On our flight to Costa Rica we had a layover in the airport in Atlanta for several hours but the time went by quickly as I enjoyed the art on exhibit in every area of the Hartsfield-Jackson terminal. The purpose of the work displayed is not only to entertain passengers but also to introduce them to the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia even if they never leave the airport. Here are some of the pieces I saw. Corncorde is by artist Craig Nutt. The form was inspired by the jet liners at the airport but the artist said he used a corn cob because corn is such a staple food in the American south and indigenous people were growing it before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Craig Nutt says two of his favorite traditional southern dishes are cornbread and hominy grits.
In RE: E28 artist Jo Walters has created birds, fish and mammals that are native to the forests, mountains and coastal waters of Georgia. Joni Mabe’s installation is called Southern Icons. It features famous people born in Georgia like baseball players Ty Cobb and Jackie Robinson, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, singer Otis Redding and author Mary Flannery O’Connor.
Out of Many One by Sammie Nicely is a collection of masks made of clay and found objects that remind viewers of the African heritage of many of Georgia’s residents.This etching of downtown Atlanta by artist Michael Ehlbeck is called Sunday- May 12, 1996- 4:23 p.m.In Kudze Frieze by Dana Cibulski the top panel alludes to the location of the artwork in the airport, the soaring, swirling birds are a symbol of aeronautics. The kudze plant shown in the lower panel was introduced to Georgia from Japan and has run amok devouring forests and creeping onto highways. Because it has spread everywhere it has become a sort of unofficial state symbol even though it is thought of as a menace. This piece by Hoang Van Bui is shaped like the state of Georgia. It is called Common Dance and the bamboo plants at one end, are a recognition of the many immigrant families from Asia, including the artist’s, who are an important part of Georgia society. The empty space in the sculpture is a symbol of how many immigrants feel when the first arrive and are still homesick in their new surroundings.
I saw many other art displays in the airport- one by children from Atlanta schools, a puppetry exhibition, and a ceramics show by local artisans and that was only in our wing of the airport. There is enough artwork in the Atlanta airport to fill a traditional gallery and it is all on view free of charge for passengers.