Art in the Airport Exhibition Welcomes Third Round of New Work

Posted October 13, 2015 in Public, Gallery, Alumni

It’s been a little over a year and a half since Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) first joined forces with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) to transform sections of the airport into a special ongoing exhibition of KCAD student and alumni work, and the collaboration is still going strong.

“We’ve heard nothing but great things from the GFIA; they’re very pleased with how the exhibition has taken some of the airport’s more utilitarian spaces and turned them into opportunities for people to slow down and enter into these very engaging and meaningful experiences with art,” says Tom Post, a graduate recruitment specialist at KCAD who’s also the exhibition’s curator.

Air in the AIrportAlumna Kathleen Zeck's paintings are printed on banners hanging in the airport's Grand Hall

The recently unveiled third phase of “Art in the Airport” features alumni Kathleen Zeck (’15, Painting) and Nataliya Matveev (’09, Interior Design). Their work will join that of alum Nicky Sczesny (’14, Illustration), whose series of illustrations capturing the essence and identity of all of the different cities the GFIA offers direct flights to will remain installed in light boxes inside the airport’s main parking structure.

"The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is proud to partner with KCAD; this art not only enhances our users' experience, but also brings local flavor and culture to those who may not be familiar with West Michigan's thriving arts culture,” says Tara Hernandez, GFIA Marketing and Communications Manager. “This art is on display to thousands of people that use our airport each day and through this art we are able to showcase our region and the identity of our community.” 

Zeck’s serene paintings of beaches, water, and radiantly colored rocks have been printed on banners that now hang in the GFIA’s Grand Hall. A pleasant reminder of Michigan’s abundant natural beauty, her work has a light and cheerful quality to it. She hopes her paintings will have a therapeutic effect on viewers, taking their minds off their hectic travel plans just long enough to leave them feeling refreshed and calmed.

Matveev will be displaying four smaller photographic prints near the American Airlines Security checkpoint as well as two-large format pieces, one in the American Airlines concourse and the other in the Delta Airlines concourse. After discovering a passion for photography while studying in the Interior Design program, the Ukrainian-born designer and artist now considers the medium her primary form of self-expression. Her thought provoking images of people, places, and simple objects capture the ordinary aspects of daily life that often go unnoticed.

Art in the Airport(above and below): Matveev's black and white photography is on display in the concourse and security checkpoint areas

Art in the Airport

“Both Kathleen and Nataliya are incredibly talented artists who deserve this kind of exposure,” says Post. “In terms of aesthetics, their work is very arresting, so II think it will give airport travellers a reason to stop and take a closer look. Once they do, I think they’ll find connections to the thematic elements of the work as well.”

As the exhibition continues, featured work will continue to rotate and evolve as KCAD and the GFIA explore new possibilities such as collaborative projects and site-specific installations.

“It’s been awesome to see so many of our students and alumni show interest in the project,” says Post. “They’re really starting to understand what a unique exhibition opportunity this is.”

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