You may already know that Atlanta is home to DSTV’s popular news network CNN or that Atlanta is where Coca Cola the maker of your addictive fizzy drink is run from.
But did you know that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (KATL) in Atlanta, the United States, is not only the busiest airport in the world with nearly 100 million passengers per year, but is also home to a collection of amazing sculptures by Zimbabwean artists?
We were just gobsmacked to learn recently that no less than 20 large sculptures created by Zimbabwean stone artists have been displayed in the airport’s gallery since 2001 following acquisition in 1992. The elongated gallery covers a distance of over 300 metres.
It is estimated that each year this permanent contemporary stone sculpture collection is viewed by some 22 million passengers representing about 22% of all passenger traffic at the airport. The Zimbabwean sculptures are also popular with school tours. The sculptures are strategically located in a pedestrian corridor linking terminals.
The stone carvings were particularly chosen under the airport’s Art Program “for their intrinsic beauty”.
The airport authorities thought the sculptures which carry cross cultural themes around humanity, family and spirituality would resonate well with their passengers. They have not failed to deliver in these many years as millions of passengers are just taken aback.
The most fascinating bit is that the sculptures were created without employ of power tools which is amazing to many display visitors from all over the world.
The sculpture gallery is in fact included on some travel websites among “things to do on a layover at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport”.
Artists whose stones are here include Gideon Nyanhongo, Edronce Rukodzi, Dominic Benhura, and Tapfuma Gutsa among others.
So next time you pass by a dusty guy near you chipping into a stone in-between his legs with a chisel, celebrate them as fellow Zimbabwean possessing an equal chance to raise your country’s flag high!
Below are some of the sculptures displayed at the airport. All image credit: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.