Tampa airport’s giant pink flamingo sculpture delayed until fall

Matthew Mazzotta’s ‘Home’ was originally scheduled to debut last November.
Tampa International Airport agreed to pay $520,000 for “Home,” by artist Matthew Mazzotta, to be placed in the main terminal.
Tampa International Airport agreed to pay $520,000 for “Home,” by artist Matthew Mazzotta, to be placed in the main terminal. [ Tampa International Airport ]
Published Feb. 4, 2021

You’ll have to wait a little longer for the giant pink flamingo.

Tampa International Airport officials said Thursday that the installation of Home, a giant, eye-catching, resin and fiberglass flamingo sculpture by artist Matthew Mazzotta, has once again been delayed several months.

“We’re making progress, meeting with the artist on a regular basis — in fact our most recent meeting was just yesterday,” Chris Minner, the airport’s executive vice president of communications, said during a monthly Hillsborough County Aviation Authority board meeting. “Everything is progressing just as it needs to, and we hope to welcome the flamingo this fall.”

Related: Coming to Tampa International Airport: A giant flamingo

Home, a 21-foot-tall sculpture destined for the airport’s main terminal, is one of a handful of art installations planned as part a $2 billion expansion over the next few years. That includes around $2.5 million in public art. But much of that construction has since been delayed due to economic and safety constraints created by the coronavirus pandemic.

There’s been widespread anticipation for the flamingo among travelers from afar and local aficionados of Tampa’s popular airport. Minner said that of all the topics covered by his communications team in 2020 — including on-site COVID-19 testing and international travel restrictions — the flamingo drew the most interest.

“The rendering that we put out on that was so accurate that even today, we still have people show up at the airport and say, ‘Where’s the flamingo?’” Minner said.

Related: Tampa International Airport picks marble starfish, mural for new terminal art

The airport recently unveiled the first phase of its public art initiative: Greetings from Tampa Bay, a multimedia installation from North Carolina artist Sheryl Oring.

Oring interviewed people around the region about the things they love about Tampa Bay, typed up their responses and photographed many of the answers. The piece, commissioned in 2016 for around $150,000, now sits in a walkway from the airport’s long-term parking garage.

Related: Sheryl Oring wants to hear your stories for a Tampa International Airport art installation

“It is just wonderful,” Minner said. “You can drop in anytime and you’re likely to see people that are just captivated as they’re looking at all of these individual stories. It’s a wonderful piece.”