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Art for Large Spaces: A Global Perspective


By: Jennifer Agress

May 2014


Carybé (Héctor Julio Páride Bernabó),

Discovery and Settlement of the West and Rejoicing and Festival of the Americas, 1960

Images Courtesy of Miami International Airport


Choosing art for large spaces is not an acquired skill; it takes a special intuition, an “eye” for artistic strategy, andmost importantly, a passion for different kinds of art and an understanding of how it can impact those who view it. Yolanda Sanchez—an artist, an innovator, and Director of Fine Arts and Cultural Affairs at the Miami International Airport—has just that.




















Left: Yolanda Sanchez 

Right: Paul Villinski, Air Chair, 2005, 

Found wheel chair, steel, aluminum, wood and rayon


As Director of Fine Arts and Cultural Affairs, Yolanda is entrusted with the task of placing art throughout the airport in a way that is simultaneously seamless and impactful. Through her position, she identifies art opportunities, collaborates with architectural and design teams on airport expansion and renovation projects, helps select appropriate artists and works of art, implements new works, and most importantly, shares her passion for art with the millions of international travelers that pass through the airport each and every day. “The art program brings pleasure to the traveler; it brings a moment of contemplation or surprise, and makes the traveling experience a positive, and less stressful, one,” Yolanda says. “I believe the art program at MIA is really unique in that it represents the history, cultural life and resources of our culturally rich community. It is truly reflective of our fertile South Florida community.”

















Left: Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt, PEACE & LOVE, 2013, Silk flowers and eps

 Right: Installation shot of Central Terminal Gallery exhibition Inventory: It’s About Time, 2014 


For Yolanda, art is about more than décor; it’s an expression of one’s self, a momentary escape into a beautiful, more imaginative state.“I think I have been an artist all of my life, since being an artist is about how you look at the world and process that information,”she says. “I create and like to look at work that I need; work that is affirming of life.” 


As she continues to place art throughout this international space, that attracts nearly 14 million travelers annually, Yolanda will continue to draw on her passion for art and her desire to move others through it. “I think art makes us more tender, more aware of ourselves and our environment; looking at art is a way of being present and mindful,” she says. “When placing art in large spaces, my advice is to be aware of your mission, your audience and your space—and most importantly—to integrate the three.”



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