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Art at Dallas Fort Worth Airport - Part 3
Airport terminals can be the most sterile of spaces, but art can transform them into meaningful and exciting places. Nowhere is this more true than at Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Texas. This modern and expanding airport is home to a wide range of art forms, from sculptures to terrazzo, from enormous paintings to magnificent floors. Having recently spent several hours in this airport we were able to enjoy and experience some of the unique art exhibits that are displayed throughout this terminal building.
It would be difficult to ignore the huge cast bronze, acrylic and terra cotta sculpture called ‘Standing Ovation’ by Anitra Blayton, which dominates the entrance to the south ticketing hall. This 3-D form rises from the floor and is made of a dense tower of life-sized hands, which appear to be clapping. Each of these pairs of hands is cast from different people of all ages and backgrounds. From a distance it looks like a giant flower, 16 feet tall. It is green at its base, then white, finishing with red at the top. The hands are actually of older people at the bottom, with adults in the middle and children’s hands right at the red top. The word ovation is defined as ‘enthusiastic prolonged applause’, or ‘a show of public homage or welcome’ and this piece of art certainly provides a welcoming image as you enter this huge hall. I defy anyone who does not reach out and touch these hands to shake them. It is almost impossible not to do so, as they appear to reach out to you.
Another sculpture which is very hard to ignore is ‘Wish’ by Terry Allen. This 20ft by 12 ft cast bronze wishbone is just waiting for you to reach out and pull the raised leg of this giant bone. Again, it is difficult not to try to make a wish, just as you would do with the wishbone from a cooked chicken. Whilst we were there numerous people stood and did just that! Perhaps they were wishing that their luggage would not get lost, or that their flights would not be delayed!
Cypress Trees, by Arthello Beck, is a calm, beautiful medallion set into the floor by Gate D33-34. It portrays the cypress tree, which is an evergreen tree found throughout the world. It has small cones and scale-like leaves. The wood can be fragrant and has a number of uses from boats and roof shingles to pencil making. Below the cypress trees are delicate egrets, that snowy white wading bird with long necks and long legs. These slender and graceful creatures give this medallion a soothing and relaxing feel, ideal in an area where everyone seems to be rushing about and getting from one place to another.
Dennis Blagg’s huge painting, Cosmic Big Bend Landscape, on panels of maple wood shows the rugged landscape of the Boquillas Canyon in the Big Bend National Park. It was created using a grid system, and from a distance it is impossible to tell that this painting is, in fact, made up of thousands of small panels. This landscape typifies some of the vast and rugged landscape of Texas. Each of the 2, 355 six inch panels is entire in itself, and when put together makes a huge 14 by 42 ft horizontal mural. When seen from a distance it is quite awe-inspiring.
Who would think that an airport could provide such a rich environment? Take a look around when you next pass through an airport, you may well be surprised.
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