It’s the one-year countdown for phase 1 of the new Salt Lake City airport, scheduled to open September 15, 2020! We couldn’t be more excited to see the new changes happening, so we took a tour recently to witness progress of this massive effort – particularly the new art installation plans. Read on to get familiar with the site of your future Insta-worthy pics!

Salt Lake City’s International Airport is evolving to meet the region’s growing needs and demands of the Airport’s role as an international hub. The new expansion is a giant undertaking, but the end-result will be well worth the effort.

Did you know the airport serves more than 25 million passengers a year from facilities that were designed 50 years ago, which were intended to serve half as many travelers? Travelers and the 15,000 employees who work at the airport are beyond ready for the upgrade.

To mark the one year countdown, Marketing Director Nancy Volmer joined ABC 4 Utah to talk about all of the new improvements including a new layout, parking, restaurants and public art.

It has been a comprehensive effort by many at the city to get to this point and we’re thrilled at the Department of Economic Development to have a role! One of our contributions you’ll notice when you first enter the new airport is the amazing public art projects our friends at the Salt Lake City Arts Council have been working on.

With the new construction, an expanded Salt Lake City-inspired vision is taking place. SLCDA (Salt Lake City Department of Airports) contracted with a national public art consultant to develop a comprehensive art master plan which includes the Airport’s New SLC Art Wall, bathroom whimsy wall art, and a new tunnel mural opportunity.

The Salt Lake City Arts Council invited artists and artist-led teams to submit qualifications through a formal RFQ process, which were then selected by committee. We can’t wait to see the final result.

The New SLC Art Wall will be located in the TSA security checkpoint and will be approximately 30 x 11 feet. Artists are under contract and working through their milestones, with completion set for May 2020. We’re happy to report that it is a local artist-led team.


A large curtain of windows will feature the natural beauty of Utah – spectacular views of the mountains and the Great Salt Lake.  Artist Gordon Huether’s large-scale, permanent art installation, “The Canyon,” will be integrated on both walls inside the new terminal. The work evokes the Salt Lake City landscape and spans 362 feet, roughly the length of a football field! Another sculpture, “The Falls” will make use of the natural light provided by the large windows, near the three-story escalator well.

Traveling by air is an amazing experience, but air travel also causes anxiety and stress for many travelers. New planned accommodations include new improved bathroom facilities – an opportunity to add a calming effect with artwork displayed on the walls entering and exiting the room. These “whimsical walls” resulted in another request for proposals by the Salt Lake City Arts Council– 24 walls in total. 18 artists were selected — 9 local, and 9 national.

There is still more to come. Salt Lake City Art Council is now in the process of drafting a new opportunity which will be released in the next couple months!  It is a 1,000 ft tunnel that we will put out a RFQ for even more murals. Follow us on social media channels and SLC Art Council’s website for the formal program announcement.

Art programs offer airline travelers—whether they’re here for a visit or passing through Salt Lake City on a quick layover—a chance to explore a city while remaining inside the airport’s terminals. This may be some passengers’ only experience of our spectacular state. We’re grateful for the careful thought and preparation being made to ensure an inspired vision of the Capital city.

For more information about the project, visit: