Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Painted and etched glass depicts ancient forests, logging history, and early air travel.
On the ticketing level at at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a large installation of painted and etched glass immerses travelers in glowing emerald, amber, and magenta hues. A total of 82 panels in Traveling Light feature images of ancient Pacific Northwest forests, the region’s logging history, and early aeronautical gliders.
Artist Linda Beaumont used a silver stain process throughout the artwork—a treatment first employed by medieval glass painters in the cathedrals of Europe. A type of metallic frit, silver stain bonds to glass molecularly, creating colors that range from pale gold to dark amber. Each panel is made of two sheets of laminated tempered glass, allowing the artist to combine different tones of hand-painted emerald green with the silk-screened images.The installation juxtaposes a variety of historical elements, all airbrushed with a mist of white to suggest a cloud layer. A sandblasted Lilienthal 1893 monoplane glider floats against a thin hand-painted green atmosphere. A cross-section of a tree after a fire is presented in a book-matched pattern that resembles wings. Old growth forests show a cross-section of a Douglas Fir felled in 1945 at the base of Mount Rainier; at 586 years old and 238 feet high, it was among the largest trees ever cut down.
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One wall of the artwork displays a reproduction of Moving a 160-foot Spar Pole, a photograph by Darius Kinsey taken in 1920 at a Western Washington logging camp. Using a large wooden camera with glass plate negatives, Kinsey captured the faces and places of early high lead logging, a type of cable logging that uses a spar pole as an anchor. Moving a spar pole into an upright position was precarious work, and this image reveals the extraordinary strength and innovation of the loggers as well as the dramatic beauty of an important chapter in Pacific Northwest history.Based in Langley, WA, Beaumont creates paintings, sculptures, and large-scale installations for public spaces, including 4Culture commissions at Harborview Medical Center, the King County Courthouse, and Bellevue City Hall.
About the Location
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport As a primary portal to the region, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport gives many visitors their first impressions of the Pacific Northwest and its culture. Sea-Tac began commissioning public artwork in 1968 and today the collection features integrated artworks, signature pieces by internationally and regionally known artists, and a temporary exhibition program. Its commissioned artworks and…
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