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.”
Now through June, the airport’s spring performing arts residency group, San Diego Dance Theatre, based in Liberty Station, is onsite creating, rehearsing and performing new routines in response to the airport environment. Dances, movement patterns, and music selection are influenced by the artworks in the airport’s public art collection as well as the history and geography of the San Diego region.
Blindspot Collective, a San Diego-based theatre company devoted to immersive programming, was selected as the airport’s fall performing arts residency group. Beginning in July, the company 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 between 10-15 minutes, and performed in multiple locations throughout the airport.
Forces of Nature, the Airport Arts Program’s 2019 temporary exhibition is now on full display. The exhibition features artwork and collections that explore the complexity, fragility, and beauty of San Diego’s natural landscape. The yearlong airport-wide exhibition features distinct installations by 16 different artists and organizations.
Exhibition highlights include:
· Glittering mini universe sculptures created by Sasha Koozel Reibstein, in direct response to the brilliant and diverse landscapes of San Diego;
· Immersive plant installations by botanical artist Britton Neubacher showcase the inherent artistry in nature, encouraging the viewer to look from the perspective of the natural world;
· Suspended cardboard sharks painstakingly constructed from hundreds of precisely cut pieces of cardboard and flat reed individually fit and glued together 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 now on display in Terminal 2 through 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.
“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 campus, the temporary mural offers a dramatic, panoramic view of the Anza Borrego desert using infrared photography.
The work illuminates the desert’s plant life in vivid pink hues, and also calls attention to the impact of prolonged drought on the region. The 144-feet long mural is composed of 45 separate photographs digitally stitched together to create a sprawling collage that references the tradition of landscape photography.
The mural will be on display through February 2020.
Airport Arts Master Plan
Following a comprehensive effort spanning nearly two years, the Airport Authority Board approved a new Arts Master Plan for the airport on March 14. The Master Plan outlines recommendations for the future of the three core components of the Arts Program. It also recommends priorities for communications, customer and community engagement, and evaluation.
Additionally, the plan focuses on possible artwork and programming infrastructure for upcoming capital projects at the airport, specifically the proposed Airport Development Plan (ADP). It also considers the role of the program beyond when there are no major capital projects on the horizon.
The Arts Master Plan was developed through ongoing consultation with the Airport’s Arts Advisory Committee and many Airport Authority and ADP stakeholder groups. From the onset of the project, staff and the consultant team worked in collaboration with stakeholders to ensure alignment with SAN’s goals around customer experience and engagement with the broader community, as articulated in the Airport’s five-year Strategic Plan.
The Master Plan project also required collaboration with external stakeholders, including representatives from visual and performing arts and educational organizations throughout the region. The planning process involved extensive research and multiple phases, including interviews and roundtable meetings, intercept and online surveys, benchmarking and preliminary studies. All in all, more than 200 internal and external stakeholders were engaged, over 650 surveys were completed, and 18 airport and transit arts programs were benchmarked.
For more information about the Airport Arts Program, visit arts.san.org/.