- Latest Addition of Works Add to a Robust Art Program at the Airport
Erin Miller Wray, “Bird’s Eye View,” installation view. Photo by SKA Studios, LLC.
Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.
As passengers travel through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this holiday season, they will experience an inspiring range of new artworks by ten artists in nine installations across Terminals 1, 3, 7 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Presented by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)’s Art Program, the new exhibitions complement recently opened and refreshed terminal spaces while showcasing the vibrancy of LA through sculpture, painting, photography, murals and multimedia. Together, these featured installations offer views of the city, whether from a bird’s eye perspective or through intimate portraits of those who call Los Angeles their home.
“The range of artworks on view at LAX is a testament to the boundless creativity that makes Los Angeles a key contemporary art destination in the world, with the new installations allowing passengers to explore different perspectives on our city,” said Bea Hsu, Interim Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. “Whether they are headed out of town or coming to LA this holiday season, guests are sure to find artwork that reminds them of what makes Los Angeles so vibrant and engaging.”
“LAX’s Art Program is focused on showcasing works by Southern Californian artists who express and amplify the creativity of our region. Our newest installations represent strong examples of how these artists experiment with color, forms, techniques, and unexpected materials to bring forth ideas about place, community and character,” said Sarah Cifarelli, Art Program Director, LAX. “Passengers traveling through LAX can begin or add to their exploration of LA’s art scene with world-class installations right here at the airport.”
Five of the nine installations are murals commissioned as part of the LAX Art Program’s new Meet Me at the Mural initiative, where artists design murals that welcome international and domestic guests to LAX. These accessible and inspiring artworks serve as visual markers within terminals, creating inviting and memorable guest experiences.
Interested parties can learn more about LAX’s art program at bit.ly/LAX-art-program.
Terminal 1, Arrivals Level, Baggage Claim
Layered Histories: Artwork for the Expo/Crenshaw Metro Station by Jaime Scholnick
As a part of her Metro Art commission, an architecturally integrated artwork for the platform area of the Expo/Crenshaw Station on the new K Line, Jaime Scholnick blends fieldwork photography and painting to reflect the daily rhythms of South LA. In close collaboration with photographer Sally Coates, Scholnick spent a year documenting the area from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the 110 Freeway to Leimert Park, interviewing residents she met on the streets, in shops and in restaurants about what they would like to see at the neighborhood’s new Metro station. The resulting panels that make up Layered Histories combine photography, collage, painting and distinctive linework that is unique to Scholnick’s practice.
Layered Histories presents a selection of the original 70-panel artworks – including never-before exhibited studies – to provide a deeper look into the neighborhood. These panels bear witness to the neighborhood and its mosaic of sights, sounds and stories, and the diverse and vibrant community that calls the Expo/Crenshaw area home.
Layered Histories is on view to the public until Summer 2024.
Jaime Scholnick, “Layered Histories: Artwork for the Expo/Crenshaw Metro Station,” installation view. Photo by SKA Studios, LLC. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.
Terminal 1, Departures Level Lobby
Sleepers #1-6 by Bia Gayotto
Artist Bia Gayotto’s sequenced photography series of six couples sleeping presents a novel approach to portrait photography. In 2005, over the course of one night’s sleep, Gayotto photographed the couples, with each pair choosing the colors of their bedding and clothes. A camera placed parallel to their beds recorded the couples’ body movements every 42 minutes, and although the intervals were consistent, in total darkness and in sleepy states, the participants could not predict when the camera would take the next photo. The resulting color photographs are presented side by side, following the order in which they were taken, and displayed as one continuous piece with each set of photographs varying from 9 to 13 images according to the length of time that each couple slept. With participants representing different geographies, backgrounds and types of love, the images create a composite of collectiveness.
Sleepers #1-6 was donated to LAWA by Gayotto in April 2023 and is on long-term view to the public.
Bia Gayotto, “Sleepers #1-6,” installation view. Photo by SKA Studios, LLC. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.
Terminal 1, Departures Level, Connecting Hallway
Bird’s Eye View by Erin Miller Wray
Drawing inspiration from the natural patterns and hues found in aerial views seen from an airplane window, Erin Miller Wray’s bold, modern mural explores the emotional effects of oversized shapes and energetic colors. Wray’s work reflects on the moment of pause that often occurs when traveling by plane, when passengers realize how small they are in relation to the broader world. The mural’s massive row of randomized arches, tilted lines and changing color schemes are meant to mirror designs seen in landscapes while flying above Earth. Up close, the viewer is surrounded by a single color, but a step back reveals positive and negative space within the shapes, altering the scale of the design and creating a sense of vastness. This reveal is meant to instill a feeling of awe and a moment of reflection as viewers ponder their place in the world.
Bird’s Eye View is on view to ticketed passengers through 2024.
Erin Miller Wray, “Bird’s Eye View,” installation view. Photo by SKA Studios, LLC. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.
Terminal 3, Departures Level Lobby
A Place for Us All by Sarah “Buckley” Samiani
Sarah “Buckley” Samiani’s hand-painted mural draws inspiration from the constant movement of people at LAX, as well as the moments of calm during one’s journey that allow for pause and contemplation. Samiani’s work is meant to feel both modern and timeless, the way that Los Angeles perfectly fuses its history with constant expressions of reinvention. The colors of the mural mimic the environment of the city: sky blues, sunset sherbets, subtropical earth reds and oranges mixed with floral pinks and foliage greens and a few jewel tones represent the eye-catching boldness for which Los Angeles is so famous. In conversation with the constant flux of the airport, Samiani appreciates coexistence and encourages viewers to build connections and experience belonging beyond borders or differences.
A Place for Us All is on view to the public until 2026.
Sarah “Buckley” Samiani, “A Place for Us All,” installation view. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports and Delta.
