St. Petersburg-Clearwater Int’l Airport

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Client: St. Petersburg-Clearwater Int'l Airport

Location: Clearwater, FL, United States

Completion date: 2010

Artwork budget: $31,100

Project Team

Artist

Elle Terry Leonard

Architectural Ceramics

Interior Designer

Kelly Taaffe Noto

Kelly Taaffe Design, Inc.

Overview

The St. Petersburg-Clearwarter International Airport commission features eight 8' x 8' murals that line the terminal corridor walls. The ceramic murals are art-cut, not unlike a jigsaw puzzle, from hand-rolled slabs of clay. Maintenance free and able to withstand constant traffic, the murals boast deep corals, butter-cup yellows, sky blues, and majestic purples crowned by details in pure gold and platinum luster.

Goals

The commissioned murals for the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport enable the airport to serve a dual purpose--not only as a depot for air travelers, but also as a front line supporter for the area's all-important tourist industry. The eight large murals, produced by a local artist, form a unique welcome to the area, greeting and bidding adieu to visitors and locals alike. Bright, colorful, and happy works, the pieces commissioned by a local artist for the airport renewal project serve as powerful advertisements for the iconic natural resources that bring visitors from all over the world.
The Saint Petersburg International Airport mural is integral to the airport's re-design. The mural is the first and last object that passengers see as they board or disembark aircraft; the mural design complements not only the airport logo, but also the beauty of the area. The long corridor in which the mural stands ushers visitors toward the splendor of Saint Petersburg, and invites them to see and touch cool, smooth versions of the majestic world they will enjoy outside the airport doors.

Process

The collaboration between the designer and the artist for the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport murals started with an image in the designer's mind that was based on the logo already in use by the airport. The designer, having worked with the artist before on another airport, reached out again to have her initial image translated into clay. Spaced twenty feet apart, the eight 8' x 8' murals are a grand scale representation of a shared vision. Working together within extreme time and budget constraints familiar to us all, the designer and artist met with the airport's executive staff formally and informally to create and install the signature piece.