The Stars Come Out at Night- Nashville International Airport - CODAworx

The Stars Come Out at Night- Nashville International Airport

Client: Nashville International Airport

Location: Nashville, TN, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $253,000

Project Team

Project Support

Erica Behrens

Mayer of Munich

Airport Arts Curator

Mary Grissim

Nashville International Airport


For nearly a century, Nashville has been a destination for those seeking stardom or wanting to see a star. The legacy of performers reigns over the skyline, and every night the story is refreshed anew. Some join the pantheon of legends; others are merely blips- shooting stars and one-hit wonders.
The yellow end columns are inspired by Elvis’ gold lamé Nudie suit.
The city is also a booming mix of other industries. Elegant, understated, and indestructible, the artwork reflects this emerging cosmopolitan nature and emulates the night sky enjoyed by air travelers from above and below.
(12) 4’ x 8’ Italian glass smalti mosaics with gold accents. On columns 30” in diameter at the entrance to the rental car facility.


The brief was to help people leaving the airport find the way to the rental car facility, which is a distance away, through a parking garage. The columns were the closest element to use as wayfinding.
The artwork is the architecture.


The project hit several snags and revisions adapting to the ever-changing metamorphosing of this constantly expanding airport. It was abandoned, then put on hold for two years as the site was redesigned, then waited another year for the pandemic.
For the competition, the committee asked the finalists to consider the pathway through the parking garage for treatment. I thought the dark concrete tunnel was too ugly to use and would be "lipstick on a pig". By the time of the design presentations, the airport had decided to tear down the parking garage, so it was a fortunate decision.
A special thanks to Mayer of Munich, who once again did a superlative job translating my paintings into mosaic, and working through the myriad issues brought on by the pandemic.