Landing is located directly in front of the glass curtain wall.
A composite sculpture of a snow goose, formed by thousands upon thousands of small acrylic sculptures of birds in flight and schools of salmon and trout, prepares to land amid abstracted water droplets and symbols that define the Pacific Northwest.
Closest to the ground and easily viewed by travelers are sculptures of the Hammering Man (SAM), Rachel the Pig (Pike Place Market), Jimi Hendrix’s Stratocaster, Boeing airplanes, stethoscopes, and, of course, coffee mugs.
Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter
Suspended sculpture (cast pewter and acrylic elements, braided cable)
40' high x 20' wide x 20' in depth
The sculpture contains a total of 28,000 pieces suspended by 10,050 wires.
For over a decade, Helmick and Schechter joined their artistically mechanical know-how to create large-scale installations that were "technically challenging with high aesthetic principles," confronting expectations of public art. They now explore the possibilities of their respective solo work.
"Working collaboratively helps free up our approach, supplying a kind of conceptual oxygen, blurring the lines between art and science." – Helmick and Schechter
Born and raised in Southfield, Michigan, Stu was always considered a tinkerer by his peers. At Wayne State University in Detroit, he decided to focus his creativity on mechanical engineering, and later, he attended MIT. Stu studied painting and sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts School, where he developed an interest in investigating the coinciding realms of art and technology.
Ralph attended the University of Michigan, receiving his B.A. in American studies. He obtained his M.F.A. in sculpture from the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston, where he met Stu. Helmick has an extensive teaching career, having lectured at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and at North Carolina’s Penland School of Crafts. He is a well-received public artist and has been granted the National Endowment for the Arts along with numerous design awards.
Work by the Artists
Impressions, an example of Schechter’s solo work in the atrium of the WSU Undergraduate Classroom Building in Vancouver, features a David Wagoner poem printed on planks of Douglas fir.
At the Airport
Small sculptures of Northwest icons coalesce into Landing. Another public artist on view near the airport, Buster Simpson, takes inspiration from the region in a similar way. Visit Simpson’s Carbon Veil to see how Simpson, like Helmick and Schechter, responds to the public space.
This suspended sculpture, consisting of cast elements that define the region, employs Pointillism to form a composite snow goose.