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Impressive new artwork for Pittsburgh International Airport


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 20-40ft 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 and geology and topography and hopefully sort of ground the roads and bridges into the landscape.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.”

Both Kuby and Marold have extensive experience with large-scale public art, which is part of what brought them to the Pittsburgh project. Marold has done work for airports in Denver, Dallas and Fort Lauderdale, while this is Kuby’s first time creating in an airport setting.


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