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 eight 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 

Animals at the Airport: From the Phoenix Airport Museum Collection


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

Romeo by Esmerelda DeLaney

From cherished pets to wild and whimsical creatures, many artists are drawn to the connection between humans and animals. Through their artwork, they strive to capture the personality or unique qualities of an animal. Some interpretations are imaginative and playful, with exaggerated or toy-like features while others represent an animal’s physical traits - like the texture of scales or fur. Sometimes, animals are depicted in art behaving like humans, dressed up in clothes or buckled-up in a car as a road-trip companion.

This exhibition features 10 animal-themed artworks in various mediums from the Airport’s vast and diverse collection of more than 900 artworks. Whether they fly in the sky or crawl on land, chances are you’ll see plenty of Animals at the Airport.

Image Caption: (left) Esmerelda DeLaney, Romeo, 1987, stoneware with underglaze, glaze, oil paint and hand-woven rug, Phoenix Airport Museum collection

Handles and Spouts
Teapots from the Phoenix Airport Museum Collection


Terminal 3, level 1, west end

struttin tea set by michael lambert

For more than a millennium, teapots have seeped their way into many different cultures and traditions around the world. Beyond a vessel for brewing and serving, teapots have become artful objects intertwined with sculpture and contemporary craft. From small and whimsical to funky and functional, each teapot has its own unique set of characteristics based on the artists personal style. 

Ten teapots from the Phoenix Airport Museum collection demonstrate the endless design possibilities for an everyday object. Although they are created in a variety of shapes, materials and glazes, teapots are visually characterized by their handles and spouts.

Featured artists:
Bill Berchou
Michael Lambert
Les Lawrence
Xiaoping Luo
Tania Radda
Betsy Rosenmiller
Peter Saenger
Randall B. Schmidt
Jeff Schmuki
Junya Shao

Image Caption: (left) Michael Lambert, Struttin' Tea Set, 1999, glazed porcelain, Gift of artist, 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,