North Texas Sunrise

Submitted by Dixie Friend

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Client: Office of Cultural Affairs City of Dallas

Location: Dallas, TX, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $306,000

Project Team

Architect

Dan Hursin

Corgan Associates

Interior Designer

Ginger Gee

Corgan Associates

Other

Bob Montgomery

Artist

Dixie Friend

Overview

An 18-foot-by-64-foot mosaic mural depicting a vast Dallas sunrise above oversized Texas wildflowers greets the visitors to the main lobby of Dallas Love Field Airport. The mosaic includes 18-foot-high Mexican hats, Indian paintbrushes, Indian blankets, Wine cups and Bluebonnets, among other native flowers made of hand-formed, hand-glazed, and hand placed ceramic tile. The scale of the flowers transcends the viewer, opening space to marvel at the natural drama of north Texas. This cinematic mosaic moment celebrates the expanse of the dramatic Dallas Sky and the native prairie that grows below it.

Goals

Integration of the artwork was key to the overall design of the entire airport as part of the Love Field Modernization Program. The goal of all artwork was to contribute to the public’s positive experience of airport spaces. Since travelers queue for security in the main lobby, the artwork was designed to employ both the natural magnetism and calming effects of mosaics and the natural world. In the case of the main lobby wall, it was important the artwork read from a distance and close-up, to help define the space and act as a way-finding point. Since this was an expansion and redesign of the airport, it was crucial the new artwork relate to the pre-existing terrazzo artwork, which is central to the identity of Dallas Love Field.

Process

The wall was designed for a monumental work of art in mind. As the artist, I worked to understand the needs of the various stakeholders, including the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Corgan Architects, Kavplan Strategic Aviation Planning and Southwest Airlines. Together we highlighted the strengths and limitations of the space and I designed an artwork that would meet all technical needs as well as emphasize the architecture, materials and image proposed for the new Dallas Love Field. Working together through two iterations of the design and revising budget constraints we were able to settle on the final design and begin production. Through the design process I was able to specify wall construction making the project more economical. I worked closely with the architects and interior team to design the terminus of the mosaic into the wall using stainless steel trim. The entire team worked together through the construction and installation phase to make this one of the smoothest installations of my career.

Additional Information

North Texas Sunrise Main Lobby wall of Dallas Love Field Airport 18' x 64', hand-glazed ceramic tile The entire process took 2 years. The installation was completed in March 2013. In the collection of the City of Dallas Public Art Program. Fabricated in conjuncture with Mosaika of Montreal Photos by: Dixie Friend Gay