The Salt Lake City Department of Airports (SLCDA) held an Unveiling Ceremony Aug. 27, that revealed awe-inspiring, large scale art installations for the first phase of The New SLC Airport, which opens in 18 days on Sept. 15.
SLCDA Executive Director Bill Wyatt welcomed the approximately 150 attendees with a look back. “This moment has been 25 years in the making,” Wyatt noted. The unveiling program began with a blessing and land acknowledgement by Ute Spiritual Leader Larry Cesspooch.
Speakers included Utah’s Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenall, Salt Lake City Council Chair Chris Wharton, Delta Air Lines Vice President Scott Santoro and Consulting Artist Gordon Huether.
“More than 3,000 days have passed since former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker announced the rebuild of the airport on Jan. 18, 2012,” Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox said. “It certainly has been worth the wait.”
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall acknowledged the existing airport and noted the fiscal responsibility of the project. “It’s a real point of pride for me that airport leadership stretched and scrimped for decades to have cash on hand, so not a penny of construction costs came from local tax dollars.”
Delta Air Lines Vice President Scott Santoro said, “What an amazing house you built. It solidifies Delta as the airline of choice for passengers traveling to, from, and through Salt Lake for both business and leisure travel for years to come.” SLC Airport is Delta’s fourth largest hub.
As part of the commemoration, speakers and others involved with the construction program each placed an item in time capsule. Items included a 1996 Airport Master Plan placed by Wyatt, a wooden bear carving, eagle feathers and sweet grass contributed by Cesspooch, a hard drive with construction drawings, and a letter to future airport employees written by current airport employees.
The highlight of the ceremony was a 70’ x 25’ drape drop that revealed The Canyon art installation.
The large-scale art installations—including The Falls and The Canyon—help to celebrate the natural beauty of Utah, explained Artist Gordon Huether. “We are delivering a totally immersive, inspired and powerful experience to all that enter here,” Huether said.
The ceremony also included a performance by members of the Utah Symphony of “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “Come Fly with Me,” with David Osmond as vocalist.