There is more to see at the airport than people and planes. At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, art at the airport has been a long-standing tradition. The program’s roots began in 1962 when the landmark mural, The Phoenix, was commissioned for the new Terminal 2. As the airport expanded, construction was designed with art in mind – but it wasn’t until 1988 that a full-blown museum was established.
This year, the Phoenix Airport Museum celebrates its three-decade anniversary with an exhibition featuring 30 diverse works of art in varying media from the airport’s collection. The exhibition showcases Bill Schenck’s pop-art style painting Superstition Rodeo, an urban-inspired cyanotype by Phoenician Annie Lopez, and a Navajo weaving that commemorates 100 years of powered flight. This exhibition also includes the largest portable piece in the collection – Hopi artist Dan Namingha’s 26-foot-wide landscape painting, and the smallest painting in the collection, measuring 2 inches by 2 inches as well as the first work of art ever donated to the airport collection in 1967.
Today, the Phoenix Airport Museum has become one of the largest airport art programs in the country, with more than 900 works in the permanent collection, an extensive aviation history archive and more than 40 exhibition spaces – and still expanding. Urban landscapes, scenic wonders, local materials and cultural traditions will continue to guide the Phoenix Airport Museum for decades to come.
30 Years – 30 Artworks is on display in two venues at Terminal 4 on level 3. Eight large display cases on the east and west ends are on display through January 9, 2019. The exhibition continues into the Phoenix Airport Museum’s gallery which is on display through June 9, 2019.