Terminal 3 Museum Exhibitions

Myth, Legend and Lore

Through January 2022

Terminal 3, level 4 in two locations
Pre-security, west end near Sky Train bridge
Post-security gallery

Schwarzwald by Anthony Pessler

For thousands of years, humans have brought creatures to life through traditional stories, songs, poems and artworks. Real and fantastic beasts have captured our imagination since the beginning of time. These include dragons, unicorns and animal tricksters, which have been used to illustrate everything from ancient beliefs and fables to modern-day movies and even advertising.

This exhibition presents paintings, sculptures and prints by 11 artists who take their inspiration from the natural and supernatural world. Some of them have reimagined elements from their own cultural background while others have taken an anthropomorphic approach by putting animals in a human situation to tell a personal story. Two of the artists have crafted works from fiber-art materials to illustrate ancient writings or to conjure up creatures never seen before.

Cultural stories are preserved and progressed by artists who retell them through their artwork. Whether colorful, surreal or ethereal, this exhibition is sure to impart a sense of wonder in the viewer. Enter this imaginative world and explore the art of Myth, Legend and Lore.

Marco Albarran
Esao Andrews
Paul Coze
Carol Eckert
Luis Jimenez
Anthony Pessler
Christy Puetz
Kazuma Sambe
Baje Whitethorne
Mary Wilhelm
Yuko Yabuki


Image Caption: (left) Anthony Pessler, Schwarzwald, 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas

Vanished Tempest
Art installation by Laura Spalding Best

Through January 2022

Terminal 3, level 4, east arrivals area

Laura Spalding Best

Artist Laura Spalding Best is a landscape oil painter who focuses on the Phoenix metro area and surrounding desert environment. Although her painting practice may be considered traditional, her approach is unusual in that she paints on found objects, like teacups, baking sheets and ironing boards, rather than canvases. Each painted object becomes a part of the overall art installation.

 Just like a jigsaw puzzle, individual pieces by themselves only present part of a picture, but when all put together, they create a complete image. The idea behind installation art is to present a group of objects together in a specific space resulting in a whole new concept.

“All my painting surfaces are repurposed; this installation is made up of twenty-five found objects in the shape of leaves. They are candy dishes, trays and decorative objects. I spend a lot of time searching through thrift stores and salvage yards and have been accumulating this leaf collection over the last three years. At one point these objects were chosen and cherished, and then forgotten. In my work I try to give them a new purpose."

“The objects in Vanished Tempest are arranged so it appears that a gust of wind is scattering the leaves through the air. A Sonoran Desert landscape spreads across the surface of each leaf, showing dust devils and desert dirt flying across the sky. The storm dances across the landscape and the scene blends and degrades into the sky until it is all but blown away and easily forgotten.”

Image Caption: (left) Laura Spalding Best, Vanished Tempest (detail), 2021, oil on found objects, photo credit Claire A. Warden 

Art on Deck

Through March 2022

Terminal 3, Level 2, west end near TSA Security Checkpoint entrance 

Since the first roller-skate wheels were attached to a flat piece of wood, skateboarding has promoted individuality and creativity. What began as a fun urban activity and a means of transportation has now progressed into an Olympic sanctioned competitive sport. Whether skating in drained swimming pools or navigating public obstacles like curbs, ledges and handrails, skateboarders are notorious for innovation and personal expression.

A skateboard consists of three major parts: the deck (a board to stand on), the trucks (steering mechanism) and the wheels. In the mid-1970s, many skaters began engraving or painting the underside of their decks with personal designs to create identities for themselves and their competition teams. Before long, commercial skate brands started printing graphics on decks inspired by street art, pop art, graffiti, cartoons and even tattoos – reflecting the many emerging sub-cultures of skateboarding.

Today, deck art has become a tool for self-expression. Skaters have profound connections with their boards and often customize them to reflect their personal style, cultural background or other unique interests. Skateboards have become a symbol of identity, regardless if they are used for tricks, competition, or to hang on the wall.

This exhibition presents the work of six artists who have created one-of-a-kind art objects out of skateboards. Some artists use skate decks as a contemporary medium to tell a traditional story, while others repurpose broken boards to create dimensional pieces. Whether they are hand-painted, carved or sculpted, these artists and skateboarders are presenting their Art on Deck.

Image Caption: (left) Carson Smith, Cowgirl, 2020, acrylic paint and colored pencil on skateboard deck, courtesy of artist

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream


Terminal 3, Level 1, west end 

Artist Max Lehman draws inspiration from graffiti imagery, animation, punk rock and ancient cultures from present-day Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

This installation features four colorful characters sitting around a table eating ice cream.

Image Caption: (left) Max Lehman, You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream (detail), 2008, ceramic with underglaze, glaze and acrylic paint, Phoenix Airport Museum Collection

People Watching At the Airport


Terminal 3, level 1, near ticketing

There is a story behind every person. By observing facial expressions, clothing or belongings, we may gain insight into who they are, where they are from and why they might be traveling - especially at the airport. Some people enjoy using this information to make up stories about the people they see. This exhibition features three artists who have created a unique narrative using the art form of sculpture. Whether we are standing in line, waiting for luggage or dining at a restaurant, people-watching is an interesting way to pass the time - especially at the airport.

Image Caption: (right) Jane Kelsey-Mapel, Gift Giver: Portrait of Lunette, 1995, ceramic

Jane Kelsey-Mapel,