Public Art at the Airport

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Public art is a mainstay of airports around the world and the same is true here in Kingston. In 2001, artist Laurene King-McGill was commissioned to create a wall hanging for the Departures Lounge in Kingston’s Norman Rogers Airport titled FOREVER that featured a stylized interpretation of the Northern Lights along with a migrating flock of Canadian Geese that King-McGill described as appearing “to go on forever”. 

Laurene King-McGill

The 2019 expansion of the YGK Airport provided an opportunity to re-visit the potential for public art within the airport as a way to enhance the visitor experience.  This resulted in the creation of two distinctly different projects, including; a mural project inspired by King-McGill’s original work and a media wall designed to feature a rotating program of digital art. The mural project is currently installed and more information can be found below. The media wall will feature work created by commissioned digital artists through open calls for submission that can be rotated according to a schedule. More information on this project will be announced in 2020.

Vincent Pérez - Hom(e)ing, 2019

Vincent Pérez
HOM(E)ING, 2019
Printed vinyl wrap and printed acrylic panel and lettering

Mural Project Award

Through the City of Kingston’s Public Art Policy, local artist Vincent Pérez was directly commissioned for the mural project and created a public art work titled “Hom(e)ing.” The artwork is installed next to the entrance of the newly reconfigured security area.

Art type: Permanent
Budget: $27,800
Location: YGK Airport, 1114 Len Birchall Way, Kingston, ON

Installation has been completed.

Artist Bio

Vincent Pérez is a designer, letterpress printer and artist living in Kingston, Ontario. He is dedicated to art as public practice, design as collaborative process and printing in the analog tradition.

Artist Statement

This mural takes the form of a collage of graphic elements that are referential to Laurene King-McGill's remarkable quilt titled Forever, which was previously commissioned by and displayed in the airport, while drawing on the symbology of human flight and transportation.  From geometric grids that recall traditional quilt block designs, but also hint at propellers, compasses and stars for celestial navigation, to vectors that suggest data visualization of aviation airways, but also resemble the thread used in quilt construction, to a larger-than-life naturalist illustration of a Canada Goose by John James Audubon*, the artwork is at once a tribute to both the quilt and the theme of air travel.

The piece is punctuated by a quote by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross that can serve as a simple reflection on the mystery of the homing instinct in birds, but that can also speak to human migration or even our metaphorical "journey" through life, the latter having special relevance to King-McGill's health "journey" during the making of her quilt. 

The mural was created in consultation with Laurene King-McGill.  King-McGill’s incisive and generous advice significantly improved the piece and her recommendations for the quilt block designs were invaluable.  Above all, it was a pleasure to consult and converse with a fellow craftsperson, designer and artist who understood and felt invested in my creative process and its outcome.

*Cited Source, Canada Goose by John James Audubon: The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

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