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FWA Unveils “Oculus” Public Art

Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) has officially dedicated its public art piece, “Oculus.” Along with “Oculus” artist, Gordon Huether, FWA welcomed community members, art donors, and airport Art Selection Committee members to celebrate the airport’s community art piece and formally recognize those involved in the project.

“Oculus” was created by Napa, California artist Gordon Huether, who is known for his large-scale, site-specific permanent artwork installations – including those at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) where he also serves as the consulting artist for the entire SLC airport art program. Huether was chosen following a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process that saw over forty submissions from local, national, and international artists.

Boasting a visually stunning mix of materials, shapes, colors and lighting effects, the installation celebrates the rich history of aviation, enhances the airport’s visual appeal, promotes the state of Indiana and provides a unique and interactive space for passenger experiences. “Oculus” stands in front of the FWA terminal building with four, 18-foot stainless steel “wings” meant to reflect airplane wings. Each wing features laser-cut patterns featuring iconic images relating to aviation and the state of Indiana including airplanes, music notes, apple tree branches, and “hello” in a number of languages. In the center of Oculus is a dichroic glass disk suspended from the frame that reflects a number of colors.

“The concept for Oculus takes inspiration from the fluid and iconic shape of airplane wings and establishes the viewer’s engagement with the history of aviation in the state. Its four, 18-foot stainless steel ‘wings’ elegantly designed to resemble airplane wings also provide the support for an open yet structured space for visitors to enjoy.” said artist Gordon Huether.

“Oculus” was made possible by the generous donations of several Fort Wayne area businesses. Platinum Level donors were Steel Dynamics, Franklin Electric, and STAR Bank. Gold Level donors were Fort Wayne Metals, Indiana Michigan Power, Rothberg Law Firm, and USI Insurance Services. Silver Level donors include Hylant, CHA Consulting, and Petroleum Traders Corporation. Mead & Hunt, FWA’s architectural firm for the East and West Terminal Expansion projects and Michael Kinder and Sons, who served as construction manager on the West Terminal Expansion and Renovation Project were also Silver Level donors to the public art project.

“Oculus would not be possible without the generous contributions of our donors and assistance of those that served on the airport’s Art Selection Committee. FWA is the region’s airport, and this is reflected in the organizations and individuals who helped bring this art to life.” said Scott Hinderman, Executive Director of Airports. “We are proud to have such a large public art piece on the FWA campus created by an artist with Gordon Huether’s caliber. This type of art installation will allow passengers and guests at FWA to engage and immerse themselves with public art that ties to the airport, as well as our community, and beyond.”

The installation of Oculus was completed by Gordon Huether and team members from Gordon Huether Studios. Strebig Construction served as the contractor for the concrete work surrounding the art piece. Work was completed on the installation earlier in the spring.

Passengers and guests to the airport are welcome and encouraged to engage with “Oculus” during their visit to the airport.

The Waynedale News Staff
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