Brookgreen’s art at Myrtle Beach International is a growing trend at airports nationwide

 

A new sculpture installation has gone up, welcoming fliers into Myrtle Beach International Airport as they head down into the terminal – and entertaining the eyes for anyone waiting to pick up arriving travelers.

A row of five pieces by Glenna Goodacre on loan to Brookgreen Gardens from Osprey Management Company LLC for a year are set up in Brookgreen’s dedicated, decorative corner at the landing for the downward escalator. Two other works, both owned by the gardens: “Mountain Fishing” by Rosetta and “African Gray Goose” by Walter Matia, round out this display.

Robin Salmon, Brookgreen’s vice president of art and historical collections, and curator of sculpture, said a crew spent two evenings in August with dollies and lift tables for the installation to swap out a “Pledge of Allegiance” sculpture for this series of works.

Brookgreen personnel had measured specs and placements for this layout, Salmon said, so with some turns and tweaks in position for each of the pieces, depending on the direction for each, it all worked out in setting up.

“Oh, yeah,” she said with a laugh, thinking about how the exhibit highlights the home base of art-lined walkways and galleries at the gardens, open at 9:30 a.m. daily on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach (843-235-6000, 800-849-1931 or www.brookgreen.org). “We do this a little bit, so it has become second nature.”

Salmon said with such placement of sculptures at the airport, “you have to look at them from every possible angle.”

“You have to walk a ways from it,” she said, “to think about how it might look to people when you walk by.”

A glance at Goodacre’s “The Architect” shows the male figure, wearing a fedora and pointing with his left arm, toward the windows of the airline check-in area for departures, while standing between “CEO,” a woman with a briefcase in hand, and “Wall Street Journal,” a man reading on a bench with a leg crossed.

Salmon commended the Myrtle Beach airport – which is owned and operated by Horry County – and other airport authorities that earmark space for art, especially out west, such as Albuquerque International Sunport in New Mexico and Denver International Airport in Colorado. She also appreciates how art in general has grown as a “more integral part of being at the airport.”

“More airports, even in the East,” Salmon said, “are starting to borrow works from museums for temporary display.”

The live element at Brookgreen’s exhibit in place for several years at the Myrtle Beach airport remains all the complementary flora. Salmon said a local company selected, and cares for, all the greenery, which includes hostas and small trees, among “at least five different types of plants” she has counted.

Some local residents and vacationers might remember Brookgreen’s innovative way to tout the “Nature Connects: Legos Bricks Sculpture” touring, outdoor exhibit from spring and summer last year. Perched by the baggage claim carousels, Sean Kinney’s bald eagle Lego sculpture earned plenty of people’s peers for six months.

Salmon also said that during installation of Brookgreen’s current garden display, she and colleagues could not go to the top of the one-way escalator to view the works, because of airport security measures in place to shuttle arriving patrons out of the terminal to baggage claim, around the corner the right, or the exits.

“I had to go out of town,” Salmon said with a chuckle, “so I saw it for the first time when coming down the escalator, just last week.”

Salmon said it’ll be another round trip by air this winter “before I get to do that again,” and that’s when the tenure of this sculpture concludes, Brookgreen brass look forward to keeping its corner alive through the continued honor with this borrowed art, or devising another display.

“It will be here before we know it,” she said of the year’s cycle just begun. “Time flies.”

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Visit Brookgreen Gardens

WHERE: On U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach

WHEN: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

HOW MUCH: Admission lasts seven days – $16 ages 13-64, $14 ages 65 and older, $8 ages 4-12, and free ages 3 and younger.

SOME SPECIAL EVENTS THIS AUTUMN:

<bullet>Annual “Brew at the Zoo,” for Friends of Brookgreen Gardens projects, 5:30-8:30 p.m. SaturdaySept. 23 at Brookgreen’s Native Wildlife Zoo. $40 ($35 members), and $15 designated drivers. www.brookgreen.org/BrewattheZoo.html.

<bullet>Stone-carving demonstrations by Dr. Ken Smith – a retired Navy veteran who also worked as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon – Brookgreen’s fall sculptor in residence, speaking about his art at 3 p.m. Sept. 30; with demos, 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. Oct. 1, 3 and 5 – all free with garden admission.

<bullet>“Harvest Home Weekend” Fall Festival, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 7, free with admission.

<bullet>National Sculpture Society’s 84th annual Awards Exhibition (nationalsculpture.org), with 47 artists’ works, through Oct. 29, free with admission.

<bullet>“Whispering Wings” butterfly house open for half-hour visits daily through Oct. 30, for extra $3 for ages 13 and older, $2 ages 4-12.

INFORMATION: 843-235-6000, 800-849-1931 or www.brookgreen.org

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