The Phoenix City Council is turning its attention to artwork at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as it recently reviewed the proposed installation of a new project at Terminal 4.

Mayor Kate Gallego said she strongly supports the Terminal 4 project, and other public art projects across the city.    

The massive art project will be held on the 12th terrazzo floor that artists have designed for the airport’s PHX SkyTrain and terminal expansions over the past decade.

“The artist-designed bridges connecting terminal concourses and PHX Sky Train stations offer passengers pauses of beauty in the rush of travel. This new design will also create a calm and peaceful transition for passengers as they progress from the Security Checkpoint to the boarding gates,” Gallego said.    

Submitted by Deputy Manager Karen Peters and the Office of Arts and Culture, the Terminal 4 S1 Concourse is one of 33 projects in the Fiscal Year Public Art Project Plan and is expected to finish construction in 2022 in about two years, costing approximately $1.6 million.

“Construction of the new Terminal 4 South Concourse is already under way and design is scheduled to take place over the next 5-8 months. The terrazzo fabrication/installation is tentatively set to take place in mid-2021,” Peters said.

She expressed a great deal of excitement for the future concourse being constructed on the south west corner of Terminal 3 as the program will feature original work by artists and produce jobs for local design and construction trades including materials suppliers, waterjet-cutting manufacturers, and terrazzo fabricators and installers.

On March 20, 2019, a five-person artist selection panel chose four finalists after reviewing a pool of 102 applicants who responded to the project’s open request for qualifications.

The selection panel consisted of Public Art Program Manager of the Denver Arts & Venues, Michael Chavez; Curator and Manager of the Phoenix Aviation Museum, Gary Martelli; Visual Arts Coordinator of the City of Chandler, Peter Bugg; Arizona State University art professor, Betsy Fahlman; and community representative, Muktar Sheikh. John Tran, Russ Sanders, and Molly Milne from the project’s architectural team also served as crucial advisors to the panel.

Artist Susan Logoreci was the first artist selected for the extensive project including Betsy Casanas, C.J. Hungerman, and Electric Coffin who were the three other artists chosen in designing the Terminal 4 Concourse Connector Bridge. 

At the City Council meeting, Logoreci was particularly cited for her thorough understanding of the project’s idea, her ability to create exceptional designs for the bridge floors and walls, as well as her experience working effectively with complex design teams.

“In order to sufficiently carry out their work, artists must work closely with numerous individuals such as project architects, engineers and other essential design professionals,” Peters said.

While the Phoenix Aviation Department oversees production of its facilities, such as the new T-4 South Concourse, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program coordinates the artist’s involvement with the Aviation project design team by managing their contract.

A previous Terminal 4 contract was cancelled, but the City Council said they will draw up another contract between Susan Logoreci and the City Manager with a budget not to exceed $136,500.  The contract also calls for Logoreci to work with the Aviation Department design team.

The proposed contract will also cover all costs related to the artist collaborating with city staff and the Aviation Department design team to oversee construction of the terrazzo floors and wall enhancements integrated into the Terminal 4 Concourse Connector Bridge.

The remaining funds will be spent on the current art project, along the connector bridge as well as a second public art project designed for the Terminal 4 S-1 Concourse Atrium.

“The modernized contemporary art will add to the airport’s major artist-designed projects, bolstering its reputation as one of the nation’s friendliest, most beautiful airports,” Peters said.

Director of the Somali Association of Arizona Muktar Sheikh who served on the selection committee said he hopes the project will enhance the traveling experience.

“I hope passengers enjoy viewing the completed product in addition to easing their minds during their travels as they walk across the concourse bridge,” Sheikh said.

Sheikh also said people interested in other art projects in the city of Phoenix should get involved in community meetings that are planning public arts and entertainment projects around the city. 

“Citizens should always connect with their mayor and city council representative to learn and acquire more information related to upcoming proposals. We need more community involvement,” Sheikh said.