Giant flamingo to join public art displays aimed at enhancing travel experience at TPA

Tampa International Airport recently commissioned nine artists to enhance the travel experience with rotating exhibits as well as permanent works of art.

"I like to think that people really notice and enjoy all the artwork," shared Kelly Figley, TPA's Public art program manager. "Traveling through the airport is busy. We’re coming up on our busiest time of year and I think that the artwork really gives us an opportunity to pause for a moment and take a look at something beautiful and interesting."  

The permanent collection is designed to showcase things that are uniquely Florida, including a 21-foot pink flamingo that’s expected to be complete in spring 2022.

"HOME," by Matthew Mazzotta, is a massive, floor-to-ceiling sculpture that depicts a hand-sculpted resin and fiberglass flamingo as it gently dips its head beneath the surface of the water. It will be located near the Shoppes at Bayshore in the airport’s main terminal.

The ‘Florida Sunset’ piece is part of the permanent display that is a colorful mosaic tile creation from floor to ceiling featuring flowers, butterflies and even a snowy egret all typical of a Florida natural waterway area.

"It’s colorful and really beautiful," Figley exclaimed.

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Embedded in the ceiling is "Paths Rising."

"It really is a reference to the individual journey's that we are all on," shared Figley.

Another exhibit is called ‘Greetings from Tampa Bay’ by Sheryl Oring. She and her crew dressed in vintage 60s attire. They had old, vintage typewriters and collected people’s stories from Tampa and St. Petersburg.

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"When you’re looking at this wall, you’re going to see stories typed up on 3 by 5 cards," Figley stated. "They’re all heartwarming stories. Some are funny. The photographs you see were influenced or inspired by the stories Sheryl heard during her time collecting them."

Previously, TPA CEO Joe Lopano stated, "We are more than a place that people simply pass through – we are the first and last impression of the Tampa Bay region. Public art is critical to creating a sense of place and leaving our guests with a unique and engaging experience."

LINK: Learn more about public art at TPA at


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