Terminal 3 Museum Exhibitions
Diversity in the Desert
Expanding the Airport’s Art Collection
Through July 2024
David Emitt Adams
Erika Lynne Hanson
Monica Aissa Martinez
Laura Spalding Best
Image caption: Yuko Yabuki, Misty Air Dragon, 2018, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 72 x 216”
- Terminal 3, level 1, north side
- Terminal 3, level 4, near PHX Sky Train bridge
- Terminal 3, level 4, gallery (post-security)
As Sky Harbor grows, so does its vast art collection. It all began in 1962 with one massive 75’-foot-wide mural at Terminal 2 and the airport’s collection has continued growing ever since. The designs of Terminals 3 and 4 incorporated spaces for art with large-scale paintings and sculptures as well as architecturally integrated works.
The Phoenix Airport Museum began in 1988 to enhance the guest experience by producing exhibitions throughout Sky Harbor and maintaining the ever-increasing art collection. Today, the collection includes more than 1,000 pieces in all mediums, styles and sizes.
On view for the first time are 40 newly acquired artworks in a wide variety of styles and techniques ranging from colorful abstracts to realistic portraiture to Southwest themes. These new additions to the airport's collection were purchased through the city of Phoenix’s percent for art program.
Contemporary Arizona artists created art in various mediums using traditional and unconventional materials including cactus spines, bones, glass and metal. Enjoy these paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints and fiber works showcasing Arizona’s rich art and culture representing Diversity in the Desert.
Danny Zelisko Presents
Terminal 3, level 4, east arrivals area
For nearly 50 years, concert promoter Danny Zelisko has been lighting up Valley of the Sun stages with top recording stars.
Zelisko had a passion for music and an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. His drive and knack for being in the right place at the right time allowed him to break into the concert promoting business. Beginning in the 1970s, Zelisko founded the firm Evening Star Productions and brought in up-and-coming acts of the time to Dooley’s Nightclub in Tempe, Arizona. Throughout the years, The Police, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, Talking Heads, KISS, Bon Jovi, No Doubt and Nirvana (among many others) performed at the intimate 750-seat venue.
Zelisko went on to become Arizona’s premier concert promoter producing hundreds of shows each year. He booked larger venues like Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium for bigger name acts like Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney. As Phoenix grew, so did the music scene and Evening Star expanded to present shows throughout the country.
This exhibition presents a sampling of Danny Zelisko’s personal collection of signed photographs, concert posters and guitars from entertainers that he brought to Arizona. It is testament to Zelisko’s decades long career and the connections and friendships he made along the way. Arizona Music lovers have Zelisko to thank for the numerous entertainers he brought to valley stages. Today, he continues his legacy promoting top name acts through his company Danny Zelisko Presents.
Caption: Bass guitar signed by Sting, courtesy of Danny Zelisko
Photographs by Mark Klett
Terminal 3, Level 2, west end near TSA Security Checkpoint entrance
“The saguaro cactus only grows in the Sonoran desert in the US state of Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora. Individual cacti may grow as tall as fifty feet and live for two hundred years. After about seventy years the cactus may grow arms. They are magnificent plants and walking among them gives a presence that is undeniably human. For centuries, people native to the Desert have considered saguaros to be the souls of lost ancestors.
I included cacti in photographs as soon as I moved to Arizona in 1982. Sometime around 1987 I started to make a series of what I considered to be saguaro portraits. I would find a cactus that interested me and walk around it, examining all sides. I would put the photographs I made in a drawer, and after about twenty years, I had several hundred saguaro negatives. I thought of the work as a type of study and felt that the photographs needed to be seen as a group. The series was originally given the name Desert Citizens.”
Mark Klett is a photographer interested in history and geology. He teaches landscape photography, seminars on photographic practice for artists and classes in digital printing and technology at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
Image caption: Mark Klett, Desert Citizen 6, 1991, inkjet print on archival paper, Phoenix Airport Museum Collection
Aviator Spotlight: Vernon Haywood
Terminal 3, Level 1, south side near the center
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.
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.