KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport opens this spring, dozens of incredible pieces of art will greet travelers.

Under Kansas City’s One Percent for Art program, the budget for artwork at KCI’s new terminal is $5.65 million. That makes it the largest public art project in Kansas City history.

Out of over 1,900 applicants, the Build KCI team selected 28 artists to create work for the terminal.

Nine of those pieces are large sculptures, hanging pieces and ceramics that can be found in main terminal areas, the arrivals road and parking garage.

The request for these proposals was open to professional artists from around the world, but the selection committee was made up of local leaders, art professionals and more. Build KCI said 75% of the selected pieces are from women or people of color.

The other 19 pieces are wall-based artwork found at gates in the two concourses.

These proposals were open to Kansas City-area artists or those with significant ties to the region. Build KCI said the selection panel was made up of national arts experts to ensure objectivity, and 78% of the artists are women or people of color.

Of all the art at KCI’s new terminal, 75% was made by artists with from the Kansas City area or those with close ties.

The Kansas City Aviation Department has not set an official opening date, but officials have targeted been targeting March and an announcement is expected soon.

Take a look at all the artwork from local, national and international talent you’ll find at Kansas City Airport’s new terminal and parking garage:

The Air Up There

A rendering of “The Air Up There” by Nick Cave (Photo courtesy of Build KCI)

Created by internationally renowned artist Nick Cave, you’ll find this massive art piece hanging from the Check-In Hall ceiling. It features thousands of colorful wind spinners, many featuring local connections like shuttlecocks and fountains. The city commissioned the piece for $1 million.


“Wings” by John Balistreri (Photo courtesy Build KCI)

From sculptor John Balistreri, this large-scale ceramics piece will be featured in the north end of the Check-In Hall. It features a human fingerprint, the Missouri River line, flowering dogwoods and more.

Let the Music Take You

On the south end of the Check-In Hall, travelers will find large ceramic figures of a jazz band. Created by sculptor George Rodriguez, this piece pays homage to Kansas City’s impressive jazz history.


A rendering of “Fountain” by Leo Villareal (Photo courtesy Build KCI)

There has to be a fountain at the new terminal in the City of Fountains, and artist Leo Villareal’s take will certainly have travelers in awe. You’ll find this piece in what KCI officials call Retail Node A, which is where Concourse A intersects the Connector.

Cloud Gazing

A rendering of “Cloud Gazing” by SOFTlab/Michael Szivos (Photo via Build KCI)

Created by SOFTlab and artist Michael Szivos, this ceiling piece can be found in the Connector between the two concourses. KCI officials say it’s made by interlacing images with colorful backgrounds “in barrier-grid animations to create the appearance of movement.”


Willie Cole works on “Ornithology” (Photo via Build KCI)

Artist Willie Cole’s piece can be found in Retail Node B, the area between Concourse B intersects the Connector. It will feature a dozen larger-than-life birds hung from the ceiling that are made from alto saxophones. Cole said the piece is a tribute to Kansas City native Charlie Parker

Molten Swing

A rendering of “Molten Swing” by Soo Sunny Park (Photo by Build KCI)

Artist Soo Sunny Park’s eye-catching piece can be found hanging in the escalator to Baggage Claim, catching and reflecting light. Build KCI crews said “Molten Swing” honors Kansas City jazz musician Bennie Moten, whose “Moten Swing” was “an innovative approach to big band music.”

Sky Prairie

A rendering of “Sky Prairie” by Jill Anholt (Photo via Build KCI)

As travelers are leaving KCI’s new terminal, they’ll find this massive piece in the Arrivals Roadway Underpass. Created by artist Jill Anholt, “Sky Prairie” was inspired by the beautiful rolling hills surrounding Kansas City.


“Riff/Lift” by Hou de Sousa Studio (Photo courtesy Build KCI)

If you park in the new garage next to the KCI terminal, you’ll likely find these colorful creation from Hou de Sousa Studio. “The project’s streamlined fins evoke the qualities of feathers and airfoils,” Build KCI says.


There are 19 wall-based pieces found throughout Concourse A and Concourse B that will be found near gate lounges.

Laura Berman

This three-panel piece by artist Laura Berman is called “Rays” and can be found near Gate A14. Berman is a native of Spain but is currently a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute where, among other things, she teaches printmaking, the technique she’s using for this KCI piece.

Mona Cliff

Artist Mona Cliff’s piece “Prairie Confluence” for the new terminal is made from live-edge wood and beading. Find it near Gate B51. The Lawrence-based artist explores Native American culture through her traditional crafting methods like beadwork, according to her biography.  

Santiago Cucullu

KCI artwork by Santiago Cucullu (Photo by Build KCI)

Artist Santiago Cucullu has created this archival digital print for Kansas City’s new terminal. Travelers can find “Separate and Complex Bodies, Sophisticated Interactions, and Unfathomable Lives” near Gate B47. Cucullu is a visiting professor at the Kansas City Art Institute.

