LaGuardia Airport, not exactly the place you’d expect to see world-class art by internationally acclaimed artists, will soon become the home of six new large-scale installations by artists based in New York City. Those works by Mariam Ghani, Rashid Johnson, Aliza Nisenbaum, Virginia Overton, Ronny Quevedo, and Fred Wilson will appear Delta Air Lines’s Terminal C, set to open this spring as part of an $8 billion revamp. Delta’s art program is set to cost $12 million to produce.
“By commissioning renowned New York-based artists, countless visitors will be welcomed with themes of New York’s history, diversity, and beauty,” Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, said in a statement.
He added, “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.”
Port Authority has partnered with Governor Kathy Hochul, Delta Air Lines, and the Queens Museum to commission the six artworks. As was the case with the new Terminal B, where works by Jeppe Hein, Sabine Hornig, Laura Owens, and Sarah Sze were unveiled in 2020, these new installations will be integrated throughout the architecture of the arrivals and departures hall, and in the adjacent concourse.
Ghani, a Brooklyn-born Afghan American artist, will create a mosaic riff on the NYC Language Map, a geographical guide to the more than 700 languages spoken in the tristate area. Two massive sculptures, including a series of starlight globes, will come courtesy of the Bronx-based Wilson, and a constellation of “gems” will be suspended from the ceiling of the west atrium by Overton. Nisenbaum will create a portrait of Delta employees, and Quevedo, who was born in Ecuador, is translating the energy of a gymnasium floor onto a wall. Johnson, who is also working in mosaic, will create the largest entry yet in his “Anxious Men” series.
“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.