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Glass Takes Off at the Pittsburgh International Airport



  • Pittsburgh Glass Center and the Allegheny County Airport Authority unveil a multifaceted glass installation at the airport

    PITTSBURGH, PA - Colorful glass installations are part of a new art exhibit at Pittsburgh International Airport, the Allegheny County Airport Authority announced today.

    Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC), a nonprofit, public access glass studio and gallery, partnered with the Airport Authority on this unique project. The centerpieces of the exhibit are two dramatic and beautiful glass mosaics measuring 4 foot by 13 foot created by Pittsburgh mosaic artist Daviea Davis. Each showpiece depicts Old Pittsburgh and New Pittsburgh respectively, and both are installed on facing walls at the Landside People Mover Trains.

    Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, Airport Authority Board Member Rich Stanizzo and Paige Ilkhanipour of the PGC made the announcement Tuesday, April 24 at a news conference at the airport.

    “These mosaics will have an energizing effect on travelers and visitors at Pittsburgh International Airport. Our region has long been recognized for its innovative contributions to glass making and the arts. The mosaics demonstrate this heritage and celebrate the region’s dramatic transformation and bright future," said Onorato.

    “We are delighted to work with the Pittsburgh Glass Center on this collaborative artistic effort. Since the midfield terminal opened in 1992, promoting public art has been an important goal for Pittsburgh International Airport. Located just beyond security, this exhibit will revitalize departing passengers and leave them with a positive and creative view of Pittsburgh as they head to their gates,” said Stanizzo.

    One mosaic features an interesting mosaic image of old Pittsburgh showing the glass and steel mills with billowing smoke intermingling with unique colorful neighborhoods. New Pittsburgh is the second mosaic with blue rivers, green trees and more colorful neighborhoods and landmarks. The Pittsburgh Mosaics are a permanent installation at Pittsburgh International Airport.

    Artist Daviea Davis created the works and involved the community in their completion. During a January 2007 PGC Open House, visitors to the center were invited to add their own touches by selecting and placing different shapes and sizes of colored glass onto window studies of the mosaics. The actual mosaics displayed, are a collaborative effort of other glass artists, students and friends of the artist. Glenn Green, a Pittsburgh based stained glass artist who created the windows for the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh also created the windows for the illustration of the Cathedral of Learning on Pittsburgh Now. Sharon Serbin created the Zoo on Pittsburgh Now and author Devra Davis inspired the colors selected for Pittsburgh Then with her book, "When Smoke Ran Like Water." Max Williams crafted the frames that brought the whole installation together.

    "Pittsburgh, herself, is actually a mosaic of individuals coming together to form diverse neighborhoods, which join together to form the whole. Our history is thick with industry and hard work, transformed by ingenuity and creativity, into a lighter, greener, healthier and more active present and future. Together, this forms one great city," said Davis.

    “These mosaics are one of the most exciting projects happening during this year of glass in Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Glass Center’s fifth anniversary. They are beautiful, lasting and timely examples of Pittsburgh’s amazing transformation in glass and they showcase just one of so many talented glass artists who now live in Pittsburgh,” said Paige Ilkhanipour, marketing director at PGC.

    The project was sponsored by the PGC and Bombardier Transportation. The glass used in the mosaics is recycled glass donated by Youghiogheny Glass located in Connellsville, PA.

    “Bombardier is a global and regional leader in rail technology and transportation systems. It manufactured and maintains the trains at Pittsburgh International Airport where these mosaics are exhibited. We wish to thank them for their generous donation and for their support of this important public art project,” Stanizzo stated.

    “The vivid palate of colored glass donated by Youghiogheny Glass helped Daviea see the city in a new way, made her vision become a reality and brought this project to life. This project would not have been possible without its support,” said Ilkhanipour.

    Additionally, Pittsburgh Glass Center and the Airport Authority are showcasing young glass artists such as Stephen Protheroe and Jeffrey Phelps with three temporary glass art displays in different areas of the airport. The large and colorful works by these local artists highlight the young creative capital of the region.

    Pittsburgh Glass Center ( is a nonprofit, public access glass studio and gallery dedicated to teaching, creating and promoting glass art. The Allegheny County Airport Authority ( is the governing agency that operates Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport, West Mifflin, PA.
  • Apr 22, 2007