Governor Kathy Hochul, Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton, Delta Air Lines, and Queens Museum Executive Director Sally Tallant today announced the selection of six world-renowned, New York-based artists to create permanent large-scale art installations at Delta’s $4 billion new Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport. The project supports the Port Authority’s overall vision and plan to transform the customer experience across all its facilities, including at LaGuardia airport through inspirational public art, operational excellence, 21st-century technology and world-class functionality. Terminal C’s modern, world-class arrivals and departures hall is anticipated to open later this spring.
The six commissioned works are the creations of artists Mariam Ghani, Rashid Johnson, Aliza Nisenbaum, Virginia Overton, Ronny Quevedo, and Fred Wilson. Their works include sculptures and painted ceramic murals, that will span the building’s multi-floor light-filled entry space, as well displayed in baggage claim and other areas throughout Delta’s terminal.
The art tells a compelling story about the city’s immigrant history, its people, and the importance of celebrating diversity throughout the city. The permanent works will welcome travelers as they enter and exit the brand-new Terminal C and represent a one-of-a-kind collaboration between an airline, artists, museum and airport to elevate the travel experience through visual art. These projects will weave inspirational, colorful and dynamic public art throughout the new Terminal C.
“As we continue to transform LaGuardia Airport into a world-class destination, we are committed to making the new terminal a celebration of Queens as the most diverse county in the United States,” Governor Hochul said. “By commissioning renowned New York-based artists, countless visitors will be welcomed with themes of New York’s history, diversity, and beauty. As we continue to build back stronger and better than before, Terminal C will serve as a lasting symbol of New York being the epicenter of commerce and art around the globe.”
Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Rick Cotton said, “We have set a high standard for all Port Authority facilities striving not only to provide travelers world-class functionality, but also enable them to experience world-class civic architecture featuring public artworks that are inspiring and appealing. We’re delighted that Delta Air Lines, as the operator of the New Terminal C at LaGuardia, embraced our vision and partnered with the Queens Museum to commission six magnificent public art pieces created by New York-based artists.”
Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Kevin O’Toole said, “As we rebuild the region’s airports, we want to ensure that passengers are welcomed back to modern, state-of-the-art facilities that enhance the customer experience through an innovative public art program that reflects the spirit of our region. Each of these six pieces celebrate the region’s diverse culture and heritage, and we are excited that they will have a permanent home at LaGuardia.”
Delta Managing Director – New York Corporate Real Estate Ryan Marzullo said, “We are honored to share the talent and vision of these six incredible New York-based artists with our customers as part of the world-class experience that we will deliver in our brand-new, ultra-modern terminal. Throughout Delta’s new Terminal C, we will showcase the unique perspectives of this amazing city, its people and its culture, further enhancing our customers’ journey every step of the way. We are grateful to Governor Hochul as well as our partners at the Port Authority and the Queens Museum for helping us make this vision a reality.”
Queens Museum President Sally Tallant said, “We are thrilled to be working with Delta Air Lines to commission new permanent artworks by world-leading artists who live and work in New York City, the most exciting cultural destination in the world. It is fitting that we welcome everyone, visitors and residents alike, with a new terminal presenting art that speaks to the city’s spirit and creativity. We’re grateful to all the artists that make New York City an incredible place to visit and live, and to Delta Air Lines for their remarkable vision.”
Additional information on each of the artists:
Ghani’s work operates at the intersections of history, memory, language, and loss and is in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the St. Louis Art Museum, among others. Her piece will use mosaic tiles to create a graphical, playful, and colorful visualization of the NYC Language Map, showcasing the incomparable diversity of New York City and the tri-state area.
Johnson utilizes a wide range of media to explore complex themes of art history and shared cultural identities; he is known for his narrative embedding a pointed range of everyday materials and objects, often associated with his childhood and frequently referencing collective aspects of African American intellectual history and cultural identity. His installation, a massive mosaic, will reflect the energy and excitement of travel while capturing collective diversity.
Nisenbaum is best known for celebratory, large-scale paintings of diverse subjects and community groups; her colorful canvases have featured subway employees, healthcare workers, security guards, and undocumented immigrants. Her painting will showcase the people who make air travel possible within Delta’s new terminal, including not only Delta customer service agents, baggage handlers, pilots, flight attendants, security guards and wheelchair attendants, but also representatives from the Port Authority and TSA.
Overton’s work comprises installation, sculpture and works on paper, often beginning intuitively as a direct response to a particular space. Materials often closely associated with architecture such as metal, glass and lighting are configured into works evincing power and delicacy. Her installation draws inspiration from the iconic skylight structures atop many New York City buildings, creating a series of “gems” to be suspended from the ceiling of the west atrium.
Quevedo explores ancient and personal trajectories of migration and displacement through mixed media and sculpture. Quevedo’s installation, featuring gymnasium flooring, is a tribute to the constellation of people and communities that energize and make up the landscape of New York City.
Wilson challenges assumptions around culture, history, and race; his sculpture features the artist’s signature starlight globes that are meant to reinforce the importance of the environment and the connections that unite individuals as one global community.
The 1.2 million square foot Terminal C at LaGuardia will be another major and historic step forward in the building of a whole new LaGuardia Airport. Delta Air Lines’ $4 billion redevelopment project, which broke ground in 2017, will replace the outdated Terminals C and D with a state-of-the-art new Terminal C. A key feature of the new terminal is that all 37 gates will be accessible through a single arrivals and departures hall rather than divided between the two structures it will replace. Delta’s new arrivals and departures hall is set to open in spring 2022 and will also include the opening of a 230,000 square foot concourse accommodating 10 new gates and featuring well-known eateries and shops.
Additional information on the partnership and artwork will be unveiled closer to the Terminal opening in spring 2022. For more information on the Queens Museum, please visit queensmuseum.org.
About the LaGuardia Redevelopment Project
The LaGuardia project is the first new major airport built in the United States in the last 25 years. In 2015, a comprehensive plan to construct a whole new LaGuardia Airport was unveiled with the goal of creating a world-class, 21st-century passenger experience featuring modern customer amenities, state-of-the-art architecture, more spacious gate areas, and a unified terminal system. The $8 billion project, two-thirds of which is funded through private financing and existing passenger fees, broke ground in 2016.
The project is demolishing virtually every passenger facility and building new 21st-century world-class facilities. LaGuardia has remained open throughout the construction period. The new airport is being built in phases to ensure that the airport never lost capacity. New facilities had to be built before old facilities could be demolished to enable the airport to continue to operate at full capacity.
In February 2018, the new Terminal B parking garage opened with over 3,000 spaces and a dedicated level for Uber, Lyft and other for-hire car services. In December 2018, the first of 18 new gates and the first new concourse in Terminal B opened. In October 2019, Delta Air Lines opened its first new concourse and seven new gates. In June 2020, the new Arrivals and Departures Hall at Terminal B opened. In January 2022, the airport celebrated the opening of Terminal B’s second new concourse and second new pedestrian skybridge marking the completion of Terminal B.
Major construction milestones now shift to the east end of the airport. In addition to offering state-of-the-art-technology and world-class amenities, Delta’s new Terminal C, like Terminal B, will feature inspiring public art that will tell the story of New York’s immigrant history, its people and the importance of celebrating diversity. The art program at Terminal C is the result of a collaboration between Delta Air Lines and the Queens Museum, and it will include the work of six world-renowned, New York-based artists.
LaGuardia Airport will be substantially complete in 2022 and will be an asset for growth as New York recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.