Second Round of Artists Chosen for Kansas City International Airport New Terminal Public Art

The New Single Terminal and Parking at Kansas City International Airport has reached another milestone in the Call for Artists process, with the art selection panel announcing five more artists chosen to create artwork in four locations within the Terminal and Parking Garage.

The $5.65 million budget for new commissioned public artworks is the largest One Percent for Art project in Kansas City history with opportunities for 27 individual artists and new artworks to be displayed publicly in the new Terminal and Parking Garage at KCI.

In December 2020, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, issued Calls for Artists for four more locations in the New Terminal and Parking Garage structure, launching an international search for artists with almost 650 applications submitted for multiple locations.

Four selection panels, comprised of local arts professionals, Municipal Art Commission members, community representatives, and Kansas City Aviation Department staff reviewed the applications and created a shortlist semifinalists for each of the four locations. The semifinalists received a stipend to create proposals in an RFP phase to present to the selection panels. After deliberation, finalists were chosen and presented to the Municipal Art Commission for initial approval. All artist proposals will then be presented to the Kansas City, Missouri City Council for final approvals.

One selection panel made the decision to choose two different artists to showcase their large-scale ceramic work on the North and South ends of the Check-In Hall, splitting the commission.

The selected second round artists include:

Artist: John Balistreri
Location: Check-In Hall, North End, Large Scale Ceramics
Title: “Wings”
Description: The wing form is an airfoil which has allowed humans to fly and has appeared only in our very recent history as a species, it is perhaps the most important of modern achievements. Imagery depicted on “Wings” includes the human fingerprint, the Missouri River line, the flowering dogwood, honey bees, local birds and the wing of a dragonfly. The ailerons spell KCMO in the semaphore flag system used in aviation and naval application. The imagery is a positive codex for the ”place” travelers are in, an airport in Kansas City connecting the states of Missouri and Kansas.

Artist: George Rodriguez
Location: Check-In Hall, South End, Large Scale Ceramics
Title: “Let the Music Take You”
Description: Larger than life ceramic figures of a Jazz band will greet travelers on the South end of the Check-In Hall. Using figurative elements such as various instruments, Missouri and Kansas place inspiration, natural colors and jazz imagery, decorative surface treatments will be applied to the figures.

Artist: Michael Szivos
Location: Connector
Title: “Cloud Gazing”
Description: Interlaced images with colorful backgrounds are used in barrier-grid animations to create the appearance of movement and other effects with a striped overlay. “Cloud Gazing” uses this technique at a large scale, taking advantage of the long open perspective as visitors move through the KCI Connector.

Artist: Nancy Hou & Josh de Sousa
Location: Parking Garage Stairwells
Title: “Riff/LIft”
Description: Riff/Lift celebrates and harmonizes the improvisational character of Kansas City jazz and the aerodynamic forms that enable flight. Featuring a variety of widths and palettes, the project’s streamlined fins evoke the qualities of feathers and airfoils. Running parallel to the trajectory of the switchback stairways, the fins weave together into a syncopated rhythm, punctuated by unique apertures and moments of contrast that invite exploration and discovery.

Artist: Jill Anholt
Location: Arrivals Roadway Underpass
Title: “Sky Prairie”
Description: Sky Prairie takes inspiration from the beautiful rolling hills of the local surroundings of Kansas City, with its plethora of stunning natural and cultured grasses that cover the landscape in a variety of green and golden hues. Our arrivals roadway artwork creates a unique, exciting and unexpected experience for travelers as they take their first steps out of the new KCI terminal building and into the amazing western central Missouri geography and culture. Sky Prairie creates an immersive kinetic experience for new arrivals to the Kansas City Airport that is dynamic and transformative, altering in appearance and sensation each time it is encountered.

Images of the selected art can be viewed here. Note: proposal images may be refined during fabrication stage and design details subject to change.

Slated to open in early 2023, the Build KCI project will replace the aging three-terminal complex with a single, modern terminal and 6,000-plus space garage that will improve the traveling experience for residents and visitors. Public art will be a significant part of this experience. The remaining art location finalists will be announced in a staggered rollout by the end of the year as the One Percent for Art process continues.

“We are confident that we have a selection of public artworks that will complement the beauty of Kansas City’s new airport terminal,” said Pat Klein, director of aviation. “As the front door of the community, the New Terminal will provide the first impression to many first-time visitors. This art will convey that we are truly world-class.”

The final opportunity for Call for Artists at KCI closes June 18, 2021, for Concourses A & B.

View the art location heat map here. 

For more information about public art at KCI, visit buildkci.com/art, and for information about the KCMO One Percent for Art program visit kcmo.gov/art. More details of the whole New Terminal project are available at BuildKCI.com and on social media at @BuildKCI.

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.

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Media Contact:

Joe McBride