Creative projects unveiled in San Diego

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The Arts Program at San Diego International Airport (SAN) has unveiled the Forces of Nature exhibition, new Performing Arts Residency groups, the DesignAHEAD program, and more.

The SAN Arts Program’s 2019 offering aims “to infuse the airport with light, levity, comfort and enriching experiences” and to improve the collective experience for both travelers and visitors to the airport. The program highlights the region’s rich cultural community through three components: temporary exhibitions, performing arts and public art.  A new Arts Master Plan will carry these focus areas into the future, with guidelines for the program’s continued innovation.

“At the heart of our Arts Program is to deliver inviting experiences through creative, visually appealing and memorable artwork and programs,” said Kim Becker, president/CEO of the airport authority. “Designed with the traveler in mind, we invite SAN users to pause, take a moment on their journey, and enjoy this uniquely San Diego experience.” 

Temporary Exhibitions

Forces of Nature, the Airport Arts Program’s 2019 temporary exhibition is now on display. The exhibition features artwork and collections that explore the complexity, fragility and beauty of San Diego’s natural landscape. The year-long airport-wide exhibition features distinct installations by 16 different artists and organizations.

Exhibition highlights include: glittering mini universe sculptures created by Sasha Koozel Reibstein, inspired by the landscapes of San Diego; immersive plant installations by botanical artist Britton Neubacher; and suspended cardboard sharks constructed from hundreds of precisely cut pieces of cardboard and flat reed by artist William Feeney. 

DesignAHEAD, a SAN Arts Program initiative launched in 2018 to engage the next generation of innovators, designers and artists, invites high school and college students to tackle real-world design challenges faced in the airport environment. Participating classes visit the airport for a public art and terminal tour, and take part in design charrettes related to a specific project.  The students ultimately develop a project for an airport site that will enhance the experience of the traveling public.

The latest collaboration between the University of San Diego and SAN is on display in Terminal 2 until the end of July.  The program offered Beginning and Advanced Painting students an opportunity to create original artwork in varied media inspired by the airport and broader San Diego region over the course of several months.  The resulting pieces range from inventive representations of the inner workings of the airport to imagery depicting regional wildlife with special consideration toward how travelers use the terminal space.

Performing arts
The airport’s spring 2019 Performing Arts Residency group, San Diego Dance Theatre, is currently on-site, creating, rehearsing and performing new routines in response to the airport environment. From July, San Diego theatre company Blindspot Collective will work collaboratively with the airport, local artists and community groups to develop short plays inspired by SAN and its visitors.  Each play will be 10-15 minutes long, and performed in multiple locations throughout the airport. 

Public art
Oh lovely desert, I worry about you, by San Diego-based artist Adriene Hughes, is the latest work in the Admiral Boland Way mural series.  Located on the north side of the airport, the temporary mural offers a dramatic, panoramic view of the Anza Borrego desert using infrared photography. The 144ft-long (44m) mural is composed of 45 separate photographs digitally stitched together to create a sprawling collage that references the tradition of landscape photography. It will be on display until February 2020.


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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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