Indianapolis airport removes artwork for advertising
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indianapolis International Airport officials have taken down a three-story sculptural painting from its prominent spot and will replace it with a large video screen showing both artwork and advertising.
Crews removed the glass-and-canvas piece called Chrysalis on Monday night from its spot over the passenger terminal’s main escalators, where it had been since the terminal opened in 2008.
The unannounced removal came about three months after airport officials said they were reconsidering their plans following criticism from arts patrons.
The airport says the new $300,000 video screen will be 22 feet wide and 7 1/2 feet tall and is being provided to the airport by Sharp Electronics and advertising firm Clear Channel Airports. The new screen is expected to be installed in early December.
Airport director John Clark said he regretted the removal of the artwork, but that additional revenues are needed.
“I guess the fundamental difference with using digital art is it will allow the (airport) authority to do some advertisement,” Clark told WRTV. “From a commercial standpoint, that means revenue.”
The airport expects the ads that will accompany the video screen will generate $250,000 to $500,000 a year.
The airport had paid $150,000 to artist James Wille Faust for Chrysalis, which is made from 14 shaped canvases, aluminum and six glass panels and weighs more than a ton. It is being placed in storage until a decision is made about its future.
Martha Faust, the artist’s wife and business manager, told WTHR-TV that the artwork’s removal was “an injustice to the artist, to the community.”
“It’s a very selfish act because we feel the monitors could be placed anywhere,” she said. “There are many places those monitors could go.”
Clark said the airport remained committed to public art, with hundreds of pieces throughout the terminal.
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