Orlando International Airport - Art in a Garage? Whatever Next? - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Who would have thought that an airport garage would actually be an art gallery? Well, the parking garage at Orlando international Airport is just that. If you don’t believe me then take a look next time you park your vehicle in one of the two large parking garages, or when you visit the Hyatt Hotel, via the parking ramp.
Todd Warner was commissioned by Orlando International Airport to produce a series of amusing and whimsical sculptures which would not only make people smile, but would have the secondary effect of helping them to remember where they parked their car. An artist of some note, Todd Warner has been producing similar clay sculptures for over 30 years, and his work is becoming more and more popular. He has an off beat sense of humour, which is evident in the wonderful exhibits of ‘Florida Critters’ which are to be found on various levels of the car parks. If you have some time before your flight, go and have a wander and see if you can find these fascinating sculptures – they are near the elevators. The children will love them, and it will certainly pass the time in a most unusual way.
In Garage A, level 1 you will find ‘Wild Pigs’, a family group of mum and dad pig, and their 3 little pigs, complete with curly tails. Level 2 reveals a family of brown bears, mum, dad and baby, with bees buzzing around a nearby hive. On Level 3 don’t miss ‘Life’s a Picnic’ which shows a family of decidedly obese racoons sitting amidst the remains of a picnic. On the wooden picnic bench you will see the picnic basket, complete with check cloth, and scattered food debris, which the racoons are raiding. It is full of detail, and will amuse the children. ‘Please Protect Us Sea Turtles’ can be found on Level 4, with turtles swimming in and out of a fragile coral reef. On Level R1 the very amusing ‘Alligators’ shows just the snouts of 3 alligators poking out of the water, mouths wide open, pink throats visible, sharp teeth just waiting to snap at the precariously located birds above them.
‘Florida Panthers’ can be found on Level 1 in Garage B. A beautiful panther is revealed amongst tropical vegetation, strutting proudly along with her babies in tow. ‘Keeping Up With Mom’ shows a large mother armadillo strutting along with her three babies following closely behind, and this can be found on Level 2, whilst on Level 3 is an exhibit entitled ‘Family Outing.’ ‘Deer’, on Level 4 is a family of deer, mum, dad and their baby, with a red sun in the sky above an arid landscape.
Garage B, Level R1, has ‘We’re not Biting’, a shoal of colourful tropical fish ignoring the fishing lines and hooks dangling down between them. Level R2 reveals a huge grey manatee, and its baby. This endangered species can be found all over Florida. There is also an amusing scene called ‘Big Frog Little Pond. Here, 3 large bullfrogs sit in the middle of a lily pond, their elongated tongues reaching high up, to catch insects which foolishly hover above them.
Terminal Top Parking Level 4 has ‘The Long and the Short and the Tall of It’, which celebrates those typically Floridian birds, white cranes, with long thin black legs. In a display which brings to mind the award winning Katherine Hepburn film of the same title, ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ is a night scene, with huge owls peering into the darkness before swooping down on their unsuspecting prey. It can be found on Terminal Top Parking Level 5. Level 6 has a pretty montage of flamingos, with beautiful coral plumage, slender curved necks, and long spindly legs which seem as if they could hardly hold them up. It is called ‘Think Pink! ..Peach?...Coral?....Apricot? What colour do you think best describes these delightful birds?
Another highly amusing piece can be found on Terminal Top Parking Level 7. Called ‘We Don’t Celebrate Thanksgiving’, it features a family of, yes, you guessed it, turkeys! Now wonder they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. ‘Seagulls,’ which can be found on Top Parking Level 8, is an amusing piece showing a small fishing boat, the SS Guppy, with two large fishermen, one in a vest, surrounded by seagulls, both in the sea, and above their heads. One imagines that anything these hapless fishermen catch will soon end up in the beaks of the pesky seagulls, which wait in anticipation of a meal of freshly caught fish. One of my favourite birds, the Pelican, can be found on Terminal Top Parking Level 9. It is a typical scene, with pelicans sitting on top of wooden piers, some floating gently on the surface of the water. They are fascinating creatures, and most photogenic. Finally Top Level 10 reveals a typical ‘All American Family’. No, not mum, dad and 2 children but a large Bald Eagle sitting high up in its nest, with 2 fluffy babies inside.
I hope you will enjoy these whimsical exhibits as much as I do. It is art guaranteed to make you smile.
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