Airport World reviews some of the latest new artwork to be showcased at airports across the globe.
In a new first for the industry, VINCI Airports recently celebrated International Women’s Day by simultaneously hosting the first-ever global NFT exhibition showcasing the work of 22 female artists across 20 of its airports in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Brazil, France, Japan, Portugal and Serbia.
Some of the artworks were first presented at the World Economic Forum, raising more than $250,000 for women-led climate solutions for the Great Green Wall – an African-led initiative to create an 8,000 kilometre mosaic of restored land across the width of the Continent from Senegal to Djibouti.
VINCI Airports – working in collaboration with Code Green and the World of Women – believes that the initiative also served as a reminder about how much the airport sector, and mobility in general, contribute to cultural openness, by enabling human contact and the discovery of others.
According to the global airport operator, the activation also highlighted the linkages between technology, environmental protection and gender equality, with women and girls by far the biggest victims of the accelerating climate emergency.
Women currently make up 37% of VINCI Airports’ workforce, with some holding leadership positions as airport CEOs in the Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Brazil, the United States and France.
Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and president of VINCI Airports, noted: “We were proud to put our airports at the service of such a strong environmental message from women artists.
“This collaboration embodied VINCI Airports’ commitment to making transportation more sustainable and more inclusive. Diversity and gender equity are in the DNA of aviation: mobility brings people closer and helps to build an open world.”
Code Green CEO, Inna Modja, said: “It’s inspiring to see a mobility leader like VINCI Airports embrace the fight to decarbonise the transport sector and champion the role of diversity in its network.
“It made them a natural partner in showcasing these powerful artworks at airports across the globe on the occasion of International Women’s Day, highlighting the linkages between climate justice and gender equality to a truly global audience.”
World of Women co-founder and artist, Yam Karkai, commented:
“At World of Women, we like to have an impact beyond the NFT Space. And we believe that this was an example of us realising this, by being able to curate and participate in this first ever worldwide NFT exhibition, beside talented artists.
“We are proud to have achieved this alongside our partner Code Green, and with VINCI airports, which is accelerating its plans to support more women in leading positions, which is typically the type of change we want to see in the world.”
Alexa Meade, Allison Harvard, Amber Vittoria, Diela Maharanie, Dong Lu, Elise Swopes, Inna Modja, Izzako, Livia Elektra, Marjan Moghaddam, Roya and Shavonne Wong are among the digital artists featured in the groundbreaking exhibition.
New kids on the block at Tulsa International Airport
Local artist, Carmen Taylor, has finished a vibrant new mural at Tulsa International Airport called ‘IMAGINE’.
Located outside the Departures roadway across from the American and Delta ticket counters, the mural features three children seated on the backs of scissor-tailed flycatchers soaring through the air in front of the word ‘IMAGINE’.
The kids are engaged in whimsical play as they throw paper airplanes, fly a toy airplane and wave the Tulsa flag.
According to the airport, the ‘G in ‘IMAGINE’ is designed to meld into the shape of Oklahoma with a heart indicating where Tulsa is. The design is said to signify community, playfullness and wonder.
The purpose of this mural, says the airport, is to inspire kids and adults alike to think about the endless possibilities that life has to offer.
“I’m so excited that my mural found a home at Tulsa International Airport. It will be there to see people off on whatever journey they are on, and hopefully remind them to Imagine,” said Taylor.
The airport’s new mural is the first completed project funded by a Tulsa Creates Together Grant. Tulsa Creates Together is a site-specific art campaign presented by Living Arts of Tulsa in partnership with the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
The project aims to encourage collaboration between Tulsa artists and local businesses across the city.
“We’re honoured to have Carmen’s work displayed here at the airport, and we’re grateful for the generous grant that Living Arts of Tulsa and GKFF awarded her to make this possible”, said Stephanie Chester, Tulsa International Airport’s community relations manager.
“The inspiring ‘IMAGINE’ theme is a perfect message for our passengers as they are about to travel and explore new parts of the world.”
Pittsburgh cylinders reflect city’s steel making history
Nationally renowned artists Adam Kuby and Patrick Marold have designed new art installations for Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) as part of its Terminal Modernisation Programme (TMP).
The jewel in the crown of the TMP will, of course, be the airport’s new passenger terminal but operator, Allegheny County Airport Authority, notes that “artwork reflective of Pittsburgh’s steel making history and heritage” will be incorporated in the project.
As a result, the installations include four 20 to 40ft tall cylinders representing Pittsburgh’s emblematic smokestacks, and ‘Cross Currents’, 21 unique patterns scored into the surface of the terminals retaining walls providing a sense of texture and visual character.
Kuby, who created the latter concept, says: “I was trying to bring a sense of the region’s geography, geology and topography and hopefully ground the roads and bridges into the landscape. This was to tie them a little more closely to the land that they’re actually occupying.”
Highlighting the pedestrian walkways surrounding the multi-modal complex, Marold’s intentional design of the ‘Open Columns’ will allow visitors to interact with the installations by stepping inside and experiencing the reflective interior.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Marold designed the hollow columns so that they are large enough to enter. Once inside, a polished metal interior aims to catch the sunlight, presenting a stark contrast to the oxidised exterior.
“There’s this very rich history that newer industries are building on to redefine Pittsburgh. It’s a great city that way,” he said. “It’s not being wiped clean, it’s being built from within, and that’s really exciting and beautiful to see.”
Several more artists have been commissioned to develop concepts, creating original work for various areas inside the new terminal.
The art commissioned for the TMP is an extension of the airport’s robust arts and culture programme, which has hosted artists-in-residence, participated in industry wide virtual concerts and prioritised giving local creatives a platform for their work.
“It was important for the Allegheny County Airport Authority to find the right mix of creative minds to achieve the TMP’s artistic goals, ” enthuses Renee Piechocki, TMP art and design consultant and longtime member of PIT’s Art in the Airport committee.
PIT’s arts and culture manager, Keny Marshall, notes: “Art is an immediate way for people travelling through the airport to connect with their environment and our creative community. So many great conversations about our airport, the art collection and how we fit into the creative community start right here. Our programme creates a place where everyone can collectively appreciate and interact with our region and the world around them.”
Marold has previously worked with airports in Denver, Dallas and Fort Lauderdale, while this is Kuby’s first time creating in an airport setting.
Miami artists sow the seeds of botanical love at MIA
Thirteen Miami-area artists hope to sow seeds of love for the minute details of plants into the hearts and minds of Miami International Airport visitors with Pollinators, a newly installed art exhibition at MIA’s Concourse E pre-security area on the arrivals level near Door 11.
The watercolour and mixed media works in the exhibition focus on plants from South Florida and their animal and insect pollinators, exploring the variety and variability of creatures that pollinate the region’s abundant and unique plant life.
Focusing on these complex natural relationships, members of the Tropical Botanic Artists Collective illustrated birds, butterflies, moths, bees, wasps – even aquatic zooplankton – with the plants they pollinate.
The Tropical Botanic Artists Collective was established in Miami, Florida in 2006 to pursue the beauty of tropical plants through art. Its members come from all walks of life, and each brings a unique viewpoint to their work.
They share the love of the natural world, which is reflected in their admiration for botanical subjects. They hope that their viewers will take a moment to observe the wonders of minute detail in plants and bring these new powers of observation into everyday life.