The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, through its Arts Program, welcomes visitors to the National Capital Region from across the country and around the world. Here at the Airports you can experience diverse regional, national and international rotating exhibits, dynamic live performances and new and innovative public art displays that celebrate the stately beauty, spirit and great creativity of the National Capital Region.
As part of our performing arts program, the Airports Authority brings musicians, singers, dancers and other artists to Washington’s airports to provide entertainment for our passengers to enjoy throughout the year. Enjoy our classical music series during November. Stay tuned for more information.
The Daedalus 87 – B-Gates AeroTrain Station
Passengers traveling to Concourse B on the new airport train system at Washington Dulles International Airport each year now see a piece of aviation history on display. Hovering above the expansive AeroTrain station in Concourse B is the Daedelus 87, a 70-pound human-powered aircraft with a wingspan as wide as a Boeing 737. The airplane is on loan from the MIT Museum, Cambridge, MA.
The MIT Museum and Aurora Flight Sciences, Inc. collaborated to install the aircraft in its new home at the airport.
Public Art: Hello and Welcome - U.S. Customs area in Concourse C
Self-portraits of 180 local schoolchildren from Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia greet passengers arriving on international flights in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection area in Concourse C. Artist Catherine Judge taught local students the art of portraiture for this project.
Pastels and colored paper were the media for the original portraits. The images, along with words of welcome in several languages, were then fabricated in porcelain enamel for the public art project designed by Michael McBride, and 18 of the 40 panels were backlit to enhance their color. A plaque includes the names of each student artist so their work may be admired for years to come as it welcomes visitors to the Nation's Capital.
Wonder of Wonders near the A-Gates AeroTrain Station
Passengers can enjoy "Wonder of Wonders," permanent abstract art, bronze cast in a variety of metallic hues, which creatively depicts the journey through life and the exploration of the universe.
Public Art - U.S. Customs area in the International Arrivals Building (IAB)
The Game of Flyers, Part Two, 2012 - Above IAB Primary Inspection Hall
The hall area, expanded in 2009, provides a welcoming gateway to Dulles International. After stepping through the entrance, passengers can see a large suspended sculpture by well-known New York artist Alice Aycock.
The sculpture includes lighting which moves across the space on the diagonal axis. It is suggestive of an aerodynamic dance movement across the space and contains shapes and forms which refer to airplanes, the euphoria of flying and the night sky.
North/East/South/West - Above IAB Baggage Claim Area
The baggage claim area in the Main Terminal's International Arrivals Building (where U.S. Customs and Border Protection operates) was expanded in 2011. New skylights were added providing an ideal light source for Philadelphia artist Ray King's artwork.
The artwork consists of four lens sculptures, each using a large 14' diameter filter suspended under the skylights. Each lens projects splashes of spectacular color onto the white terrazzo floor in the center of the baggage claim area. The four projection sites are color-coded to represent the four cardinal directions: North--Blue; South--Magenta; East--Yellow; West--Cyan. The colors change dynamically depending on the angle of the light source and the viewpoint of the spectator.
The Pendulum Project - Along IAB Exit Wall
Just before leaving the Customs area, passengers will pass The Pendulum Project, a resin wall sculpture which juxtaposes global and local time within a series of folded and digital lenticular images.
The piece, by Boston artist Mikyoung Kim, offers a dynamic visual experience that contrasts global telescopic images from NASA with local landscape images and microscopic regional plant life photographs from the Forest Products Laboratory. The project underscores contrasting pendulum conditions of time from the regional plant transformations during the seasons of the year to the global transformations of light in a 24 hour period as the sun orbits the earth
If you are interested in performing in Dulles International Airport or submitting your works for display through a regional Arts Association or museum, contact the Arts Program Manager.
Click here for information on the Arts Program at Reagan National Airport.