New Sculpture Arrives At Des Moines Airport

“Liftoff,” created by Alice Aycock, is being installed at Des Moines International Airport this week. This will be the view entering from Cowles Drive. Photo: Greater Des Moines Art Foundation

A new artwork reached its final destination on Monday: the Des Moines International Airport. “Liftoff,” created by internationally renowned artist Alice Aycock and commissioned by the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, is 20 feet tall and 22 feet wide and will be installed over the course of three days this week.

“This has been a long time coming,” the foundation’s director, Jessica Rowe, said in a statement. “Our first Aycock proposal was for a sculpture along the Sixth Avenue Corridor, back in 2012. We persisted in keeping her work in our public art wish list because we truly wanted to find it a prominent home in Des Moines. Partnering with the airport presented a great opportunity.”

“Liftoff” consists of white gloss powder-coated aluminum with a galvanized structural stainless-steel interior. The sculpturewhich will be lit at night, making it a clear fixture for travelers going in and out of Des Moinesis inspired by science and technology and depicts the movement of energy with spirals, whirlpools and spinning top.

The work honors the late Johnny Danos, who was a longtime community leader in Greater Des Moines.

“The artwork will become synonymous with the Dear Moines International Airport,” Kevin Foley, Des Moines Airport Authority executive director, said in a statement. “It will be the first thing travelers see when entering the airport and the last thing when leaving.”

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