As any regular traveler knows, airports can be extremely boring. This is especially true if you’re stuck somewhere on a long layover, and there’s only so many times you can browse the same cookie-cutter stores that you’ll find in every terminal from LAX to YHZ. When an airport takes steps to create a more pleasant experience for travellers by bringing art into its buildings, that immediately creates a much better environment to spend time in, and definitely adds back some of the finesse that has been sucked out of air travel over the past few decades. Here’s where to find some of the best art in airports when traveling in Canada and the US:
Vancouver (YVR) has to be one of the most beautifully designed airports in the world, and it is filled with spectacular artworks embracing the cultural heritage of British Columbia. From a massive Haida Gwaii canoe sculpture in the international departures terminal, totem pols and posts in various location, a rolling seascape against a dynamic glass window (also in international departures), and various other pieces throughout (including the hilarious Flying Traveler sculpture that depicts a man running for his plane just as you enter the domestic terminal after security), there’s plenty to feast your eyes on here.
Philadelphia (PHL) started its exhibitions program in 1998b as a way to “humanize the airport” and enrich the experience of those traveling through it. They do an excellent job, and in every part of the airport you’ll find innovative pieces (from skateboards turned into furniture to re-imaginings of a giant buffalo to photo installations on glass) to stimulate your imagination.
Winnipeg (YWG) used to offer a rather blah airport experience, but the light-flooded new terminal is home to several huge installation pieces by renowned local artists. Upon walking into the terminal you’re greeted by a huge glass sculpture called Inside Ice, a massive artistically rendered aerial map of the city, glass wings hanging from the ceiling, and various other works to enjoy.
Denver International Airport (DEN) has been named the best airport in the US for art, and it is easy to see why. There is a huge permanent art collection of sculpture, murals, and installation pieces that is installed in the airport buildings and in the landscaping outside. Commissions are ongoing, reflecting the airport’s dedication to continuing the enrichment of the travel experience.
If you’re visiting Calgary or Winnipeg, come stay in one of our spacious and luxurious Executive Suites, where we make every stay as stylish as possible. Roseman understands the importance of finding beauty in everything, and creates spaces that reflect that sentiment.