Delta Air Lines’ Terminal C opened to the public in June 2022, and alongside new architecture and shops are six new art installations. Delta Air Lines in partnership with the Queens Museum commissioned the permanent installations by artists living and working in New York City. The works, selected from a much larger pool chosen by the museum, are all rooted in New York City’s diversity and culture, from works reusing New York City skylights to works reimagining the immigrant experience.
Virginia Overton, Skylight Gems
Skylight Gems by Virginia Overton consists of a dozen glowing gem shapes that were crafted from New York City skylights. The lights are suspended through the terminal’s three-story atrium within the departures and arrivals hall. The Brooklyn-based artist searched salvage shops and occasionally garbage piles to uncover panes of security glass, then replicated the mirror part of the panes to create gem-like pieces. Some of the shapes measure over nine feet, and each has a slightly different color and pattern.
Created to emulate the skylights that many tourists will see after leaving the airport, Skylight Gems is partially inspired by Overton’s father, who would take frequent business trips to New York City and flew right over the city’s tallest buildings. Many of Overton’s artworks use recycled materials as readymade or found objects. In 2018, she became the first female artist to have a solo exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, in which she used steel, wood, and other construction materials to comment on issues of land and labor.