Love Field Spirit of Flight

Charles Umlauf's iconic "Spirit of Flight" sculpture greets guests on their way to the terminal. (Courtesy Dallas Love Field)

Art Takes Flight at Dallas Love Field

By rita cook on 02/15/17
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The next time you arrive or depart from Dallas Love Field, stop to look around: You might just learn to "love" your layover in the Big D.

The first piece of public art installed at Dallas Love Field was in 1959. It was called the “World Map,” and since then it has undergone two major renovations. “It still has a prominent place in the main terminal,” said Emily Black, public information officer for the City of Dallas.

The most recent work to arrive at Love Field as part of the city’s ongoing renovations for the Love Field Modernization program was Daniel Roney’s “Empyrean.” The piece was installed in January. And as the Dallas Love Field Art Program continues to expand its artistic offerings, the airport’s permanent collection will continue to grow, too.

“As a part of the City of Dallas’ ‘Percent for Art’ program, the collection will keep growing as long as new city-owned buildings and renovations are planned,” Black said.

The Permanent Collection

The overall value of the Love Field permanent art collection is estimated at more than $4 million. The artwork positions the new terminal as a “gateway to the City of Dallas.” It also highlights Modernist architectural design, a nod to the style that inspired the aesthetic of the airport terminal in the 1950s. The old entrance sign to Dallas Love Field is one of 16 artworks in the collection, which range in medium and represent local and international artists. With the addition of a new parking garage (“Garage C”), five more works will be installed by 2018 upon completion of the parking structure.

The airport is also developing the new Spirit of Flight Art Plaza, anchored by American sculptor Charles Umlauf’s iconic bronze statue. Installed in 1961, the piece depicts a winged man looking toward the sky, representing “his victory over flight.”

“We’re excited to showcase the Spirit of Flight Plaza with the relocation [of] and new fountain for Charles Umlauf’s ‘Spirit of Flight,’” said Guy Bruggeman, the city’s art and programming coordinator for Dallas Love Field.

The statue’s relocation will make way for Patrick Marold’s sculpture “Contrails,” one of the new permanent pieces to be installed over the next two years.

Love Field Art Gallery Dallas

The Exhibition Program

Inside the terminal, temporary art exhibitions demonstrate diversity in both culture and visual art. “The vision behind the Art/Travelers Art Gallery and display cases is to give local, educational institutions a place to gain experience in exhibiting their works—from creating, curating and installing,” said Bruggeman, who added that the airport hosts anywhere from four to seven exhibitions each year.

This year marks the centennial anniversary of Dallas Love Field.

The exhibit "100 Years, 100 Objects: A History of Dallas Love Field” is presented in collaboration with the Commemorative Air Force, which is headquartered in Dallas. These objects are meant to form a meaningful connection with the history of aviation and the airport through a century of unique artifacts from the airport’s past. Other exhibitions by local institutions will continue as the “100 Years, 100 Objects” slowly takes over the display area throughout the year, culminating in October on the airport’s 100th birthday.

Dallas Love Field Art Program Travelers Gallery

"Live at Love Field"

With an eye toward entertaining travelers and Dallas Love Field employees alike, the Texas Music Project Love Field Stage features musicians, dancers and performing arts showcases. The stage hosted more than 80 performances in 2016, and is located in the center of the main food court. Scheduled programming takes place Monday through Friday from 11 am-2 pm. 

Texas Music Project Stage at Love Field airport