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Arts and Culture

The Tucson International Airport (TUS) Arts and Culture Program consists of a permanent collection, rotating exhibits, and a performing arts program, Live at TIA!

Permanent Collection

In 1987 the Tucson Airport Authority Board of Directors made a commitment to acquire art for the airport. Now more than 100 original works of art by artists living in Tucson's air service trade area,  which includes Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties and northern Sonora, Mexico, are represented in the collection.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Tucson Airport Authority, several site specific works were selected for the terminal. A guide to the TUS permanent art collection is available at the Airport Information counters inside the lower level entrances to the terminal.


Temporary exhibits by regional artists are featured in galleries located throughout the airport's passenger terminal. Currently showing:

New in the Lower Link Gallery, Tony Ramone exhibits photographs from two series, Transient Ischemic Transit and Mad World through September 10.  

Susan Rider exhibits a series of paintings called, The Tablet Series Meditations in the Upper Link Gallery from June 6 to the end of July. Rider's work has been exhibited twice before, once as a solo artist and another as a part of a group show.

The paintings making up the Tablet Series Meditations are described as a journal of Rider's day-to-day experience. Rider calls it "the desire to draw like a child while exploring and building technical skills that propel growth as an observer and painter."

At the entrance to Concouse B, Steve Farley creates his large-scale photographs by digitally collaging many zoomed-in images to increase detail and capture changing colors, movement, and angles. These are printed in archival inks on canvas, then finished with a gallery wraps.

On display through April 30, Farley's sporting events series featuring UA football, UA basketball, along with an oversized (5'x13') image created Packers football game at Lambeau Field, made up of more than 500 individual zoomed-in photographs put back together in Photoshop to create an image that compresses time, space, and light into one fascinating detailed image that captures the entire 3.5 hours of a game, and in which you can see every face in the entire stadium. It is also a portrait of an American cathedral, American rituals, and his father who is at the lower right corner.

Pilot Kate Dawes exhibits a series of 12 semi-abstract black and white photographs titled, Plane Images, that features close-up artistic angles and sections of aircraft. Dawes says, "I love all things aviation," and her exhibition proves it. Located at the exit to Concourse B, this exhibition will be in place through June.

OSA, the Optical Society is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, marking a century of innovation. As part of the celebration, they've partnered with University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences to create a Centennial Exhibit that highlights 100 iconic images representing OSA and the world of optics and photonics. Eight of those images are on display for airport visitors to see in the baggage claim area. 

Entanglement, and other large format paintings by David Andres are now on display in the center gallery. These select pieces are from a large series that explore the visual imagery of costal marine flora and fauna, netting and entanglement. Through scuba diving and underwater photography, Andres obtains imagery that he draw upon to produce his paintings that abstractly suggests the aquatic plant and animal life living in the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Coastal habitats.

In honor of our Veterans, a new photographic exhibit titled, "Remembering Veterans of All Ages," is on display outside the military liaison office (MLO) on the lower level near Southwest Airlines bag belt #5. These images were taken by commercial photographer Arthur Samuel Mole and his partner John D. Thomas. Mole was famous for this series of "living photographs" made during World War I in which tens of thousands of soldiers, reservists and other members of the military were arranged to form massive compositions.

The ten images on display are the ones most famous from this period and have been provided by Jerry McDermott, whose father worked with Mole back in Chicago. The show is a "must see" and includes images of President Woodrow Wilson, a Navy Anchor, and the Statue of Liberty. The Human U.S. Shield required the placement of 30,000 people; The Liberty Bell 25,000.

In the ARTport, TIA's employee art gallery, there are paintings and drawings by Mary-Katherine Stillwell along with photographs by her daughter Autumn Stillwell, graphite drawings by Brandon Montenegro and Lily Malbon, and a series of comic strip panels by Tom Burton.

2016 Exhibits Calendar

Program Criteria and Form

Live at TIA! Performing Arts Programs are also featured throughout the year. Local performers entertain in the TUS Welcome Lounges on the lower level of the terminal. Click here for program criteria and application form or email for more information about any of the Arts & Culture programs.