Landing - Ralph Helmick & Stuart Schechter

Where is it?

Central Terminal

Landing is located directly in front of the glass curtain wall.

About the Art

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.

The Details


Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter




Suspended sculpture (cast pewter and acrylic elements, braided cable)


40' high x 20' wide x 20' in depth

Did you know?

The sculpture contains a total of 28,000 pieces suspended by 10,050 wires.

  • <p>Detail, courtesy of SSchechter LLC</p>
  • <p>Photo courtesy of Helmick Sculpture</p>
  • <p>Photo courtesy of Helmick Schechter</p>
  • <p>View from beneath, courtesy of SSchechter LLC</p>
  • <p>Birds and fish detail, courtesy of the Port of Seattle</p>
  • <p>Wine, courtesy of SSchechter LLC</p>
  • <p>Planes, courtesy of Helmick Sculpture</p>
  • <p>View from balcony, courtesy of SSchechter LLC</p>
  • <p>Origami crane migration, courtesy of SSchechter LLC</p>
  • <p>Photo courtesy of Don Wilson</p>

About the Artists

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

Short Bios

Stuart 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 Helmick

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.

Similar Artwork

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.

Landing - Ralph Helmick & Stuart Schechter

This suspended sculpture, consisting of cast elements that define the region, employs Pointillism to form a composite snow goose.