I have traversed many airport and always enjoy seeing what public works of art there may be to encounter. There is the odd colorful steel train track sculpture in the dead center of a terminal in Denver that I admire for its size and absurdity, there are the delightful mosaics in the floors and strips of stained glass windows found at Ronald Regan in D.C., and there’s the wonderful bird made out of objects that floats over you in the food court in Seattle.
But of all the airports there is only one that I know of that has a good amount of permanent pieces AND an extensive series of rotating exhibition spaces throughout their terminals. The Phoenix Sky Harbor Art Museum is a delightful island of art to encounter in a city that in my opinion more often than not doesn’t necessarily value the arts, let alone local artists. The Sky Harbor Art Program does both.
While in Phoenix in December I had a chance to get together with Lenee Eller, the director of the program and her colleagues. I found a tireless group of art aficionados (and artists themselves) who are dedicated to get a wide spectrum of art out to the general public. Yes, I’m biased. I’ve shown twice with the program one with their exhibit on the millennium in 2000, and another called “Inside/Outside.” What was wonderful in exhibiting with them was the amazing range of folks who I found were exposed to my art. It was refreshing to have individuals that would likely never go to a gallery encountering my work and finding something in it.
Check out the Sky Harbor Art Museum on line at: http://phoenix.gov/skyharborairport/community/art-museum.html