Art Takes Flight

Where Dallas - - CONTENTS - —Rita Cook

Ex­plore Dal­las Love Field, which celebrates its cen­ten­nial this year, in a new—and artistic—light. BY RITA COOK

IT’S EASY TO SEE the pub­lic art at Dal­las Love Field Air­port, be­cause most of it—with the ex­cep­tion of two per­ma­nent works and a gallery fea­tur­ing ro­tat­ing ex­hi­bi­tions—are dis­played be­fore ar­riv­ing at the se­cu­rity check­point. Stop to look around next time and you might just learn to ‘love’ your lay­over in the Big D. The first piece of pub­lic art in­stalled at Dal­las Love Field was in 1959. It was called the “World Map,” and since then it has un­der­gone two ma­jor ren­o­va­tions.

“It still has a prom­i­nent place in the main ter­mi­nal,” said Emily Black, Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer for the City of Dal­las.

The most re­cent work to ar­rive at Love Field as part of the city’s on­go­ing ren­o­va­tions for the Love Field Mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram was Daniel Roney’s “Empyrean.” The piece was in­stalled in Jan­uary. “The artists were cho­sen us­ing the City of Dal­las Of­fice of Cul­tural Af­fairs’ process,” Black said.

And as the Dal­las Love Field Art Pro­gram con­tin­ues to ex­pand its artistic of­fer­ings, the air­port’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion will con­tinue to grow, too. “As a part of the City of Dal­las’ ‘Per­cent for Art’ pro­gram, the col­lec­tion will keep grow­ing as long as new city-owned build­ings and ren­o­va­tions are planned,” Black said.


The over­all value of the Love Field per­ma­nent art col­lec­tion is es­ti­mated at more than $4 mil­lion. The art­work po­si­tions the new ter­mi­nal as a “gate­way to the City of Dal­las.”

It also high­lights Modernist ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign, a nod to the style that in­spired the aes­thetic of the air­port ter­mi­nal in the 1950’s.

The old en­trance sign to Dal­las Love Field is one of 16 art­works in the col­lec­tion, which range in medium and rep­re­sent lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional artists. With the ad­di­tion of a new park­ing garage (“Garage C”), five more works will be in­stalled by 2018 upon com­ple­tion of the park­ing struc­ture. The air­port is also developing the new Spirit of Flight Art Plaza, an­chored Amer­i­can sculp­tor Charles Um­lauf’s iconic bronze statue (pic­tured, right). In­stalled in 1961, the piece de­picts a winged man look­ing to­ward the sky, rep­re­sent­ing “his vic­tory over flight.”

“We’re ex­cited to show­case the Spirit of Flight Plaza with the re­lo­ca­tion [of] and new foun­tain for Charles Um­lauf’s ‘Spirit of Flight,’” said Guy Brugge­man, the city’s art and pro­gram­ming co­or­di­na­tor for Dal­las Love Field. The statue’s re­lo­ca­tion will make way for Pa­trick Marold’s sculp­ture “Con­trails,” one of the five new per­ma­nent in­stal­la­tions to be in­stalled over the next two years.


In­side the ter­mi­nal, tem­po­rary art ex­hi­bi­tions demon­strate di­ver­sity in both cul­ture and vis­ual art.

“The vi­sion be­hind the Art/ Trav­el­ers Art Gallery and dis­play cases is to give lo­cal, ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions a place to gain ex­pe­ri­ence in ex­hibit­ing their works—from cre­at­ing, cu­rat­ing and in­stalling,” said Brugge­man, who added that the air­port hosts any­where from four to seven ex­hi­bi­tions each year. This year marks the cen­ten­nial an­niver­sary of Dal­las Love Field. “With us cel­e­brat­ing 10 years...we have a spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion called ‘100 Years, 100 Ob­jects: A His­tory of Dal­las Love Field.”

These ob­jects are meant to form a mean­ing­ful con­nec­tion with the his­tory of avi­a­tion and the air­port through a cen­tury of unique ar­ti­facts from the air­port’s past.

Other ex­hi­bi­tions by lo­cal in­sti­tu­tions will con­tinue as the “100 Years, 100 Ob­jects” slowly takes over the dis­play area through­out the year, cul­mi­nat­ing in Oc­to­ber on the air­port’s 100th birth­day.


With an eye to­ward en­ter­tain­ing trav­el­ers and Dal­las Love Field em­ploy­ees alike, the Texas Mu­sic Project Love Field Stage fea­tures mu­si­cians, dancers and per­form­ing arts show­cases. The stage hosted more than 80 per­for­mances in 2016, and is lo­cated in the cen­ter of the main food court.

TMP Love Field Stage

Art/Trav­el­ers Art Gallery

“Spirit of Flight”

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