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The Art of Flight - Atlanta

Published: 26/06/2014 - Filed under: Home » News »

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Airports across the globe are seeking ways to delight the traveller.  On a recent transfer through Atlanta Hartsfield airport, I was rushing to my connection.  While I had plenty of time, I didn’t want to miss my flight home.  We’ve all been there.  Tired.  Ready to be home. As I walked through Concourse E, I was surprised by my own reaction to the art on the walls. I exhaled. Relaxed. Smiled. And was thankful to reset my mind. 

Since then, I have learned The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport has an extensive arts program, which has been around since 1979. Their website states:

The Airport Art Program develops and integrates art, exhibits and performances into the fabric of the Airport environment for the benefit of passengers and employees. The Art Program has three major components: commissioning artists to create site-specific artwork, presenting rotating exhibitions, and scheduling performing arts series.

The Youth Art Gallery (Concourse T) opened in the summer of 1997 and a second gallery opened a year later in the International Concourse (Concourse E). These galleries are coordinated by the Airport Art Program in partnership with the Georgia Art Education Association (GAEA) showing a partnership and commitment to giving back to their community.  There are additional rotating galleries that you can learn more about on their website

Hartsfield also hosts a permanent collection with over 250 pieces, which grew from a humble 14 pieces in 1979.  The collection includes one of my favorite exhibits, "Zimbabwe: A Tradition in Stone".  This exhibit of 12 sculptures by 12 different artists can be found in the pedestrian corridor between the T Gates and Concourse A.  The pieces were selected by the art program for the following reasons as described on their website:

The works delve into the importance of family, humanity's relationship with nature and desire to be spiritually connected. The Art Program hopes that these common themes resonate with passengers of all backgrounds.

Recently, I had another connection through ATL and I decided to walk to my gate and skip the train so I could enjoy the exhibit.  That walk was good for my mind, body and soul.

Thomas Mertons once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”  Here’s hoping you find art that will allow you to lose yourself – if only for a moment - on a trip soon. 

By Elizabeth Atkinson

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