New depARTures: San Diego Airport’s Terminal 2 debuts public-art collection

Jim Campbell’s ‘The Journey’ is the airport’s largest artwork, a 700-foot-long light ribbon of 38,000 LED pendants emitting images of swimmers. Photos by Maurice Hewitt

By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt

Eight years ago, the Airport Authority Board adopted an Airport Art Master Plan that included a new collection of site-specific artwork at San Diego International Airport. That vision of an artful gateway to the region guided their major expansion project. Completed last August, “Green Build” Terminal 2, won a 2013 Orchid from the San Diego Architectural Foundation for Interior Architecture and Public Art.

Stuart Keeler and his two-story aluminum tubing and Swarowski crystal ‘Cloud’.

The jury appreciated the airport’s extensive use of glass, maximizing natural light and providing stunning views, and was impressed by the breadth and brilliance of the art installations, hailing the project as “the beginning of a new era of fresh thinking about public art.”

Flushed with success, the Airport Authority scheduled an Aesthetics and Authenticity Symposium, inviting speakers from around the country to discuss the role that art, design and culture could play in promoting a region’s prosperity and quality of life. The date was set for a mid-October weekend; the place selected was the Southwest Fisheries Science Center on La Jolla Shores Drive, whose award-winning blend of form, function and sustainability made it a perfect choice.

Po Sun Wang and his Relativator, inspired by Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity.

Then came last fall’s government shutdown; the Fisheries Center, a federal building, was closed, and the symposium cancelled.

But this month, Aesthetics and Authenticity came together for about 80 registrants, no longer in La Jolla, but at the New Central Library downtown. It kicked off the evening of March 7, with a magical mystery tour of the new airport art.

Welcoming the tour-goers was the symposium’s organizer, Airport Art Program Manager Constance White. An artist and jewelry designer herself, she has been the power behind the airport’s expanding art since 2006. She led one of the two tour groups, which included brief talks by the main artists, and a close look at the eight great new pieces.

At the post-tour reception, she was exultant. “We really planned in a strategic way to implement this program, and to see it come together after eight years is enormously gratifying,” White said. “It wasn’t all peaches and strawberries, but there was so much integrity and creativity from the artists. I’m ready to do it again!”

Leslie Nemour with one of her ‘women in film’ on display at the West End Gallery.

Viewing the art at Terminal 2: From outside the building, Franka Riehnelt’s and Claudia Reisenberger’s “Sublimare” – featuring patterns of giant kelp leaves – represent San Diego’s undersea kelp forests on the underside of the two-level concrete roadway and flanking the check-in pavilions. Roy McMakin’s bronze windows are suspended from the glass walls of the two pedestrian bridges. The rest of the artworks are on the far side of the security checkpoint and can be viewed only by in-transit passengers on American Airlines, US Air, United, Delta or Jet Blue. Allow time for viewing on your next trip!

Related posts:

  1. What Comes to Mind: Joyce Cutler-Shaw’s art exhibit combines nature, science at La Jolla’s Athenaeum
  2. Lux Art Institute begins seventh season of resident artists
  3. Lux Art Institute begins seventh season of resident artists
  4. Dragon the Line: La Jolla Community Foundation unveils newest public art installation
  5. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner helps celebrate 2012 Art Prize winners at La Jolla’s Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

Short URL:

Posted by Pat Sherman on Apr 14, 2014. Filed under A & E, Art, Featured Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Summer 2014 Carmel Valley Open Basketball League Champs: ‘Carmel Valley Spurs’ August 30, 2014
    On Aug. 18, the Carmel Valley Spurs defeated the Solana Beach Stray Cats, 67-41, in the 5th/6th grade championship game in the Master Sports Carmel Valley OPEN Basketball League. Over a 10-game season, the offense scored 659 points while giving up only 364 on defense. The average game score was 66-36. They had the best rebounders, best shooters, and best def […]
  • Hundreds turn out for Carmel Valley planning board meeting on One Paseo August 30, 2014
    Hearts and visions collided at the Aug. 28 Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting, where an overflow crowd turned out to debate the future of the last major slice of the community left to be developed. All 400 seats in Canyon Crest Academy’s theater were filled, and people spilled out into the aisles and crammed into standing-room only spots in the b […]
  • Del Mar Library book-to-movie club picks fall reads August 30, 2014
    Print Goes to the Movies, a book/movie discussion group held at the Del Mar Branch Library at 2 p.m. every second Friday, has announced its upcoming dates and movies. […]