The Ultimate Guide to AUS: Curating Your Next Airport Art Tour

At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), there’s more to our terminal and grounds than brisket and planes. As you take a trip through AUS, you’ll discover a diverse tapestry of artistic expressions, all from local artists. From interactive and virtual reality installations to timeless paintings, there's something for every art aficionado.

Rotating Exhibits and Permanent Art

One of the defining features of our airport’s art scene is the historic, permanent artwork mixed with the fresh take of artistic expression in the rotating exhibits. A few defining pieces from the permanent collection include:

Statue of Barbara Jordan at AUS

‘True Patriot’ by Bruce Wolfe

Significance to AUS: Barbara Jordan was the first African American to serve in the Texas Senate since Reconstruction and the first African American woman from the South to be elected to Congress. The life-size sculpture is the first major, public piece in the country to honor Jordan and is now a landmark of our terminal’s namesake for travelers around the world.


Photo of Interimaginary Departures gate area at AUS

Photo of sign at Interimaginary Departures that reads: This is an interimaginary portal. it is definitely not an exit.

‘Interimaginary’ Departures by Janet Zweig

Significance to AUS: A part of the Art in Public Places (AIPP) Collection, this installment was unveiled in 2021 and is one of our most interactive and popular pieces. Guests can visit what is also called the “infinity” gate (next to Gate 14) to see which flights are boarding to magical or fantasy destinations like Hogwarts, experience an other-dimensional gate design, and even get a printed boarding pass to a fantasy destination.


Photo of a fighter mask/helmet from a previous American was in the "History of Bergstrom Air Force Base" installation at AUS.Photo of Austin Bergstrom installation at AUS

‘History of Bergstrom Air Force Base,’ courtesy of Bergstrom-Austin Community Council Collection and Austin Scale Modelers Society

Significance to AUS: This display in Baggage Claim has several historic items from the Bergstrom Air Force Base including copies of newspaper clippings, model airplanes, photos of the base, and more that represent a rich and interesting history of the origins of our airport property. The display chronicles the service of those who lives and worked at the Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, all the way back to WWII until the air force base was decommissioned in 1993.


Photo of Green Austin in the terminal above Checkpoint 2 West

'Green Austin' by Jimmy Jalapeeno: A Glimpse into AUS History

Significance to AUS: Visit ‘Green Austin’ by the esteemed Jimmy Jalapeeno. This iconic series of oil paintings is one of the oldest and was even displayed at the Mueller Airport, pre-dating AUS opening its doors in 1999. You can find the series before security on the east and west sides of the ticketing lobby.

Giant Outdoor Marvels

Step outside the terminal and you’ll stumble upon (or under) our largest and most magnificent installations, courtesy of the Art in Public Places (AIPP) program. ‘Meander Wings’ by Marc Fornes, ‘Uplifted Ground’ by Michael Singer Studio, and ‘Plume’ by Clay Odom & Kory Bieg are some that stand out as towering creations that leveled up our airport's landscape.

Photo of Meander Wings at AUSPhoto of Uplifted Ground at AUSPhoto of Plume at AUS


Special Exhibits

Beyond the look and feel that awesome art brings to the terminal, AUS’s art initiatives also serve a deeper purpose, fostering connections and raising awareness within the community. 

Photo of the temporary "heart gallery" at AUS

In 2022, AUS and Partnerships for Children hosted ‘The Heart Gallery,’ an installation aimed at raising awareness about fostering in Central Texas. The exhibit included photographs of children currently in the Central Texas foster network and their accompanying artworks; visitors and passersby could learn more about the child and potentially participate in fostering.

Photo of the 4th grade/Blanton work at AUS

Photo of the 4th grade/Blanton work at AUS

And a more recent partnership with the Blanton Museum of Art brought the colorful and creative artwork of 4th graders from the Bastrop Independent School District to the terminal. Known as ‘Drawing the Blanton,’ this exhibit was a collection of designs by students using items from their recent visit to the Blanton Museum in Austin as inspiration.