Calls For Artists Now Open for the Largest Public Art Project in Kansas City History
Public art will welcome visitors to Kansas City when they land at at the new KCI Airport terminal in 2023, and a nationwide search has now been launched for artists who will create compelling new works for the facility.
Work is underway on the $1.5 billion new terminal and parking garage at Kansas City International Airport. The Build KCI project will replace the aging three-terminal complex with a single, modern terminal and six thousand space garage that will improve the traveling experience for residents and visitors. Public art will be a significant part of this experience.
The City of Kansas City, Missouri has issued Calls for Artists for four locations in the new terminal. To view and apply for the Calls for Artists, visit BuildKCI.com/call-for-artists.
To reach this project milestone, the City commissioned a team of local artists and friends of art to study public art for the New Single Terminal and Parking Garage at KCI and make a report to the Municipal Art Commission. These community experts identified optimal locations for public art within the complex. Additional RFQs will be issued for other locations this winter and in spring 2021. To follow the KCI public art timeline, visit
“The art team has made it clear that our goals are diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of the art program,” said Public Art Administrator James Martin. “The public art at Kansas City International Airport should reflect our city’s diverse demographics and be welcoming to travelers of all backgrounds. With an open RFQ process we hope to provide opportunities to local, regional, national, and international artists so we have a good mix of local and global art.”
As with other KCI Airport public art projects, the New Single Terminal and Parking Garage will showcase works of art approved by the Municipal Art Commission as part of Kansas City, Missouri’s “One Percent for Art” program. Along with over 300 other U.S. cities and counties, this program stipulates that one percent of public construction costs be set aside for public art enhancements. A panel of aviation professionals, community representatives and artists will select the artist for each project.
For more information about Kansas City’s One Percent for Art program and the Municipal Art Commission, including instructions for artists about how to apply for the One Percent for Art program, please visit kcmo.gov/art.
The art team
Art consultant Community Arts International (CAI) was engaged to work with a group of KC-area artists to gather recommendations for artwork. This team gathered community feedback through public presentations and surveys, as well as by meeting with regional arts leaders. Using this data, CAI recommended types of art (such as floor-based, ceiling-based, or wall-based) as well as possible locations in the complex and the percentage of budget to be allocated to each location. Since CAI submitted its report, the City Public Art Administrator has worked closely with an ad-hoc Executive Committee for Public Art at the KCI New Single Terminal and Parking and with Consulting Artist Holly Hayden and other key project team members to refine the recommendations for art locations and budget allocations.
At just over one million square feet, the Kansas City International Airport new terminal, is the largest single infrastructure project in the City’s history. It will have a lasting economic impact on the region in the form of new jobs, opportunities for local and small businesses, and create a first-class traveler experience for airport users. The facility will open with 39 gates with the ability to expand to 50 gates in the future.
Led by the Kansas City Aviation Department, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and Clark | Weitz | Clarkson, the Build KCI project is expected to generate up to 5,000 construction-related jobs. More than 160 local partners are already at work on the project, including more than 100 minority and women-owned businesses. The project will be funded using 100 percent tax-exempt debt – the most cost-efficient approach for the project.
When complete, the new facility will replace the airport’s aging terminals, which opened in 1972. The new terminal is being built where Terminal A once stood. The grand opening is slated for spring 2023. Art formerly located in Terminal A and the Terminal A parking garage was removed and stored until new locations in the new terminal and garage can be identified.
For more information about public art at KCI, visit buildkci.com/art.
The Kansas City Airport System is an Enterprise Fund Department of the City of Kansas City, Mo., and is supported wholly by airport user charges. No general fund tax revenues are used for the administration, promotion, operation, or maintenance of the airports in the system. Visit flykci.com for more information. Find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.