Airport art, amenities help ease anxiety
Modern Art

Airport art, amenities help ease anxiety

“A universal shudder.”

That could be the description of post-COVID airline travel, as thousands of flights have been canceled or delayed, sometimes in a single day. But the phrase, by noted author Gertrude Stein, is actually now appearing in a mural installation by artist Eve Fowler at a unique venue — the baggage claim level of Terminal 2 at Los Angeles International Airport.

Cars drive by local artist Jackie Head’s 14,000 square-foot art installation Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at the Indianapolis Airport. Head was hired by Indianapolis Airport Authority to help obscure construction of a new terminal being built.

The murals are part of myriad artworks and other unique features at airports worldwide that are supposed to calm and orient harried travelers, offer directional guideposts, help them identify with the particular locale where they’ve touched down, and even plunk down more money for overpriced snacks or souvenirs. 

“It enhances the customer experience, and it helps drive revenue, people linger longer,” said Heather Kaufman, director of arts and events at Denver International Airport. “It’s sort of an intuitive way of finding your way, you can tell someone, ‘look for the giant mural at the end of the walkway. But mostly it’s an area of respite … public art helps reduce that visual noise if you will. Otherwise we’re all ads and noise.”

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