Event Celebrates Debut of Public Artwork 'Wind Reeds' at Nashville International Airport
Artist Ned Kahn, who created the public large-scale art on Nashville International Airport’s (BNA) new rental car facility, will speak at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Watkins Theater. A reception, sponsored by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, will follow the artist’s talk. The event is free and open to the public.
“Ned Kahn’s talk will provide insight into his approach to art making and the meaning of being a public artist from an aesthetic, functional, social and community context,” said Ellen Meyer, president of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. “Presenting artist lectures is a significant part of our students’ education.”
The creation for BNA, titled “Wind Reeds,” features hundreds of hinged aluminum elements that sway in the wind, mimicking a grass-like effect. Kahn said his artwork suggests a landscape of wind-swept reeds.
- Artist Statement: "One of the paradoxical properties of some of this wind sculpture is that it appears to become more detailed as you view them from a greater distance because the individual moving “pixels” merge into a seamless rendering of the hidden patterns of the wind. Even from a great distance, the proposed sculptures functions as a dynamic beacon for the airport. Similar to watching the wind blow through a field of tall grass or the wind playing on the surface of water, the artwork fosters a welcoming mood of contemplation and wonder. My hope is that the artwork will function as a register for the ever-changing wind and create a unique kinetic portal for Nashville that will remind people of the magic and mystery of the world that we live in."
“The Airport Authority is proud to include ‘Wind Reeds’ as a premier art piece for Nashville International Airport’s passengers, partners and employees,” said Raul Regalado, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. “The artwork will help deliver the Nashville Airports Experience to our travelers and meeters and greeters as they enter our facilities.”
Arts at the Airport, which provides public visual and musical arts to passengers and visitors of Nashville International and John C. Tune airports, selected Kahn to design and create a visual art element for the consolidated rental car facility at BNA. The new facility opened to the public Nov. 1.
“We’re excited the Arts at the Airport program is bringing another public art installation to Nashville and enhancing the arts community for our residents,” said Jennifer Cole, executive director of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission.
The public dedication of "Wind Reeds" will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m. in the consolidated rental car facility.
About Ned Kahn
For the last 20 years, Ned Kahn has created large-scale public artworks that strive to increase people's awareness of natural phenomena. Using materials such as water, wind, fog and light, he has worked to create contemplative oases in urban environments, places where people can reconnect with the larger forces of nature. He is fascinated by blurring the boundaries between art, science, architecture and nature.
Mr. Kahn began his career with the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco in the early 1980s, creating interactive sculptures that respond to forces in their environment. Among his more than 40 major public art projects are “Wind Portal,” Bart Station, San Francisco International Airport; “Wind Silos,” International Trade Center Park Structure and North “Wind Veil,” Gateway Village, Charlotte, North Carolina; “Wind Leaves,” Milwaukee Waterfront. He works out of his studio in Sebastopol, CA.
For the Nashville International Airport project entitled “Wind Reeds,” Kahn was inspired by the idea of an artwork that suggests a landscape of wind-swept reeds that has been tilted into the vertical plane. In recent years, he has completed a series of artworks that reveal invisible forces in their sites by converting natural flow patterns, such as wind, into the pixelated motion of many small metal parts. He calls these artworks “detectors”, for they are analogous to the detectors on telescopes and other scientific instruments that reveal the effects of the invisible. The normally unseen patterns of the wind are complex and entrancing. The psychological effect is similar to watching a fire, waves on a lake or tall grasses swaying in the wind.
The Nashville project covers a portion of the Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CONRAC) with more than 500 hinged aluminum elements that sway in the wind like grasses. Suggestive of a vertical landscape of reeds, wind and air the artwork serves as a unique visual beacon for the airport. The surfaces of the metal panels capture color from the sky and surrounding environment, creating an ever-changing mosaic of sky and wind currents. The artwork is uniquely tied to the atmosphere and climate of Nashville, drawing its energy and animation directly from the moment-to-moment changing conditions of the local environment. The form and design of the artwork is also a unique response to the architectural context of the airport and the parking structure.
Arts at the Airport
Working closely with the 15-member Arts at the Airport Foundation board, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority showcases the region’s visual and performing arts through its Arts at the Airport program, which receives some funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission. The award-winning Arts at the Airport program reviews and presents works by local, regional and national artists for the enjoyment and enrichment of Nashville International Airport’s and John C. Tune Airport’s passengers and visitors. In addition to visual art, Arts at the Airport includes music since it is an integral part of Nashville. The arts come alive with musical performances on stages throughout BNA’s passenger terminal.
Nashville International Arts at the Airport, a (501c)(3) organization, receives funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission and other grant-giving organizations to provide a comprehensive art program in the terminal. For more information on Arts at the Airport and the current exhibitions at the airport, visit www.flynashville.com..