Artist Teresa Villegas talks with visitors about her terrazzo floor art installation at Sky Harbor Intl. Airport. Watch the video documentary below.
BY teresa villegas
2016 – 2019 Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona
It is an honor to have been commissioned to create this public art terrazzo floor design for Sky Harbor Intl. airport walkway. It’s fun to be part of a fleeting experience of purposeful interaction with travelers and an opportunity to make an impression about our place here in Phoenix, Arizona.
Who:The City of Phoenix Arts and Culture, and Sky Harbor Airport commissioned artist Teresa Villegas to design the new terrazzo floor at the Sky Harbor International Airport.
What: 7000 sq. feet epoxy Terrazzo Floor Design
Title: Light. Love. Life.
Where: Terminal 3 The John McCain Terminal, bridge corridor. Serving airlines: Delta, Hawaiian, Frontier, JetBlue, and Sun Country.
This project began in June 2016 through the City of Phoenix Arts and Culture, Percent for the Arts Program, and Aviation of Sky Harbor Intl Airport. I was commissioned to design a terrazzo floor for the remodel of Terminal 3, second-floor corridor.
My intention for this design is to be uplifting, beautiful, and fun. My aim is to inspire and touch users on a level beyond the physical senses that go deeper where love, joy, and appreciation come from. Here in the Southwest, we have a surplus of light and a deficit of rain and color. The colors we do have, however, like the rain, can come with intense bursts of unpredictable beauty and satisfaction. I titled this floor design “Light. Love. Life.”
The variations in the color changes of the Sonoran Desert landscape when the sunlight touches it, is unforgettable. Such as when the light is casting the long shadows of dawn and dusk, it emphasizes shapes recognizable and specific only to the Southwest. The light brings these shapes to life that are familiar to those of us who live here and still recognizable to those of us who don’t.
Working with the concept of “how our inner world creates our outer world” is an ongoing theme for me as an artist. We make choices with our heart and mind every moment –such as how we want to think and feel about our world and others we come in contact with. We need each other no matter if we are traveling through an airport, on a freeway, or a subway. We are reflections of each other, and although we pass each other nonchalantly, we are interrelated.
When the rain comes, the air is charged. We can experience clear and obvious moments of appreciation and gratitude for what nature gives us. There is relief and beauty that refills our sense of wholeness. Our desert is a place for healing and rebirth. It reminds us of our interconnectedness and our privileged yet temporary life here on Earth. The combination of light and love brings life.
I chose to use the bold and intense colors that Arizona radiates. To maintain the consistency of each color, I used recycled glass as the only aggregate for the 12 main colors. When light is shining on the floor the three-dimensional glass pieces within the epoxy allows the light to be reflected and gives shadow causing slight variations within the color. For the largest background area of the design, I wanted to keep it light so the colors would contrast and pop. I chose to add a tinge of pink in the white epoxy base color with an aggregate of seashell, granite, and clear glass. I wanted the light background to be able to reflect the incoming light from the Western windows, as well as to absorb and emphasize the stunning Southwestern sunsets.
After a year+ of drafting the design, re-designs, and collaborating with DWL Architects, Hunt Austin, Stone Finish, Marzee Metal, Sky Harbor Aviation, and the City of Phoenix Arts and Culture Department, we finalized the design in 2017 and began construction in the summer of 2018. Final completion in January 2019.
BY teresa villegas
2008 – 2010 Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona
This was my first public art terrazzo floor design. I went through the process of submitting my portfolio to the call for entry by the Phoenix Arts and Culture department and being selected.
Who: City of Phoenix, and Sky Harbor Airport commissioned artist Teresa Villegas to design the new terrazzo floor at the Sky Harbor International Airport.
What: 25,000 sq. feet Terrazzo Floor Design
Title: Desert Rain
Where: Terminal 3, Baggage Claim Area serving airlines: American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Midwest, Northwest
Award: The 2011 National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association Honor Award.
This project began Sept. 2008 through the City of Phoenix and Aviation of Sky Harbor Airport. The job was to design a 25000 sq ft. floor space at Terminal 3, Baggage Claim Area.
The design emphasizes desert imagery and inspiration from the bottom of the Grand Canyon at Havasupai. The colors of blues, greens, and browns reflect an oasis of water among the desert environment. Small brushed aluminum metal accents of desert flying insects, desert seeds, thorns, and branches are scattered around the baggage carousel. They also serve as pathways from the escalators to the baggage carousels.
After a year+ of drafting the design, re-designs, and collaborating with DWL Architects, Advance Terrazzo, Aviation, Marzee Metal, and the City of Phoenix, we finalized the design and began construction in the summer of 2009. Final completion in January 2011. In the summer of 2016, Terminal 3 began a huge construction remodel and this terrazzo floor was destroyed to meet the needs of the growing airport. Fortunately for me, they asked me to design a new terrazzo floor for the new remodel.