The Massachusetts Port Authority added a splash of color to Boston Logan International Airport and promoted the talents of Boston-area artists by placing 16 brightly decorated wooden rocking chairs in post-security areas of the airport.
Working with the UrbanArts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massport received more than 70 artist submissions and 16 designs were selected by a committee comprised of representatives from the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Urban Arts and Massport. The chairs were completed over the summer and were unveiled at Logan Airport today.
"Customer service is one of our top priorities and public art at the airport plays an important role in de-stressing the airport environment," said Ed Freni, Director of Aviation for Massport, which owns and operates Logan. "The rocking chairs were very popular when we introduced them in 2001 and having local artists make them stand out and call attention to New England themes will only enhance their popularity."
Massport has 50 rocking chairs for the project and the Authority partnered with the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau to find sponsors to fund the work by artists. The $16,000 raised allowed for 16 chairs to be painted. Sponsors are: the Colonnade Hotel, the Freedom Trail Foundation, the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Swiss Consulate, The Union Oyster House and Where Magazine.
"The Art Rocks project offers a unique touch to Logan Airport,"said Christina Lanzl, project manager for UrbanArts Institute. "The new artist-designed rocking chairs are a wonderful opportunity to present functional works by local artists to travelers from around the world."
The artists who painted the chairs come from eastern Massachusetts. Many of the chairs represent themes unique to the region from "Once Upon A Time In Massachusetts" about local literature to New England Lighthouses, lobsters and professional sports teams. Two of the chairs were efforts of youth groups, an after school group from Watertown Middle School recruited by artist Dawn Scaltreto, and one from Artists for Humanity, a nonprofit from South Boston.
"Artists For Humanity was thrilled to be invited to create designs for rocking chairs that will be displayed as utilitarian art at Boston Logan Airport," said Susan Rodgerson, executive/artistic director of Artists For Humanity. "Our high school youth artists created a variety of images, ranging from abstract to realistic. The chosen images showcases our participants' talent in portraying Boston's landmarks. This project enables Artists For Humanity to share our vision of Boston with travelers from all over the globe."
Boston Logan serves as the gateway to the New England region and offers nonstop service to 70 domestic and 31 international destinations and in 2007 handled 28.1 million passengers. Boston Logan is the Air Line Pilot Association's Airport of the Year for 2008 because its commitment to safety. Over the past decade, the airport has spent $4.4 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has transformed the airport into a world-class 21st Century facility