Airport Art . . .

Sounds like an oxymoron, but San Francisco airport has made quite an effort to mix art in with the sushi bars, taco stands, and yoga meditation centers offered in its terminals.

Spirogyrate caught my eye as I reached my gate, and since I had time to kill, I checked it out.

SF airport art

The piece takes up part of a wall and floor. As you approach it, the circle closest to you lights up and rotates. When you move towards other circles they also go into their act. Only one other traveler showed any interest in this piece. The rest were as one with their electronic devices.

SF Spirogyrate 1

SF Spirogyrate 2

SF airport Spirogyrate 5

SF airport Spirogyrate 3

I thought the designs were appropriate, given that I had just come from a quilting seminar. They remind me of the Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs I loved to make as a child.

hex sign



Filed under Commentary

17 responses to “Airport Art . . .

  1. Also occurred to me that the people who weren’t looking might be frequent enough travelers to have already seen it!

  2. Ontario Airport–the one in SoCal–has different art installations all the time, set up along the walkways to the gates. I haven’t seen quilts there but I don’t fly that much either! Bradley (Hartford/Springfield) has some neat lighting effects too. Come to think of it, I remember some fun stuff in Denver. Maybe this is a new trend?

  3. As someone who spends an excessive amount of time in airports, I love when they incorporate art, interesting spaces, and local culture. While it is something that takes you out of the airport, I have heard that from Singapore’s Changi airport you can go on a night safari at the (world class) Singapore zoo!

  4. Diane Bird

    Next time you are at SFO check out the international terminal. I think they save the best art for that location.

  5. Rebecca

    Not oxymoronic to someone who lived in Seattle in the 70s, when they were truly investing in art at Sea-Tac (including, as I recall, at least one interactive piece.) The last time I was through that airport, seven years ago, I found myself looking at art. Also, I saw an article on-line about an installation at Portland airport of a felted underwater scene. I started “following” the artist, but have seen only one or two postings and cannot remember the name.

    I’m glad Judy mentioned Cleveland. I was beginning to think it was a west coast thing!

    • Maybe an article is needed about airport art. I’d love to see it better publicized. Goodness knows enough people wind up spending more time than they’d like waiting on their plane, being delayed, etc. It would be great if they could look at something that wasn’t a food stand or a fellow passenger trying to sleep.

      Also, I think art is becoming part of renovations at airports – that whole movement to make airports more appealing. If an airport has had a recent facelift I think it may be more likely to have some art. The SF airport had been recently redone and was quite sleek.

  6. Judy

    Wonderful. I love that it is interactive. Cleveland also has some art as does Detroit. I embrace public art as one way of drawing in people who might never go to a gallery or a museum.

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