Three Views of the River

Submitted by Stacy Levy

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Client: Philadelphia International Airport

Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $250,000

Project Team

Artist

Stacy Levy

Sere Ltd.

Public Art Agent

Philadelphia Airport

Overview

This project is for the new baggage claim building for terminal F. It covers three walls with three different views of the local Delaware River— the large river which most passengers fly right over in their approach to Philadelphia Airport.

Goals

There is a glittery stainless river which creates the same silver glint that river make when seen from above. The 30' wide lenticular ellipse is a portrait of the river's surface and undulates as the view moves past it. The stone map shows the historic rivers which are now culverted underground as well as all the above ground rivers and streams in the region. This map gives a way for the passengers to locate themselves in this new or familiar watershed they have just landed in. When you arrive at an airport, there is often a feeling of alienation and being lost. This artwork gives a sense of place in the notoriously "placeless" site of the airport.

Process

The artist worked with the architects even as the building footprint and configuration changed over time.

Additional Information

In the years of creating this piece the artist's luggage was lost two times during her travels, and she had a lot chances to consider what would make a traveller feel less stressed. The water imagery and the detailed historic map gives travelers something both calm and evocative to concentrate on while they await their luggage.