Arts & Life, Fine & Performing Arts

Student artists display pieces at the Long Beach Airport for visitors on the move

Long Beach State and The Long Beach Airport partnered to showcase student artist’s work on display for people rushing to and from the airport Sept. 21.

This exhibition was made possible by the administration of the Long Beach Airport and the LBSU College of The Arts.

Michael Nannery, advising coordinator for the College of Arts was involved with the development of the project and said he loves “working with young artists.”

The art will be shown along high traffic areas of the airport including the main terminal and will be on a six-month rotation cycle to allow new artists’ work to be displayed to the public.

“We are enthusiastic to showcase our artists in the public setting of Long Beach Airport,” Director for the School of Art Aubry Mintz said. “Art is a force that adds value to daily life and brings us together. We are eager to see the effect these works have on both travelers and the local community.”

In order to have their art shown in the airport, students can submit proposals, then the pieces are chosen based on a set of guidelines to match thematic and aesthetic guidelines set by the airport. Seven projects were submitted and four were chosen for display.

Currently, the work of Long Beach State students Lena Wolek and Manny Krakowski are on display in the public plazas of the airport’s terminals. These spaces are meant to be highly visible so that regardless of where people are going, they will still be able to see the art.

Wolek’s piece “Luggage for Native Soil” has thematic ties to the state of California, boasting a set of suitcases with desert plants growing around and inside of them. Wolek described her piece as testimony of emigrating from one place to another and opening her mind to new possibilities.

Wolek’s art represents her experience as a Siberian immigrant to the United States and dealing with an entirely new culture. The suitcases represent her travel to a new country and the plants are reminiscent of California’s desert land.

“I seek how to express that cultural view into my life and art with its necessities and required rules to assimilate and fit,” Wolek said.

Manny Krakowski is another artist whose work is featured at the Long Beach Airport is Krakowski’s “The Mountain” is a welded and steel cut geometric piece that provides a different perspective on what “space” means in today’s internet-based age.

“People are more connected to the virtual space of a phone than the physicality of their surroundings,” Krakowski said.

According to an artist’s testimony present at the Long Beach Airport, “The Mountain” is a geometrically related work to that of W. Horace Austin and Kenneth Wing Sr., the architects who designed the terminal building for the Long Beach Airport.

“We are thankful for the opportunity provided for our artists and credit the collaborative work of many individuals within the School of Art and Long Beach Airport communities for their encouragement and support,” Nannery said.

The art will be cycled for the remainder of the year and will continue into 2019 as more art will be chosen in the future. Future art projects will include sculpture, wood, ceramic, fiber and metal projects on the airport concourse.

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