Can We Take a Moment to Discuss this Incredible Giant Pink Flamingo in an Airport?
Photo Cred: Tampa International Airport

The massive floor-to-ceiling giant pink flamingo iconic artwork will be installed at Tampa International Airport in 2021!


Florida, United States of America (20 November 2020) – A striking site will soon greet travellers flying through the Tampa International Airport – a 21-foot-tall pink flamingo!

The sculpture was one of seven pieces of art approved last week by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board as part of a new public art program at the airport, according to a news release.

“Sacramento has its rabbit. Denver has its mustang. Doha, its teddy bear. Now, Tampa International Airport will have its own iconic centrepiece: A 21-foot pink flamingo that will greet visitors passing through the Airport’s Main Terminal.”

The larger-than-life sculpture is one of seven new art commissions approved by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board on Thursday as part of a public art program designed to enhance and beautify TPA’s new facilities.

Can We Take a Moment to Discuss this Incredible Giant Pink Flamingo in an Airport?
Photo Cred: Tampa International Airport

Tampa International Airport is actually a contemporary art museum. The terminals are filled with sculptures, murals, and other iconography that provide exceptional greetings for new arrivals to the region, and a welcome farewell to those headed out. And the latest addition to the vast art collection is a massive 6-meter pink flamingo!

HOME, by Matthew Mazzotta, is a massive, floor-to-ceiling sculpture that depicts a hand-sculpted resin and fibreglass flamingo as it gently dips its head beneath the surface of the water. The immersive installation, located prominently near the Shoppes at Bayshore, transports viewers underwater, inviting them to walk up and share a simple moment in the life of one of Florida’s most well-known birds.

The sculpture was due to be installed in November this year but is expected to be installed in May 2021 due to the Coronavirus.

“I think we will find that HOME is aptly named as it will evoke a sense of place for those that experience the artwork,” said Robin Nigh, the City of Tampa’s Manager of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and a member of TPA’s Public Art Committee.

“The artwork should provide a visual respite; a sense of home for returning travellers and a sense of arrival for visitors. It is unique, quiet, beautiful, kitsch and fun all at once. HOME will carry the meaning of what individuals bring to it, very much like one’s ‘real’ home.”

Tampa Airport’s public art program strives to transform and enhance the experience of millions of guests each and every year.

“We are more than a place that people simply pass through – we are the first and last impression of the Tampa Bay region,” said Airport CEO Joe Lopano.

“Public art is critical to creating a sense of place and leaving our guests with a unique and engaging experience.”

The seven art commissions approved by the Board were selected from 734 total respondents, including many local, national and international artists. Select artists were then shortlisted and invited to submit a proposal for a specific location.

Can We Take a Moment to Discuss this Incredible Giant Pink Flamingo in an Airport?
Photo Cred: Tampa International Airport

The Public Art Committee then presented its final recommendations to the Board.

“The artists selected for the second phase of art commissions continues a commitment to bring the highest quality of artistic excellence and experience to airport visitors,” said Margaret Miller, Director and Professor of the USF Institute for Research in Art and a member of the Airport’s Public Art Committee.

“Tampa International Airport demonstrates the value of public art in creating a world-class city.”

Executive Vice President of Marketing Chris Minner, who also sits on the Public Art Committee, says he thinks these works will make TPA’s new spaces distinctive and memorable.

“Every airport has terminals, seating, gates and travellers – and every airport functions as a gateway,” said Minner.

“But how this initial experience happens – how it feels during those welcomes and goodbyes – is what elevates our shared experience and invites our travellers to become true representatives of our region.”

The other winning artists include:

  • Soo Sunny Park, of Hanover, N.H., who will produce a hanging sculpture in the new SkyCenter atrium.
    Jason Hackenwerth, of St. Petersburg, Fla., who is creating a hanging sculpture entitled Cove for the third and fourth floor of the SkyCenter Atrium.
  • Jason Bruges, of London, England, who is creating a mixed media mural entitled Cloud Ascent to adorn the east wall of the red vertical circulation building.
  • Catherine Wagner, of Oakland, C.A., who is creating a large mural featuring photos that are laser-etched onto anodized aluminium panels, for the northwest wall of the blue vertical circulation building.
  • Jason Middlebrook, of Hudson, N.Y., who is producing a mural featuring a composition of local flora and fauna, for the northwest wall of the blue vertical circulation building.
  • Aaron Stephan, of Portland, Maine, who created a hanging sculpture out of ladders entitled Paths Rising, for the Main Terminal helix space between the Main Terminal and SkyConnect station.

Sources: Tampa International Airport 
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