Maddison Chaffer's mural "Manitou Passage"
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., November 1, 2023 – The Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority has selected West Michigan-based artists AK Bueno, Maddison Chaffer, Jimmy Cobb, Devin Dumond and Jill Eggers to paint murals in the newly expanded Concourse A.
Thanks to support from the Frey Foundation, the Ford International Airport Authority continues its commitment to showcasing local artists through its public art program. The Concourse A extension, part of a $110 million project to accommodate passenger growth, will feature three art media, including custom terrazzo flooring, an aerial art installation and murals.
"We are thrilled to continue investing in the local art community through our public art program," said Tory Richardson, president and CEO of the Ford International Airport Authority. "The selected mural artists will create pieces that illustrate the landscape of West Michigan, from the lakeshore to the urban core, showcasing the natural beauty of our region and inspiring travelers from around the world.”
AK Bueno, a visual artist and educator, focuses on creating abstracted architectural spaces and deconstructed landscapes in her pieces. Bueno received her bachelor’s degree in illustration from Grand Valley State University and her master’s degree in teaching from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Her mural, “Welcome to West Michigan,” focuses on abstractedly depicting key architectural elements from the region.
“It is such a privilege to share my work with those traveling through Gerald R. Ford International Airport,” Bueno said. “It is my hope the imagery in my mural invites travelers to experience calm, joy, excitement, curiosity, familiarity and a true sense of hospitality as they go forth.”
Maddison Chaffer, a public artist and conservationist, apprenticed for two years under national and international muralists. Chaffer now installs murals professionally for public art festivals, small businesses, corporations and local governments.
Their mural, “Manitou Passage,” is intended to share in the appreciation for the landscape’s history and inspire travelers to help preserve Michigan’s native ecosystems.
“I often refer to Michigan as the jewel of the Midwest,” said Chaffer. “This mural's context within the Ford International Airport grants me the joy and privilege of sharing this adoration with not only Michiganders, but with travelers from around the world.”
Jimmy Cobb is a Great Lakes artist whose work can be found along the shores of Lake Michigan, such as Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Norton Shores and Milwaukee. His piece, “Hauling in the Sail,” was inspired by Zoltan Sepeshy, a Hungarian painter who resided and taught in Michigan, and is intended to bring the vision and energy of the great coastlines to life.
Devin Dumond is a multi-disciplinary artist and entrepreneur who specializes in branding for small businesses and illustrations. Dumond teaches graphic design and illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design.
Their mural, “Twilight on the Rapids,” is inspired by their hometown of Grand Rapids and the variety of architecture found within the city. The piece features the structure of the city juxtaposed by the organic shapes of the Grand River and lush green landscape.
Jill Eggers is an associate professor at Grand Valley State University, where she has led the painting program since 2000. She has a bachelor’s degree in painting and art education from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in painting and printmaking from Yale University. Eggers also studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Eggers’ mural, “Returning to Earth,” is based on the dense and lyrical woods of Michigan and focuses on connecting travelers to the beauty and peace of the forest.
“I was thrilled to be selected to be a part of the group of artists creating a really welcoming and beautiful space, reflective of the beauty of West Michigan,” said Eggers. “Whenever I am in an airport, I consider the possibilities for creating a calmer and more grounded atmosphere – as airports can be very distracting, stressful places. It's rewarding to create something that may give viewers some pleasure while they travel.”
The Ford International Airport's Concourse A expansion transforms the travel experience for passengers, featuring modern amenities, eight new gates, additional concession and retail concepts, sustainable design elements and more. With the diversity of commissioned art pieces, the Airport can further enhance the guest experience, creating a memorable journey for all travelers passing through the space.
To learn more about the artists selected for the Concourse A project, visit flyford.org/elevate/community.
ABOUT THE GERALD R. FORD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the second busiest Airport in Michigan, serving business and leisure travelers with nonstop and connecting flights on seven airlines. The Ford International Airport is managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. For more information, visit flyford.org or follow the Airport on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @FlyGRFord.
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