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The United Terminal at Chicago O’Hare International Airport just got a little artsier.
“City Windows,” a permanent art installation has been unveiled near gate B19, It was created by Chinese artist Qiao Xiaoguang and it’s pretty awesome. So awesome, it might not make us so pissed off to fly United anymore.
The ancient art of Chinese paper cutting was used to create a panorama of iconic images from Chicago and Beijing. The images highlight landmarks like Navy Pier and the Willis Tower in Chicago, and Tiananmen Square and the Olympic Stadium in Beijing. The display symbolizes the deep friendship and cultural and business connections between Chicago and China, and can also be viewed from outside the airport when approaching the terminal.
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In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: Icelandair's dedication to Iceland culture, both in the airport and their aircraft.
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A weird fight has been happening at Indianapolis International Airport lately, over the possibly installation of art glorifying Justin Bieber and his super popular follower tagline, Belieber. Seewe promised it was weird.
The whole story began when airport officials wanted to brighten up their walls with some trendy art and so called upon home-grown artist, Tre Reising, to conjure up a piece which would encourage interaction. Reising then proposed a colorful piece made up of the hashtag #Belieb, originally intended for flyers to snap their photo with the art and upload it to their favorite social media. Seems like a win-win for the airport and the artist. Not exactly.
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We've come to that special time again when a new Hobbit movie is released and entire nation of New Zealand goes gaga for all things Gandolf and Bilbo. In the air, the giant Smaug took to the skies with Air New Zealand and now the folks at Wellington International Airport have, again, gotten into the fun.
In 2012, the airport installed a giant (not to mention so realistic it was creepy) Golum above its food court to share in the excitement of the newest movie. Now, airport visitors are greeted by two Great Eagles suspended from the ceiling and Gandolf perched on top of one of the 2,000lb sculptures.
There’s all kind of great stuff to check out at the airport, but one thing that we may overlook is the airport art. We’re usually focused on restaurants, lounges, and WiFi access, but airport art is that little bit extra that keeps things classy within the concourse. There are others that agree, and the people over at 10Best and USA Today are now getting together to help pick out the very best in airport art—at least in the United States.
There are 20 airports from which to choose, and they’ve been selected for their unique takes on decorating the terminals. Entries from spots like Boston-Logan, San Francisco International, and Seattle-Tacoma are all available, and you can click on each to check out a photo and get a little background information. As for airport artwork snubs are concerned, we could suggest a few, including the lack of a nomination for the neat stuff over at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.
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Thanks to celeb restaurants and flashy airline lounges, a long layover can actually be an enjoyable experience. Now, Los Angeles International Airport is temping art-loving travelers to wander the halls of almost all terminals while appreciating various works of art from local LA artists.
The art exhibition, influx: Art at LAX, is part of the celebration for the completion of Tom Bradley International Terminal along with various other expansions and renovations. In total, the exhibit will deck the walls of 8 out of the 9 terminals giving passengers something to do for a few hours during a layover or on their way to baggage claim.
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New Zealand has been gearing up for a big Hobbit adventure for some time, from the national airline donning Hobbit costumes for a fun take on a safety video to tours specially designed for fans of elves and wizards. Now, the movie fun starts when people land in NZ to visit Middle Earth.
Ahead of the November 28th NZ release of the first film from the new Tolkien trilogy, Wellington Airport is getting in the mood and tarting up their terminal in a big way. Imagine enjoying a meat pie in the food court or saying final good-byes and, hanging over your head with a giant's proportions, is a massive sculpture of Gollum, the scrawny, pale creature from the films. The installation features the character grabbing to eat the sweet, juicy fish (also sculptures) as his mouth bubbles in creepy excitement.
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This one's called The Roaring Twenties and Thirties in Miami Beach (they had us at roaring) and it's a collection of vintage photographs by Claude Matlack, who worked in Miami and Miami Beach between 1918 and 1942. During the twenties, his lens was focused on the beauties of the beach, and the gents who hung around them in matching dorky bathing suits.
The series on display, which comes from the Historical Museum of South Florida, is located at MIA's Central Terminal E, level 2, just before and just past the security checkpoint.
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Why, isn’t this the prettiest little airport you ever did see? We’ve heard lots of good things about Denver International Airport being up there in the stylish airport ranks, but we’d assumed its fashionista status was confined to its outside appearance of the snowy peaks on top of the building.
Not so! There was, as we found out last week, art everywhere, from the peak-shaped tiles on the floor to the train-off-the-rails-type installation at the shuttle station.
When we are at the airport waiting for our flight, we like to grab a seat with a view of the planes. But at the San Diego International Airport, we don't mind plopping down on one of these comfy rocking chairs outside of the security check and baggage claim in Terminal 1.
The seats are always full, and as you can tell from the photo, travelers plunker down to do everything to rock themselves to sleep to relax with a magazine. But we think it's the perfect place to sit with our computer. There's a bunch of outlets and the airport offers free WiFi, which means we could rock there forever.
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Checking in at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport is about to get a bit weirder, not mention more unlucky. How is this possible, you ask? Well, airport management has decided to move twelve "demon statues" from the arrivals area to the check-in area.
Officially, the airport says they are moving the statues so that passengers can "appreciate the statues' beauty". But the real reason behind the movewhich will cost them around $50,000 and take three monthsis that shopkeepers in the arrivals area blame the statues for the bad luck which has plagued them since the airport opened, including the protests which closed the airport for more than a week last year.
So if you end up unlucky at the check-in counter, like with no good seats left on the plane or an excess baggage charge, then at least you will know that you can blame those demon statues for it.
It just may be the original airport photoshoot: Chicago's Architecture Foundation is paying homage to O'Hare Airport, that great hub on the city's western fringes that usually only receives bad ratings for security wait times. The FREE show, "ORD: Documenting the Definitive Modern Airport," is displaying the vintage photographs from O'Hare's shiny past, before it became the bottleneck it is now.
On display through May 1, the exhibit wants you to get a feel for the buildings of O'Hare free of the departing flight bustle. Influenced by Mies van der Rohe (wasn't everything in Chicago in the '50s and '60s?) yet conceived by Helmut Jahn, O'Hare is known as "Chicago's Versailles," even though we think it's more akin to Chicago's Grande Arche de la Défense; something through which many people pass, but few stop to recognize.
Since nothing excites us more than the combination of free and vintage airport art, we recommend getting down to 224 South Michigan Ave. They've even got a pair of the Eames O'Hare tandem sling seats on display, as well as historical documents and an acoustic installation of airport sounds. Checking out the exhibit may not get you to your flight any faster next time you're at O'Hare, but perhaps it will make you look up and around, quieting your anxiety, and that makes all the difference.
[Photo: Hedrich Blessing]