With the holiday season upon us, thousands of folks will flock to one of the world’s busiest airports, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. And, like many savvy travelers, factoring in extra time before takeoff is part of the strategy to help ease the hustle and bustle. What to do with that spare time? Perhaps grab a leisurely bite, take in some last-minute shopping, or better yet, explore the creative energy through the airport’s ATL Airport Art program.
In its 25th year, the award-winning program celebrates Georgia’s visual arts scene and its local and regional artists. Among them are Georgia State-affiliated faculty, alumni and students from the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design. One memorable art commission dates back nearly two decades when the school’s director, Joe Peragine, created “Brute Neighbors,” a whimsical sculpture installation of more than 200 foot-long red ants crawling throughout the ceiling of the baggage-claim areas.
Today, the program commissions site-specific artwork, curates rotating exhibits, and boasts over 1,000 works of art in one of the largest public art sites in the Southeast. There are more than 20 art installations and exhibitions currently stationed throughout the airport’s concourses, corridors, Transportation Mall and atrium, etc.
The airport recently unveiled a mural commission by alumnus Wihro Kim (B.F.A. '15). The large-scale 16 Ft. mural, "A New Plane Blooming," is located on the second floor of the Delta domestic baggage claim area. Set in Kim's signature style, he presents viewers with an ambiguous contradictory surface that feels simultaneously recognizable yet unnameable, whole, but permeable. "I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to present my work at Hartsfield-Jackson," said Kim. "I feel honored and humbled for this recognition."
Along with Kim, the program includes fellow Georgia State-affiliated artists, found across the airport’s campus:
- T Terminal brings together White Space Gallery artists, including Professor Craig Dongoski, alumni Melissa Huang & Drew Tetz (M.F.A. ‘21) and alumna Sonya Young James (B.F.A. ’01).
- South Terminal Concourse T highlights a selection of MOCA GA’s permanent collection curated by Hope Cohn and includes Professor Emeritus Larry Walker along with alumni Krista Clark (M.F.A. ’16) and Sheila Pree-Bright (M.F.A. ’03).
- Concourse E features surreal sculptures by ceramics alumni Kourtney Stone (M.F.A. ’21) and RJ Sturgess (M.F.A. ’20).
- Concourse E and F Connector Corridor is the venue for the “Veneers” installation by alumna Amy Landesberg (M.V.A. ’79).
Upcoming ATL Airport Art programming includes an artist-in-residence program for writers, choreographers and visual artists, as well as a micro-cinema movie theater where passengers can enjoy free, short films by Georgia filmmakers and documentarians.
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