Virginia Derryberry

Olen Bryant  (below) and others.

Nashville Airport, Oen Bryant

In Ohio, Port Columbus International Airport has an exhibit featuring three painted aerials of the airport by Ryan Orewiler.

Port Columbus_ Orewiler

And, through May 2011, head for the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport to see a selection of 19th century miniature buildings from the collection of Ace Architects.

SFO miniature buildings exhibit Pantheon, Rome

Pantheon, Rome (double inkwell) c. 1870, courtesy Ace Architects

SFO_Arc de Triomphe miniature buidling

Arc de Triomphe, Paris c. 1870, courtesy Ace Architects

More fun freebies at airports

Free is good. And these days many small and mid-size airports are trying to build loyalty by offering travelers free amenities.

In my At the Airport column this month on USAToday.com, I write (again) about the free cookies they hand out at Indiana’s Fort Wayne International Airport as well as some of the fun freebies offered at other airports.

Florida’s  Jacksonville International Airport distributes free flowers to passengers each year on Valentine’s Day and on Mother’s Day.

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport offers free local phone calls year-round.

In Milwaukee, home of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and the Harley-Davidson Museum, the General Mitchell International Airport offers free parking for any traveler who arrives on a motorcycle.

At Ohio’s Port Columbus International Airport, children are given free crayons and blank post-paid postcards and asked to please mail back a picture from their travels for display in an airport gallery. The airport has also purchased its own popcorn machine and hands out free bags of popcorn during quarterly customer appreciation days. “It’s a great way for us to say thanks,” says CMH communications manager Angie Tabor, “Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of popcorn?”

And in Wisconsin, the Outagamie County Regional Airport gives out free toothbrushes.

Airport marketing manager Kim Sippola says: “We noticed that many business travelers would get off the plane, go into the bathroom, and search through their bags for a toothbrush because they were going right from the airport to a meeting. So we thought we’d reduce some stress for our customers by providing them with toothbrushes.”

The airport partnered with a local dentist and now stocks post-security bathrooms with travel-sized oral hygiene kits that contain mouthwash, dental floss and a toothbrush with a single-serving of toothpaste.

Have you found a great airport freebie? Please let us know so we can tell other travelers about it.

Fun art program at Port Columbus Airport

Ohio’s Port Columbus International Airport (CMH) currently has this fun-looking artwork by Helma Groot installed in the exhibit space on the ticketing level of the airport.

Not my baggage

Titled ‘Not My Baggage,’ the work is a collection of two and three dimensional pieces inspired by a series of kids books called ‘A Family From…’ in which families from different countries around the world take their possessions and display them in front of their homes.

COLUMBUS AIRPRT Sabrina_Dallas_TX_10

CMH also has a fun program that I hope won’t get nixed if the airport ever needs to make budget cuts.

The airport gives children traveling through the airport crayons and a post-paid, blank postcard addressed to the airport.  The kids are asked to draw something on the postcard from their trip and drop the postcard in the mail.

Many of those postcards are on display in the terminal building and on-line .

It’s a great idea and a great way to encourage kids to pay attention to what they see when they travel.

Hopefully other airports will give this is a try.

Free chocolate from Air France; free cookies in Columbus


To celebrate the Year of the Ox, which began on January 26th, Air France is giving each passenger on flights to China, Singapore and Vietnam a “Hong Bao,” or red envelope.

Red symbolizes luck, and in China and other Asian countries it is customary to give red envelopes filled with money on the New Year.

Air France is handing out red envelopes through January 28th, but instead of money, the envelopes are filled with chocolate coins.


Meanwhile, in Columbus, Ohio, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are commemorating 50 years of passenger service at Port Columbus International Airport (CMH). Festivities include free cookies for all Delta and United passengers on Thursday, January 29th.


While you’re at Port Columbus International Airport, check out Brushstrokes in Flight, this 26-foot tall sculpture by the late Roy Lichtenstein.