Sacramento International Airport

Cats – sort of – at Sacramento International Airport

Here’s a sample of the art on exhibit at Sacramento International Airport through mid-April as part of the In the Studio: Public Artists in Their Private Spaces exhibition.

Gerald Heffernon art work

The exhibition, which fills 10 display cases in Terminal B, features sculpture, oil painting and other studio artwork of some well-known public artists from the Sacramento area, including Suzanne Adan, Gerald Heffernon, Kurt Steger, Willem de Groot, Jack Nielsen, Michael Stevens and Richard Feese.

The pieces in Gerald Heffernon’s Cat Book Cats Case (above) are whimsical and sort of scary and include Neckless Guinea, Sabertoothed Tabby, Cabbit, and Caterpunk

Heffernon also made the bronze “Rabbits Reading” sculpture in Sacramento’s Shasta Park. Two rabbits read, one from a book, the other from a laptop computer.

Souvenir Sunday: get some gold at Sacramento International Airport

AYP Novelty Shop from UW Libraries, digital collection

Sunday is Souvenir Sunday here at StuckatTheAirport.com. It’s the day we take a look at some of the fun, inexpensive and “of” a city items you might pick up when you’re stuck at the airport.

This Sunday’s souvenir comes to us from Sacramento International Airport.

Sacramento Made fruit crate label

Back in 1848, you may remember from your history books, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, not far from Sacramento. This set off the California Gold Rush and a massive migration to California.

Today, you don’t have to go to all that trouble of mining for gold in Sacramento. You can just pick up a few of these tiny gold-filled bottles at the airport on your way home.

Sacramento Airport Gold Jars

Do you poke around for souvenirs when you’re stuck at the airport? If you see something fun, inexpensive ($10 or less) and “of” the city or region, please snap a photo and send it along to use here at StuckatTheAirport.com.  Your souvenir may be featured on a future edition of Souvenir Sunday.

Airports with great artwork

On the road but no time to visit the art museum? Don’t fret: along with fine dining, boutique shopping and full-service spas, top-notch art collections are now permanent amenities at many airport terminals.

For a slide-show on MSN.com, I pulled together examples of some of the fun stuff you’ll find in 15 airports in North America.

You can see the full slide show by visiting the story on MSN.com Travel: Airports with the Best Artwork,  but here’s a preview:

DFW STANDING OVATION

Artwork, some of it Texas-sized, by more than 30 local, national and internationally known artists dots DFW: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Terminal D and the Skylink train stations. Look down to see elaborate medallions in the terrazzo floors, look up to see giant murals and mobiles and look straight ahead to see unusual sculptures such as Anitra Blayton’s 16-foot tall “Standing Ovation,” (above) made from the casts of hundreds of pairs of hands.

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) the flying corncob on Concourse E is Craig Nutt’s work: “Corncorde,”

ATL Corncorde

And at Sacramento International Airport (SMF) the big attraction is the supersized “Samson,” a sculpture in the Terminal A baggage-claim area made of two 23-foot tall towers of stacked luggage made of 1,400 pieces of cast-offs donated by area residents.

Sacramento - SamsonTo see more fun airport art, see the full-length slide show on MSN.com travel: Airport with the Best Artwork.

If I missed some great airport that you especially like, please let me know!

Love the layover: Easter Bunny Fly-in

Hoping to see the Easter Bunny at the airport?

Travelers passing through Sacramento International Airport won’t get to see Lawrence Argent’s giant, 56-foot long fiberglass red rabbit until 2011, when the airport’s new Terminal B is scheduled to open.

red_rabbit

In the meantime, be on the lookout for a surprise Easter Bunny appearance at a major airport near you – or head on over to New Jersey’s tiny Solberg-Hunterdon Airport, about 35 miles west of New York City, where the Easter Bunny is scheduled to arrive by airplane for the annual fly-in family day.

bunny-balloon

And travelers who find themselves in or around Boston this holiday weekend might want to hop on over to the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge and take a gander at the egg-ceptional (non-chocolate) eggs in the museum’s “egg spiral.”

boston-egg

Egg specimens in the spiral range in size from a hummingbird egg the size of a coffee bean to the real, basketball-sized egg of the extinct elephant bird, or Aepyornis, which died out in Madagascar in the early 1700’s.

By the way: if this egg still had all its contents, it would hold approximately two and a half gallons – the equivalent of 180 hen’s eggs.

(Egg spiral photo by Adam Blanchette, courtesy Harvard Museum of Natural History)


Head to an airport for sales, Santas and songs

(Yummy stuff from Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport)

It may seem unnatural to blend a holiday shopping excursion with a trip to the airport, but this season many airports are working overtime to court you and your gift-buying dollars with prizes, promotions, festive décor, and lots of top-notch entertainment.

(A TSA choir -really- will perform at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)

There are plenty of other reasons to shop for holiday gifts at an airport. Over the past few years, airports have been steadily upgrading the quality and variety of their concessions. Stores generally open early and close late to accommodate travelers’ wacky schedules. And many airports impose a “street pricing” policy, which means that the prices charged inside the airport must closely match the prices at local malls. Besides, if you travel by air, you’re already spending a lot of time hanging out in airports. So you may as well be merry while you multi-task.

Where are the best deals? At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Sacramento International Airport you can pick up discount coupon books. Oregon’s Portland International Airport has a holiday festival with food sampling, demonstrations and a drawing for tickets on JetBlue. (You can enter on-line.) And check out the Frankfurt Airport’s Web site for a chance to win a big diamond.

There’s lots more information about airports offering holiday shopping specials and entertainment in my “At the Airport” column posted today on USAToday.com