A 21-foot-tall pink flamingo is coming to TPA

Giant flamingo art installation

Tampa International Airport is actually a contemporary art museum. The terminals for TPA are filled with sculptures, murals, and other iconography that provide exceptional greetings for new arrivals to our region, and a welcome farewell to those headed out. The latest addition to TPA’s art collection is a massive pink flamingo.

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The ginormous sculpture is one of seven new art commissions approved by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board as part of a public art program designed to beautify TPA’s new facilities. TPA, you were beautiful already, this is just icing on the red velvet cake.

Tampa’s new pink flamingo

HOME, by Matthew Mazzotta, is a massive, floor-to-ceiling sculpture that depicts a hand-sculpted resin and fiberglass flamingo as it gently dips its head beneath the surface of the water. The immersive installation, located prominently near the Shoppes at Bayshore, transports viewers underwater, inviting them to walk up and share a simple moment in the life of one of Florida’s most well-known birds.

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“I think we will find that HOME is aptly named as it will evoke a sense of place for those that experience the artwork,” said Robin Nigh, the City of Tampa’s Manager of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and a member of TPA’s Public Art Committee. “The artwork should provide a visual respite; a sense of home for returning travelers and a sense of arrival for visitors. It is unique, quiet, beautiful, kitsch and fun all at once. HOME will carry the meaning of what individuals bring to it, very much like one’s ‘real’ home.”

Six more art installations planned for the airport

Tampa Airport’s public art program strives to transform and enhance the experience of millions of guests each and every year.

“We are more than a place that people simply pass through – we are the first and last impression of the Tampa Bay region,” said Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “Public art is critical to creating a sense of place and leaving our guests with a unique and engaging experience.”

The addition of these art experiences underscores why so many in the city of Tampa clamor for one of TPA’s daily terminal tours.

Tampa Airport is an art gallery

Listen, the next animal sculpture that MUST be included in this Public Art Initiative is the Ybor City Chicken. That is my opinion and I will die on this hill.

The other winning artists include:

  • Soo Sunny Park, of Hanover, N.H., who will produce a hanging sculpture in the new SkyCenter atrium.
  • Jason Hackenwerth, of St. Petersburg, Fla., who is creating a hanging sculpture entitled Cove for the third and fourth floor of the SkyCenter Atrium.
  • Jason Bruges, of London, England, who is creating a mixed media mural entitled Cloud Ascent to adorn the east wall of the red vertical circulation building.
  • Catherine Wagner, of Oakland, C.A., who is creating a large mural featuring photos that are laser-etched onto anodized aluminum panels, for the northwest wall of the blue vertical circulation building.
  • Jason Middlebrook, of Hudson, N.Y., who is producing a mural featuring a composition of local flora and fauna, for the northwest wall of the blue vertical circulation building.
  • Aaron Stephan, of Portland, Maine, who created a hanging sculpture out of ladders entitled Paths Rising, for the Main Terminal helix space between the Main Terminal and SkyConnect station.

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Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of thatssotampa.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@thatssotampa.com.