The sculpture, by artist Matthew Mazzotta, is titled "HOME" and is 21 feet tall.
Advertisement

A giant flamingo has taken over Tampa International Airport, welcoming travelers to the Florida city with a pink art installation sure to brighten any day.

The 21-foot, floor-to-ceiling sculpture sits in the center of the main terminal and is the latest addition to the airport's public art program, which includes commissions from photographs and sculptures to paintings and more. Once complete in late April or early May, travelers will be welcome to interact with the giant flamingo, which is meant to be touched and become a fully immersive piece.

The sculpture, by artist Matthew Mazzotta, is titled "HOME" and was chosen as one of more than 700 art proposals submitted.

Giant flamingo public art installation in Tampa International Airport
Credit: Courtesy of Tampa International Airport

"Tampa International Airport has always been a champion of iconic public art as a way to welcome our visitors and give them a sense of wonder and whimsy when they arrive in our beautiful region," Chris Minner, the executive vice president of marketing and communications at the Tampa International Airport and a member of the airport's public art committee, said in a statement. "We're certain that 'Home' will help create memories and inspire people of all ages who begin and end their travel journeys at TPA."

Giant flamingo public art installation in progress at Tampa International Airport
Credit: Courtesy of Tampa International Airport

When finished, the sculpture will depict the giant bird dipping its head beneath the surface of the water, in an illusion created by metal panels and lighting attached to the ceiling. The result will transport visitors underwater with the flamingo.

Art is increasingly becoming part of airport terminals around the world with larger-than-life installations welcoming travelers. At New York's LaGuardia Airport, for example, the new Terminal B features glass sculptures and pieces that celebrate New York City's graffiti history.

Beyond airports, it's possible to see inspiring public art all over the world, including in the mural-rich neighborhood of Wynwood in the Florida city of Miami as well as in Philadelphia, which features one of the largest collections in the country with pieces like the popular "Love" sculpture.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.