Oct 16, 2019

The Ticket Lobby at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s (MSP) Terminal 1 recently became a lot more colorful with the addition of 25 “Tyvek art scrolls” created by St. Paul-based artist Anne Labovitz. MSP’s Terminal 2 will get the same treatment later this fall.

At Terminal 1, the 2.5-feet-wide scrolls – which are between 25- and 45-feet long – are located on the east-facing construction wall in the middle of the lobby. The wall conceals construction of new restrooms that will open early next year. At Terminal 2, the artwork will be installed later this fall on the east-facing wall between the ticket counters and Checkpoint 1.

The scrolls were created by Labovitz – originally from Duluth, Minn. – for her recent international exhibition, “122 Conversations: Person to Person, Art Beyond Borders.”

The project resulted in 70 sculptural scrolls based on 60 interviews with people from Duluth and its five sister cities: Petrozavodsk, Russia; Rania, Iraqi Kurdistan; Växjö, Sweden; Thunder Bay, Canada; and Ohara Isumi-City, Japan.

Labovitz said the interviews covered “topics of love, community change and generosity.” The scrolls were then exhibited in Duluth and its international sister cities.

“These paintings are an interpretation of those conversations,” said Sam Fuentes, exhibitions coordinator for the Arts@MSP program.

Each year Arts@MSP sends out a request for proposal to artists interested in showing their works at MSP. Labovitz suggested her scrolls – fresh from their international tour – could help enliven spaces in the terminals where art is not traditionally displayed.

At Terminal 1, they will be on display through the end of the year. At Terminal 2, they will be on display for a year. 

The painted scrolls, which weigh less than 3 pounds each, are made from Tyvek polyethylene fiber – a material used as a vapor barrier in the construction industry.

“It’s a great material for this kind of application,” said Fuentes, adding that the Airport Foundation MSP’s Arts and Culture Steering Committee gave Labovitz’s exhibition high marks.