Wilmington International Airport and The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County Select Public Art

Dec. 3, 2020

The Wilmington International Airport (ILM) and The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County have selected three public art commissions as part of ILM’s terminal expansion. (Over thirty submissions were received in response to the RFP.) The public art pieces capture the spirit of the coastal Cape Fear Region through permanent installations that welcome ILM’s patrons, enhance the facility, and contribute to the local cultural aesthetic. 

“We received a lot of great art submissions from our community that showcased the incredible talent we have locally. The three selected art pieces really stood out and will bring a new, local feeling to the airport for anyone who flies in or out of New Hanover County. Each is unique and represents the beauty of our region, and will complement the newly-renovated look and feel of our airport,” stated Julia Olson-Boseman, New Hanover County Airport Authority board member and member of the Artist Selection Committee. 

Two separate terrazzo floor designs were awarded to 1) the collaborative team of Paul Hill and Jeff Hackney and 2) Jill Webb. Paul Hill and Jeff Hackney’s design “Venus Flytrap” is a two-dimensional design that will be located before the security checkpoint in a high-ceiling atrium area in the center of the main terminal. The Venus Flytrap has become a symbol of Wilmington and southeastern North Carolina; showcasing a unique attribute of our community. Jill Webb’s design “Loggerhead Labyrinth,” is a two-dimensional design that will be located post-security. Labyrinths are ancient symbols which invite playful interaction as well as mindful contemplation. It will provide a sense of peace and fun for children and adults in the airport. The inclusion of loggerhead sea turtles is a reminder of the Cape Fear Region’s coastal beauty. The path to the center of this labyrinth is an homage to sea turtles’ heroic annual journey from their nests to the Atlantic. 

The design, fabrication, and installation of one three-dimensional artwork was awarded to a collaborative creative team consisting of Paul Hill and Greg Hall. The collaborative team was selected to create and install a three-dimensional “Laurel Oak Tree” sculpture. This sculpture is a replica of the Laurel Oak tree and will be made of a stainless-steel trunk, branches and leaves and will encompass an open space post security; adjacent to the “Loggerhead Labyrinth.” The aim of the sculpture is to create a comforting, organic and natural atmosphere; creating a calm space for travelers between flights. A plaque on a plexiglass stand with a finished burl slab will be engraved with information about the tree’s significance to the region. 

“We are proud to showcase our local arts community while presenting a special sense of place to our travelers. These artworks will uniquely express Southeastern North Carolina and our coastal environment beginning December 2021,” shared Granseur Dick, ILM facilities director.