Internationally renowned artist Kipp Kobayashi has been selected to design and install a centerpiece artwork within the new two-story G Concourse Rotunda at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), the 16th busiest North American airport by passengers.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) Board gave final approval to the contract for the art project, endorsing the unanimous recommendation of the MSP Arts and Culture Steering Committee. The yet-to-be-designed artwork will be installed in the recently expanded east-end of the G concourse in Terminal 1.
Kobayashi is a Los Angeles-based artist, teacher and art advocate with a background in urban planning. His public art can be seen in museums and other public spaces across the country. His work focuses on human activity — the impressions and energy left behind on structures and systems, layer upon layer.
“I am extremely honored and thrilled to have been selected for this commission,” said Kobayashi. “I am especially excited about engaging with the Minneapolis-St. Paul community and to explore the possibilities of the two-story rotunda space. Functioning as a connector, it provides the opportunity to include multiple narratives into an artwork that can be experienced differently depending on from where and when one experiences it.”
According to Ben Owen, Director of Arts@MSP, Kobayashi’s many public and private art commissions demonstrate his unique talents working with multimedia in collaboration with architects and engineers.
“Kobayashi’s urban design focus, extensive research and personal interaction in the field will shape his engagement with citizens here to explore a design concept that will, no doubt, inspire travelers and highlight new interpretations of Minnesota and our communities,” said Owen.
The new art installation is part of a project that added 50,000 square feet of new public space that includes the new rotunda, larger gate areas (G17 to G22), additional space for five new food and retail venues, and a future Delta Sky Club lounge.
“The G Concourse rotunda was designed from the start to anchor a hanging art piece that we hope will amplify a memorable sense of place and inspire our travelers and visitors to explore our region’s culture, environment and history,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the MAC, which operates MSP Airport. “This artwork will complete the newly renovated concourse project and further enhance MSP’s welcoming experience.”
The Airport Foundation MSP administers the Arts@MSP program in partnership with the MAC. Funding for the project will come from the airport’s percent for arts program — a dedicated source of funds for art from public-area capital projects. The G Concourse Rotunda art project is budgeted not to exceed $600,000.
“This is a dynamic time for arts and culture at MSP and we’re excited to see how Kipp Kobayashi will put his creative mark here in the Midwest,” said Rick King, Chair of the MAC. “This latest commission will join a list of 16 other public art pieces that have been commissioned for the airport in the last three years.”
Kobayashi was selected from MSP’s public artist roster. He will begin a community engagement process to inform his design process in early 2023. The ultimate design will be finalized by mid-2023, with installation set for late 2023 or early 2024.