Here’s a guide to all of the public art at San Antonio International Airport, from large sculptures to photography and murals.


Whenever an expanse of empty space opens up at San Antonio International Airport – white walls, empty kiosks – Matt Evans tries to make a claim as soon as possible.

“It’s my style of guerrilla art placement,” said Evans, the airport’s director of arts and culture.

He pointed to a newsstand near the baggage claim which will soon be closed. He plans to turn it into a small gallery until a new concession takes over.

The artwork was not in the original plans for the airport when it opened, so placing the work there is a small tin can. Evans has become very good at making this work, as travelers who are able to distract from their phones can attest.

Those resuming air travel after a long hiatus due to the pandemic will find a restored media room in the long-term parking lot as well as several short-term exhibits scattered all over the place.

Some might also notice that a work that had been on display since 2016 – “Plexus c18” by Gabriel Dawe, a large room that wove colored threads – has disappeared. It was a loan, and when the three-year term expired, the airport couldn’t keep it, Evans said.

“I was sad to see it go,” he said.

There are plenty of other things to see. Alas, there’s no app or brochure to help people find it all, so consider this your guide:


“Star of Texas”: The bright red steel sculpture by Sebastian, the Mexican artist who also created the iconic “Torch of Friendship” downtown, greets visitors entering the airport through the Boulevard de l ‘entrance. airport on the south side. It was installed in April where a fountain once stood.

Long-Term Parking

“Passage light”: Evans spent much of the pandemic working to restore Christopher Janney’s massive sound and light installation in 2001. The room, which includes 240 multi-colored solar panels in the garage skylight, was damaged in a storm in some time before Evans was hired four years ago. Evans was able to replace the panels, and he also worked to ensure that the 32 terminals that provide a sound element are set correctly.

The panels cast colored shadows that change with the sunlight, meaning those who fly in the afternoon have the best view of the artwork.

“If you’ve never been here during the last hours of the afternoon, you’ve never seen it,” Evans said.

Once a year, at the summer solstice, the shadows line up on a grid on the first floor. The sounds of the terminals become more complex as the solstice approaches. Note to remember: the choreographer and dancer Catherine Cisneros performs there each year a piece specific to the site at the solstice.

“Nostalgia, Texas”: Gary Sweeney created the playful, oversized postcards that can be found in the long-stay parking lot. One features a red car and reads “Summer in San Antonio / Black vinyl car seats?” Not a good idea! ”Another introduced a skier and called the town a“ winter wonderland ”.

A fresco by Ana Hernandez.

Josie Norris / San Antonio Express-News

Elevator bays: The San Antonio Street Art initiative created murals that can be found on elevator doors. The same images are found on both bays: the stylized representation of Los Otros of the city’s skyline behind a woman whose face and hair are framed by the Alamo is on the first floor; Eva Marengo Sanchez’s huge yellow conch, evoking a very tasty sunrise, is on the second floor; Matt Tumlinson’s mural of the quatrefoils found in much of the city’s architecture is on the third; Ana Hernández’s playful image of cows carried in the air by cactus wings with spur marks etched into their flesh is on the fourth; and Scotch’s image of a flying bouquet is on the fifth.

Plans are underway to update the elevators, Evans said. Once this is done, the button blocks will include images of the murals on each floor, improving the orientation aspect of the artwork.

“Arch of the day star”: Bill FitzGibbons’ installation, consisting of two jet wings edged with multi-colored LEDs, was installed in 1999 at what was then the entrance to the garage. As the garage has been renovated over time, it is now in the back, and a lot of people parking in it don’t see it at all. (To get a preview in person, cross the first floor away from the elevators; it’s just outside.) Evans is setting the stage for restoring and possibly moving the room in 2023 to a more visible location.

Short-Term Parking

“A box for all seasons”: Alejandro Diaz created the piece, four oversized reproductions of some canned staples in Mexican kitchens: Jumez tomatoes, La Moreno jalapeños, Herdez corn, and Morelia chocolate. The boxes are filled with native plants, a nod to a practice in many homes of reusing the boxes as planters after their contents have been baked and served. The facility is located just after the elevators on level 0 closest to the ramp to the inside of the airport.

Sebastian: A handful of small geometric sculptures of Sebastian can be found just through the gates leading to the airport on level 0.

Corridor level 0

“Mission to Mars”: The 16 images that line the long hallway are the winners of an art competition for K-12 students organized by the Dee Howard Foundation and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Terminal A

“Perspectives of San Antonio from the Sky”: As people exiting the terminal push their way through the security line, those closest to the walls have the best vantage point for seven drone photographs taken by San Antonian Gabe Zeckua. The images offer a unique perspective of landmarks such as the Cathedral of San Fernando and the Alamodome. A larger exhibit with 14 additional images will open after the first of the year in the level 0 gallery.

“The MLK Walk”: This exhibition of Allee Wallace photographs captures images from several years of the annual event. It is located in the waiting room on the upper level.

Terminal B

“Suitcase wheel”: This piece of Art Guys, which is in the waiting area near the security checkpoint, is exactly what the title says: It’s a gigantic wheel – 16 feet in diameter – made from 75 pieces of luggage Vintage Samsonite from the 1950s and 1960s.

“From war to words”

Josie Norris / San Antonio Express-News

“From War to Words: A Series of Portraits of Visual Voices by Jason Myers”: The walls just before people pass through security currently house a small exhibit by Nashville-based photographer Myers. He took portraits of participants in CreatiVets, a national nonprofit organization that uses the arts to help wounded warriors cope with trauma. The exhibit highlights the organization’s songwriting program and includes photos of veterans along with their lyrics and QR codes that allow users to hear the songs featured. Additional images can be found in Terminal A just after the security checkpoint. The exhibits will be in place until the end of March.

“Lumen”: Ann Gardner’s large bright yellow spool features thousands of hand-cut pieces of glass. It is located above the stairs on the east side of the ticket office.

Baggage claim

Giovanna DiZurita exhibition: Five large-scale paintings by the San Antonio artist can be found on the walls of the baggage claim area of ​​Terminal B. The works include images of the city’s skyline and one of a pilot hanging from it. above the military information desk.

“Essential expressions”: This small exhibit features multimedia works of airport employees and their families. It is located in the baggage claim area of ​​Terminal A.

“Suitcase portraits”: Light boxes containing a suite of images of the late Chuck Ramirez depicting open packed suitcases are located just outside the baggage claim area. The works have been recently restored, the incandescent bulbs replaced with LEDs and the reinforced UV coating to protect the images.

Ease of car rental

“Adelante! San Antonio! ” Dos Mestizx, the artistic duo of Michael Menchaca and Suzy Gonzále, created the murals on the exterior and interior of the rental car wing. The airlift leading to it is flanked by two murals depicting a bird / airplane hybrid, one designed to capture day trips and the other at night. Once inside, visitors will first encounter ‘Ventana Rosada’, a small room featuring roses and propellers that references aviation and mission iconography. In addition, a 240-foot mural is visible above the counters. It sheds light on part of the city’s history, including its role in the development of military aviation, as well as its culture. There are also welcome messages. | Twitter: @DeborahMartinFR


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