Airports can be pretty institutional. But flight? "Air transport is magical," said artist Philip Noyed.
So when Noyed got the chance to create artworks for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, he went bright, bold. "How could I bring color and light and activation to the space to make it have a sense of wonder?" Noyed said. "I wanted to have people, even though they're in an airport, to lose themselves in the art."
Noyed is one of a few artists chosen by the Airport Foundation MSP to install pieces in the terminals. His three large, luminescent pieces are in the midst of being installed.
The airport is "a busy place, especially at spring break," Noyed said. "So we work at night."
In its new home at Terminal 2, the first phase of "Leap of Joy," pictured above, took on new meaning, Noyed said, suddenly reminding him of an airplane taking off. Soon, the rainbow-hued light boxes will be joined by diamond-shaped pieces, hanging from the ceiling, and a silver, leaping figure.
Working out of his studio in northeast Minneapolis, Noyed plays with geometric forms, mobiles and structures that use light. The airport works are "a culmination of all those elements together," he said. They're also his biggest and most ambitious.
On his computer, the designs are tiny, and his models are less than a foot long. So to see the 25-foot-long leap unwrapped and installed at MSP was "a grand reveal for me and everybody else," Noyed said. "It was a little bit scary. But the leap actually turned out perfectly."