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Art Critics: Glass Wings at the Santa Barbara Terminal

Today, the Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review will discuss and consider a 20-foot public art installation in front of the new Santa Barbara Airport terminal, pictured below. The piece of art has been designed to commemorate the men and women who served in World War II at the airport, which was once the site of the Santa Barbara Marine Corps Air Station. The structure will be shaped to resemble wings and will be installed in an arch on one of the grassy knolls in front of the new terminal.

20 Responses to “Art Critics: Glass Wings at the Santa Barbara Terminal”

  1. Carorlyn H.

    20 feet is large but I like it. They have done a fantastic job with this terminal!@!

  2. el_smurfo

    I hope they learned from the Chromatic Gate and include a 20 year budget for windex.


      Great point smurf! I also wonder who grants the contract to make them and whos friend gets the guaranteed way overinflated price tag because they are calling it art. As most realize that an expert in which ever medium, (poly, resin, whatever) can manufacture said piece!

  3. monarch lover

    Perhaps instead of Windex they could be painted the colors of a butterfly, in recognition of the adjoining city of Goleta! But if they are to be the clear glass they will have to be cleaned daily; otherwise, a xeriscaped sitting and picnic area would be quite a bit more useful and pleasant.

  4. Glass wings are great, but nothing will help the new airport building. The ABR should be embarrassed. Ugliest building in SB.

  5. SalDali

    The airport tower looks like a squished milk carton and the wings look like scary glass shards. That does make a statement about today’s air travel.


    Nice, who gets the overpriced contract, because we call it art? chromatic mess?

  7. Please planners and review boards consider the overall landscape design. When the landscape plans were reviewed, the possibility that the facade of the new terminal would be be the site of large art pieces was not considered, This large glass sculpture distracts from any public appreciation of the facade of the new terminal. Could a site e found that fits the approved landscape plan? I am afraid that this sculpture as handsome it might be to some will become another chromatic gate, a sculpture placed in the wrong location.

    • el_smurfo

      salt air? what about the seagulls?

  8. Salt air? Seagulls? What about taggers determined to etch gang signs into every vertical surface in town? Will this lovely sculpture have guards 24/7 to keep the low-life punks and diamond-bearing scratchers away?

    • I really doubt the SBA Terminal has that issue. do you remember the old terminal ever being tagged up? there’s always TSA and/or Airport Patrol there from 4:30am-1am (no idea what it’s like during the couple hours there’s no airline passenger activity at night). natural wear and tear, yes, but at least it’s airport budget covering it, not city budget. once it’s in place (if that happens), the airport is on the hook for paying for it. this ABR approval is just a formality since the airport is technically on city land.

      I agree with KdeF, though. I think that the terminal was not designed for art installations like such out front, and it would just look tacky. the piece itself is fine, it just looks out of place in my mind when I picture it there, and I actually really like the new terminal. maybe after I see the finished effort when they are done with the old terminal relocation/rehabilitation I could see it out front there, but right now…no.

  9. Anonymous

    Glass wings would be lovely and more practical in an indoor environment. But there should be more public art until they can pay for the upkeep of what’s already there. The Chromatic Gate looks worse than ever, and despite bringing lots of attention to it, nothing has been done to clean it up (or even remove the shoes on top of it), except to raise the price tag for painting and fix-up.

  10. DrBud

    This is another bad idea in so many ways.
    But if you insist in giving the airport an eyesore, at least call them ‘magic wings’, not
    something that is easily broken!

  11. I agree with all the above posts. Glass may not be the easiest to maintain! But i disagree, the Chromatic Gate looks fine.. sure its not super bright, but it still looks as intended; like a squared, rainbow colored gate even if its faded or dirty.. still maintains the same effect. ( have you been around the world? Every great public sculpture is faded, weathered, and spattered with bird crap. ( which goes back to my first comment, glass main not be the best material )

    • el_smurfo

      The artwork by the same artist in Arco Plaza is well maintained and vibrant red…in fact the Chromatic Gate is the most pathetic looking piece of public art I think I have ever seen and reflects poorly on our city.

      • George Treycorn

        Agreed! they should get rid of that hunk and spend the money helping lift the homeless populations quality of life. We all realize they wont do it themselves.

  12. Anonymous

    C’mon man! Leave well enough alone

  13. Transparency

    The angels must be listening because today it was explained in the SB NewsPress this is a special ion glass that self-cleans, by some sort of electro-static repulsion perhaps?

    And it is sturdy architectural glass that can be re-polished should pesky urban artists want to mark their territory on this monument in memory of those who risked their lives to give these vandals a safe place to call home.

    Let’s hope there is room for an Avenging Angel among these glass feathers should anything ill come its way.

  14. Marc McGinnes

    I suppose that all taxpayers have the credentials to be public art critics, so here is my brief say: I think the terminal building is ugly on the verge of being hideous (part boxey-barracks, wimpish tower add-on, and all-wrong shape and size of that arch), and so why make it all even worse by plunking down these huge glass things that look like a hood ornament on steroids? On the other hand, for some it might be the perfect fit.

    Reasonable minds differ, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I confess that I really like the Chromatic Gate in all the variations of its colors, bright and faded.