The Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah has received 51 applications for its art project encompassing a feature wall and two gates in a new terminal building.
Artists within a 50-mile radius of the airport were eligible to submit their qualifications to capture Paducah’s people, culture and ecology in the medium of their choice. Dan Patterson, chairman of ad hoc art committee, said the goal is to welcome visitors as they enter the airport.
“What we’re trying to do is generate community pride through the high quality of the works of art,” Patterson said. “We hope to communicate to the visitors and locals that Paducah is a place of value and is enriched by art.”
Now that the art committee has given preliminary scores to applicants, up to three artists will be selected to draft a design proposal for each site within the in-progress terminal building that broke ground last November.
While not involved in the selection itself, the Via Partnership public art consulting firm has worked with the committee to scout artists for much of the year. Owner Meridith McKinley said this project is particularly exciting because of Paducah’s art-centric reputation.
“We’ve been really impressed with the art community in Paducah and the level of enthusiasm and commitment to promoting Paducah as a great art city,” McKinley said.
The airport board of directors will make its final decisions guided by the art committee’s recommendations at a yet undetermined date. Construction of the terminal is slated for completion by March 2023.
“It’s a very worthy project, and it affects not just Paducah but the entire region from Murray to Cape Girardeau to northwest Tennessee,” Patterson said.
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