terminal 1 renovation – signature public art commission minneapolis – st. paul international airport

Jen Lewin, The Aurora, 2020, image courtesy of the artist

The Aurora by Jen Lewin at Minneapolis- St. Paul International Airport uses live weather data to inform the color palette of its 1,900 blown glass LED light bulbs, switching between cool blues and whites, verdant greens and yellows, and warmer reds and oranges, depending on the temperature and season. The twisting wave of the suspended sculpture hangs above a grouping of glass platforms set into the floor below, which are shaped like some of the area’s many lakes. These platforms also change color as people walk or dance above them, inviting visitors to play and engage with the artwork from above or below and in the landscape that it reflects outside.   

As part of a multi-phase improvement project for Terminal 1 at MSP, Via worked with the project architects, the Metropolitan Airports Commission, and the Airport Foundation and its arts program Arts@MSP to develop an artist selection process and manage the commissioning of this iconic, site-specific installation. We  convened a selection committee of community stakeholders and arts professionals and worked with them to develop the project goals. We conducted research and developed a list of artist candidates for the invitational call, ultimately facilitating the committee’s selection of Jen Lewin. During the design process, we worked with the artist to help disseminate public surveys she designed and we helped organize and facilitate a series of public meetings for the artist to meet with the local community. We developed a mentorship program and helped facilitate the selection of Minneapolis-based artist Betsy Alwin to be mentored by Lewin as part of the project. 

Learn more at: Installations – Airport Foundation

Pictured Above:

Jen Lewin, The Aurora, 2020, images courtesy of the artist.

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