Art for Flight’s Sake

Exhibits at Dulles and Reagan airports inspire.

If music soothes the savage breast, could art soothe the weary traveler?

The folks at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority think so. Since 2009, they have presented live musical performances and rotating art exhibits at both Washington Dulles International and Reagan National airports in both pre- and post- security zones.

“Life has become tougher for passengers since 9/11,” explains Margaret Bishop, community relations manager for MWAA. “We want to help relieve stress for travelers.”

The Gallery Walk at Reagan National, located in terminal A, displays two- and three-dimensional works by artists from across the region, in addition to the more than 30 works of public art permanently on display throughout the airport, which include 10 floor medallions on the concourse, five murals and two stained-glass friezes.

At Washington Dulles International, exhibits ranging from freestanding displays and photography to large multimedia installations can be found at the Gateway Gallery for rotating exhibits, located in the connector walkway between the Aero Train C-Gates and the C concourse, as well as in A and B concourses, the U.S. Customs area, C concourse and more.

This summer, travelers can look forward to the airports’ annual jazz series with more than a dozen performances.

“Sometimes I’m walking through the terminal,” says Bishop, “and people working at the airport as well as passengers will tell me the art gives them a sense of joy.

“Yes, we are definitely having an impact.” MetroWashAirports.com/Dulles

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