Can a Giant Rabbit Sculpture Save the Sacramento Airport?

SUPER BUNNY!: Recent college grads, American cars, the print media, people who like being employed, Heidi Montag’s face, and of course, the international airline industry, have all had a pretty bad year. But the Sacramento International Airport in the city of Sacramento, California, is looking to change all that. Well, actually just the last thing. A new art installation of a giant red rabbit — seen leaping in to a giant suitcase, of course — might liven things up a bit.

Things have been particularly dismal for the Sacramento Airport since 2008, when its annual passenger count began to fall from nearly 11 million in 2008 to 9 million last year. Airport staff seem to think a floating, 56-foot-long aluminum sculpture of a polygonal bunny leaping into a giant suitcase by artist Lawrence Argent is the just the right medicine for their traffic woes. “The rabbit is suspended over the escalator, leaping toward a granite suitcase the size of a queen bed two floors down in the baggage area,” notes the Sacramento Bee. “The top of the suitcase is a swirling vortex.”

Lawrence Argent's flying rabbit sculpture at the Sacramento Airport

As for the work’s theoretical/aesthetic interpretation: “The rabbit’s diving down to a suitcase,” said Shelly Willis, public art director for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, which coordinated the terminal’s 12 public art pieces. “It’s obvious you’re supposed to go down there to retrieve your bags.” Obviously, passengers are sure to get the message.The piece of public sculpture is part of the airport’s massive, billion-dollar makeover, which opens to the public today.

But the ambiguous rabbit is not all! A luminescent flock of indigenous sandhill cranes flies over international passengers toward the airport’s exit, subliminally showing visitors the right direction to go. A 30-foot chandelier in the shape of three intertwining Valley Oak trees is designed as a natural gathering place for visitors, and is visible throughout the concourse area. Maybe the airport just wants to go back to nature?

— Chloe Wyma