JT Daniels mural

JT Daniels mural (Photo via Build KCI)

You can find JT Daniels‘ murals all over the Kansas City area, and now there will be three featured in the KCI terminal. He’ll have acrylic paintings, called “Midwestern Meanderings,” on three wood panels. Find them near Gate B49.

Israel Alejandro Garcia Garcia

This multimedia installation from artist Israel Alejandro Garcia Garcia is called “Diaspora No. 1” and can be found near Gate A16. He’s incorporated a multitude of pieces like photographs, fabrics, his father’s immigration card and more, according to KC Studio. They all tie to stories of displacement for people of color.

John Hans

John Hans photography (Photo via Build KCI)

Photographer John Hans’ work will be on display at KCI Airport as a three-panel print called “Cone Worship.” His piece captures a tetrahedron wind indicator over cone markers at an Excelsior Springs airport, he told KC Studio. Find it near Gate A8.

Kwanza Humphrey

Artist Kwanza Humphrey with his pieces (Photo via Build KCI)

Johnson County-based artist Kwanza Humphrey has created five oil paintings on canvas for the terminal. Find them near Gate B56. He’s featuring five people of various backgrounds that represent what it means to live in greater Kansas City, according to his website.

Debbie Barrett-Jones

Textiles artist Debbie Barrett-Jones has created four metal prints from one woven piece. After making the original, it was photographed four different ways, printed on aluminum and framed. Travelers can find it near Gate B61.

Rachel Hubbard Kline

Teacher and artist Rachel Hubbard Kline’s beautiful mosaic tiles have been combined together like a quilt and placed into large, unique frames. You’ll find the tiles pressed with 1950s newspaper ads and headlines. Find “Kansas City: A Quilted History” near Gate B46.

Kathy Liao

Artist Kathy Liao with her in-progress piece “Hello and Goodbye” (Photo via Build KCI)

Artist Kathy Liao’s piece, called “Hello and Goodbye,” brings together painted wood panels with ceramic insets. You can find it near Gate B63. A native of Taiwan who currently works at Mid-America Arts Alliance, Liao said her “mixed media work is about the intimate yet universal concept of relationships.”

Linda Lighton

Linda Lighton’s painted tile work for KCI (Photo courtesy Build KCI)

Kansas City-based artist Linda Lighton is looking to nature for her KCI terminal piece. It features flowers and insects of the Great Plains painted on tiles. Travelers can find “Ode to the Tallgrass Prairie” near Gate A10.

John Louder

Artist John Louder has created four oil paintings on canvas called “Lines of Sight, Flight Lines.” The University of Central Missouri professor features country roads and the view of planes flying above. You can find it near Gate B60.

Sean Nash

Artist Sean Nash’s piece is creating a mixed-media, 3-dimensional piece that will honor minority growers in the Kansas City region. It’s called “Kansas City Reciprocity” and can be found near Gate B48. Nash said on social media that he visited six farms “to learn from the farmers and to document relationships between people, plants, and communities.”

Stephen Proski

Kansas City artist Stephen Proski has created a three-panel piece called “Taking Flight” for the new terminal. You can find it near Gate B59. Proski, whose art “addresses their own personal experience of blindness,” according to their bio, also has work featured in the Kansas City Museum.

Rachelle Gardner-Roe

Johnson County-based artist Rachelle Gardner-Roe has created this three-panel piece called “Flyover Country: The Wild Side” for the new terminal. It’s made of hand-dyed wool and features colorful creatures and nature from the area. Travelers can find it near Gate B54.

Hasna Sal

A rendering of Hasna Sal’s piece for the new KCI terminal (courtesy Build KCI)

Artist Hasna Sal has created a large Venetian glass painting using the sgraffito technique then framed in custom light boxes. The colorful piece is called “Nostalgia,” and travelers can find it near gate B62.

Kati Toivanen

Kati Toivanen’s piece “I-Spy Carry-On” is a digital collage. Inside it, KCI passengers will find everything from keys to small toys — all kinds of personal items a family might pack in their luggage, Toivanen said. Find it near Gate B52.

Bernadette Esperanza Torres

Kansas City artist Bernadette Esperanza Torres’s colorful piece is called “Beautiful Dreams of the Places You Will Go.” Find it near Gate B57. In her proposal, Torres said it’s a custom digital print of ceramic handmade flowers and ceramic painted tiles, plus it has some three-dimensional aspects.

Hong Zhang

Hong Zhang’s in-progress KCI piece (Courtesy Build KCI)

Lawrence-based artist Hong Zhang has created two intricate charcoal drawings for the new terminal. For over 20 years, she’s focused on hair as a central theme of her work, bringing about the piece on the right. The pieces are called “Grass Style” and “Kansas Braids” and can be found near Gate B57.