Sneak peek: New art unveiled at O'Hare Airport's Terminal 5
The $1 billion expansion of O'Hare Airport's Terminal 5 includes 19 new artworks by Chicago artists.
Why it matters: Chicago's rich public art scene will be one of the first impressions made on the millions of travelers who pass through the terminal each year.
What's happening: The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and Department of Aviation spent $3.5 million to commission and install a collection of works highlighting immigration, neighborhoods and cultural traditions that have shaped Chicago.
Zoom in: Axios Chicago got a tour of the works from DCASE's Lydia Ross, who led the project.
Artist jina valentine's 350-foot installation includes nearly 600 metal discs, some inscribed with the many languages spoken by Chicago's immigrant communities, and each section represents a decade of migration to the city.
- It's the first work of the collection that travelers will see when walking to their gates.
"Welcome Home/Come Home"
Israeli-born artist Nelly Agassi created the light installation with her son Emmanuel, and it represents the many times her family has passed through the arrivals tunnel traveling between the two places.
Leonard Suryajaya's work includes a photo of his mom on one side and a photo of Suryajaya's hand reaching for his partner's hand on the other side. The box is wallpapered with collages of eyes and mouths of friends and family.
- The artist says the work is meant to feel like the very Chicago tradition of a community gathering for a "block party."
What's next: All but three of the art installations are now open, with the full collection expected to be installed by early next year.
"We Walk Together" by Selina Trepp
"Untitled (A Window for Lake Michigan)" by Assaf Evron
"Pilgrimage to the Isle of Pink" by Yvette Mayorga
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that there are 19 new artworks in Terminal 5, not 20, and that three haven't been installed yet, not two.
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