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Aviation board selects artwork for renovated Tampa International Airport

Palimpsest rendering - Nick Cave and Bob Faust. Photo courtesy of Tampa International Airport
Palimpsest rendering - Nick Cave and Bob Faust. Photo courtesy of Tampa International Airport
Published Apr. 7, 2016

Tampa International Airport is about to get $3.5 million worth of new art.

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority board on Thursday approved seven proposals for artwork — ranging from hanging sculptures and LED screen images to a giant leatherback turtle suspended in the air — that together total $1.8 million. Three more proposals will be approved later. The art will be displayed in public spaces at the airport as part of the facility's $953 million renovation.

A public arts committee, lead by Seth Pevnick at the Tampa Museum of Art, Kent Lydecker at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and Margaret Miller at the University of South Florida, ranked artwork proposals submitted by 753 different artists from around the globe. The rankings were based on the aesthetics and merit of the piece, material sustainability and maintenance, feasibility and process, cultural significance and fees.

Two artists are still in negotiations with airport officials and a third art piece planned for the main terminal will be announced once the airport's total renovation is closer to completion.

The artists to have work displayed at the Tampa airport are:

• Nick Cave & Bob Faust, from Chicago: "Palimpsest," a hanging beaded sculpture in the rental car facility for $297,000.

• Erwin Redl from New York City: "Symbols, Systems & Proportions," hanging sculpture with LED lightning in the rental car facility for $300,000.

• Tim Prentice & David Colbert from West Cornwall, Ct.: "untitled," hanging kinetic sculpture in an automated people mover station for $150,00.

• Sheryl Oring from Greensboro, N.C.: "Greetings from Tampa Bay," performance-based story capture piece in an automated people mover station for $149,975.

• Ralph Helmick from Newton, Mass.: "N + 1," a hanging sculpture of a leatherback turtle in an automated people mover station, $300,000.

• Elisabeth Condon from Tampa: "Verdant Tampa Bay," a mixed media painting in airside terminal F for $25,000.

• Daniel Canogar from New York City: "Tendril," a dynamic LED screen piece in airside terminal F for $572,320.

The arts committee specifically recognized Canogar's LED screen piece, said Chris Minner, vice president of marketing at the airport. Canogar worked with the USF Botanical Garden to produce images of local foliage on winding, whispy digital screens that will be suspended in the air.