Mosaic Columns in SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

Our West Coast junket took us through five airports, so tons of public art was glimpsed with one eye while sprinting with luggage and keeping the other eye peeled on “departures” screens. This installation in SeaTac Airport, the oh-so-insightfully named Mosaic Columns managed to catch a few minutes of my attention.

Created by artists Juan Alonso, Rudy Autio, Marlene Bauer, Amy Cheng, Peter de Lory, Sam Gilliam, JoAnne Hammer, Robert Yoder, and Susan Zoccola, the columns do not speak to each other on any level [well, okay, medium — but that’s not really food for thought]. I think a multiple column project by one artist could have yielded a more dramatic result for the space.

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

Above, my favorite column of the group, by Peter de Lory, which quickly and easily taught me a local fact that I might one day use to win Final Jeopardy. It’s great when public art can provide a bit of an informative payoff while referencing its locale in an accessible but not entirely superficial way.

Below, another cool column, by Amy Cheng. This one I like because it looks as though it’s wrapped in a huge sheet of origami paper. Weary travelers apparently like shiny objects:

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

The other columns have a bit of that generic public art look that I’ve come to expect. Or, I should say that I didn’t get any lasting payoff from the scant amount of energy I expended while viewing them:

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

mosaic columns at SeaTac Airport

I didn’t have a chance to see the one project I wanted to at SeaTac — the Flower Wall by Nancy Blum.

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7 thoughts on “Mosaic Columns in SeaTac Airport

  1. That top column is amazing. IMO, the different artists actually make this more interesting because they stand out from each other and everything else so much. I helps to escape the airport monotony.

  2. I agree that they are haphazard. It just works for me. Also, from an administrative perspective, it might have made sense to not put all the eggs in one basket. Having different artist helps to insure that more people appreciate at least one of the pieces. Sometimes that is just the way public art works. Rather than have a strong negative reaction from some, it is better to appease everyone.

    I suppose the alternative could be that you try to select a single artist that will appease everyone. Usually that results in some pretty boring art.

  3. Pingback: Looking Back: Best VL Posts of 2009 « Visualingual

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