Terminal 3, Departures Level Lobby
Collider Beaming by Timothy Nolan
Collider Beaming by Timothy Nolan is a vinyl mural of collaged imagery featuring a neutrino detector, a large, sophisticated physics apparatus that detects tiny subatomic particles, and intermingled maze patterns. Nolan’s work reflects his long-standing interests in abstract painting and Pop Art, combined with his curiosity in quantum mechanics and astrophysics. This mural serves to celebrate scientific discoveries made by the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, in the field of physics, as well as the Southern California region’s larger spirit of innovation and imagination.
Collider Beaming conveys Nolan’s admiration of these scientific discoveries and humankind’s quest for discovery beyond the visible realm.
Collider Beaming is on view to the public until 2026.
Timothy Nolan, “Collider Beaming,” installation view. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports and Delta.
Tom Bradley International Terminal, Arrivals Level, Customs hallway
Replotted Paths and Replanted Gardens by Sharon Louise Barnes
Using painting, sculpture and collage, Sharon Louise Barnes’s installation celebrates familial legacies that connect to the histories of Black diasporas and early histories of California. Describing the work as a “soft monument,” Barnes found inspiration while tracing the paths of her ancestors, spanning continents and countries, and culminating in the mid-1800s Gold Rush in California when they built homes and communities. Gleaning from historic rural African American gardens, embedded in the installation are materials such as black-eyed peas, blue bottles and white-painted stones that relate to West African customs meant for luck, protection, and spiritual remembrance.
The installation is composed of two distinct artworks. The centerpiece painting is an abstract, mixed-media work of acrylic, oil, ink, layers of collaged painted paper, cardboard, glitter and organic material. The composition evokes themes of movement and freedom. The suspended sculptural work is made primarily from strips of inkjet prints of maps and photos of West Africa; Underground Railroad routes taken by family members to free townships in Canada; early California settlements such as Ross Landing, Sutter, and Marysville where Barnes’s family first arrived; and vintage family pictures from her personal archive. The sculpture also incorporates various organic materials, ribbons and faux leaves, which integrate with the printed imagery to create a collaged embodiment of ancestry, family and journeys to find home.
Replotted Paths and Replanted Gardens is on view for ticketed passengers through 2024.
Sharon Louise Barnes, “Replotted Paths and Replanted Gardens,” installation view. Photo by SKA Studios, LLC. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.
Tom Bradley International Terminal, Departures Level, Mezzanine hallway
Arise. Shine. Thy Light is Come. by Trinh Mai
Trinh Mai’s hand-painted mural, Arise. Shine. Thy Light is Come. is inspired by songbirds that call Los Angeles home. The violet-green swallow, the Western tanager, the California scrub jay, the American goldfinch and the red-winged blackbird can all be found in the city’s backyards, streets, parks and skies, with their birdsong providing a spirited soundtrack. Joining these birds is the Vietnamese greenfinch, a species that has migrated from Việt Nam, and the Silver-breasted broadbill, a native of Cambodia. The variety of color and beauty present in the work stirs an enduring impression of the spirit and dynamism of Los Angeles.
The mural also features an array of abstract forms culled from the artist’s series called Buông Xả Đi, a Vietnamese phrase that describes an exhalation of all emotion or thought and a meditation on letting go.
Arise. Shine. Thy Light is Come. is on view for ticketed passengers through 2025.
Trinh Mai, “Arise. Shine. Thy Light is Come.,” installation view. Photo by SKA Studios, LLC. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.
Terminal 7, Departures Level, Gallery
Awake in the Dream by Chenhung Chen
Chenhung Chen’s solo exhibition, Awake in the Dream, explores natural phenomena and the built environment through mixed-media drawings and sculptural works made from found and ready-made materials. Chen draws from her experience of living in metropolitan cities for most of her life and her belief that nature has a purpose beyond entertaining or inspiring humankind and it is up to us to discover it.
This exhibition features Chen’s series of “staple drawings,” wall-mounted reliefs and a site-specific installation. Together, the works present a confluence of philosophical concepts, aesthetic vision, materiality and craft. For her sculptural works, Chen repurposes wire and electrical conduit, weaving, binding and crocheting the elements as a symbolic representation of “Chi,” the Taoist concept of the life force that flows through all of us. Chen’s “staple drawings” use an everyday tool to express movement, repetition and linearity. While the act of stapling usually has a utilitarian purpose, Chen’s repetitive stapling motion almost becomes a form of meditation. The artist’s process-oriented practice aims to find poetic essence in daily interactions with materials and nature.
Awake in the Dream is on view for ticketed passengers until Summer 2024.
Chenhung Chen, “Awake in the Dream,” installation view. Photo by SKA Studios, LLC. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.
Terminal 7, Departures Level Lobby
The View from Above by Lazzari and Evans Public Art Design Team
Margaret Lazzari and Lauren Evans’s hand-painted mural depicts the iconic view of the Los Angeles coastline that passengers see from the air above LAX: the shoreline, major traffic arteries, LAX runways, Marina del Rey, South Bay, Palos Verdes Peninsula and distant Catalina Island. The painting emphasizes the city’s vastness, movement and sense of potential.
The aerial view of Los Angeles is divided into three panels with the narrow panel on the left alluding to high-rise buildings in civic centers. On the right, the wide panel is like the sweep of Santa Monica Bay. Below the panels are paintings of California-native fan palm leaves, the quintessential symbols of Los Angeles that line so many streets and beach walkways. In addition to serving as recognizable natural features, they also evoke ideas of sun-filled days.
The View from Above is both organic and geometric, an apt metaphor for a city that contains a rich architectural landscape punctuated by outdoor expanses including parks, nature preserves, canyons, beaches and mountains.
The View from Above is on view to the public until 2026.