Terminal 3 Museum Exhibitions

Persistent Plants & Desert Dwellers: Arizona's Flora and Fauna

Through Fall 2022

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

Be Bop by Charlotte Bender

Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, the most biologically diverse of North American deserts, is teeming with life. It abounds with plant life, which in turn increases animal life. The Sonoran is home to the nation’s largest cacti, the towering saguaro, which provides food and shelter for many desert creatures.

Arizona boasts a spectacular selection of flora and fauna that, due to the extremes of high temperatures and low rainfall, have adapted to survive. The spines of the barrel cactus prevent water loss by reflecting away some of the intense desert sunlight. Bighorn sheep are able to eat tough desert plants because of their complex digestive systems. The sheer variety of plants and animals of Arizona provide the perfect subject matter for biologists and artists alike.

This exhibition features the work of artists who find inspiration from living things. From wildflowers and desert tortoises to a backyard garden respite, there is plenty to capture the imagination. While some artists study plants and animals to depict them realistically, others create abstract works representing the textures and colors of nature in its elemental beauty.

These__ artists celebrate the natural world of the Southwest and its lasting impression on them. Using paint, fiber, clay or bronze, this exhibition takes a closer look at the inexhaustible variety of Arizona’s Persistent Plants and Desert Dwellers.

Acerra, Kim
Arbuthnott, Mary E.
Beary, Heather Johnson
Bender, Charlotte
Currier, Denise A.
Hesson, Dyana
Jacobson, Will and Kate
Jarson, Scott
Kagerer, Margit
Kerrigan, Thomas
Klett, Mark
Klotz, Suzanne
Kollasch, Sheila
Lehrer, Leonard
Newsome, Farraday Ayne
Rosen, Jane
Semanick, Brenda
Smith, D. Wayne
Tacheenie-Campoy, Glory
Uotila, Heidi
Valdez, Patssi

Image Caption: (left) Charlotte Bender, Be Bop, 2005, oil paint on canvas, 56 x 66", Phoenix Airport Museum Collection

Explore the Desert: Phoenix Airport Museum In-Gallery Activity

Phoenix Sister Cities
50 Years of Cultural Exchange

Through Fall 2022

Terminal 3, level 4, east arrivals area

Taipei's gift to the City of Phoenix

For 50 years, the City of Phoenix has promoted friendship, peace and prosperity with cities around the world through its Sister Cities program. Phoenix Sister Cities was established in 1972 as a nonprofit organization seeking to develop strong relationships and build a better understanding with designated cities. Phoenix’s first Sister City relationship was established with Hermosillo, Mexico in 1976. Since then, Phoenix has linked with ten more cities creating international partnerships and business opportunities for the citizens of Phoenix through educational, cultural and artistic exchange programs and events.

The Sister City movement became a national effort when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the People-to-People program at a White House summit on citizen diplomacy in 1956. He envisioned a network that would champion for peace and prosperity by fostering bonds between people from different cultures.

Today, Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for 500 Sister Cities, with relationships between 2,000 communities in more than 140 countries.

At the heart of every Sister City partnership is an agreement, signed by the mayors of each Sister City, confirming the commitment of each community to the program. Gift exchanges between sister cities has been a long-standing tradition. Culturally significant gifts are often presented at the onset of the agreement as well as for specific anniversaries. This exhibition presents a sampling of gifts from Phoenix’s sister cities. 

For more information about Phoenix Sister Cities and to learn how to become involved visit: https://www.phoenixsistercities.org

Image caption: (left) Gift from Taipei, Taiwan to Phoenix Sister Cities


Psyche: Mission to a Metal World

Through April 2023

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

impact by Binh-An Nguyen

Deep within terrestrial planets, including Earth, scientists believe there is a metallic core. Because the center of our planet is smoldering hot and inaccessible, it makes it difficult for researchers to study. For answers, scientists are looking up to a metal-rich asteroid named Psyche. This celestial oddity has captured the interest of experts and the imagination of college students across the country.

Psyche is orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter and is believed to be the remnant core of a building block of a planet that was forming early in our solar system. It will be the only asteroid ever visited that is likely mostly metal, as the surface of most asteroids consist of rock or ice. The asteroid offers a unique window into planetary formation and the opportunity to learn more about the Earth’s core. Led by a team of investigators from Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, a NASA space mission, also called Psyche, will launch in 2022. The spacecraft will map and study the asteroid’s properties once it reaches its destination in 2026.

Psyche Inspired, an internship program guided by Arizona State University, allows undergraduate students from across the country, in any discipline, an opportunity to create art based on the mission. This exhibition presents a sampling of works by students in the program utilizing paint, fabric, animation, sculpture and more. These students interpret data, anticipate outcomes or fathom fantastical scenarios of Psyche’s Mission to a Metal World.

Featured artists:

Caralie Cedarleaf        
John Domenico 
Zarina Karapetyan
Levi Keatts 
Monica Moreno 
Binh-An Nguyen 
Lydia Pitts
Jessika Raisor
Siena Smania
William Strunk
Joyce Tsui
Silvia Valladares
Anna Vanderberg
Stacy Woodruff

Image Caption: (left) Binh-An Nguyen, Impact, 2019, oil pastel on paper, courtesy of Arizona State University

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

Aviator Spotlight: Vernon Haywood


Terminal 3, Level 1, south side near center

Vernon Haywood

Artist Robert McCall (1919-2010) flew as a bombardier for the Army Air Force in World War II. When he had time, he painted the scenes he saw and experienced. After the war, depicting aircraft became McCall’s specialty and passion.

This painting by Robert McCall depicts the notable aviator Vernon Haywood. In World War II, as a Tuskegee airman, Vernon Haywood was a member of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, the first African-American military flying unit. During a 16-month period, Haywood flew 70 combat missions and 356 combat tours.

When the services were integrated in 1948, Haywood went to the Jet Fighter School at Williams Air Force Base, Chandler, Ariz., where he became an instructor and later a commander.

After several tours of duty in the Far East, Haywood returned to Arizona where he commanded the 4454th Fighter Squadron, flying F-4 phantom jets. During his 30-year military career, Haywood received the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters and numerous other awards.

Image caption: (left) Robert McCall, Vernon Haywood, 2007, oil paint on canvas


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,