Arts Program

Performing Arts in the Airport

Thousands of air passengers can experience soothing classical music through live performances by woodwind and string quartets as part of an agreement with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

Each quartet plays a one hour concert once a month. Passengers can watch the performances in the passenger connector near the "B" security checkpoint and in the concourse B rotunda.

The concerts help distinguish Memphis from the many airports travelers use on a frequent basis. Much of the artwork already on display at the Airport as well as the concessions, are themed around Memphis’ musical heritage. The live performances provide a unique and entertaining environment that helps build an awareness of Memphis to the thousands of consumers, decision-makers and potential tourists that pass through Memphis International Airport.

Officials at Memphis International Airport understand that flying can be a stressful experience. While passengers might not be expecting the live performances, they find them a welcome diversion from traveling. The performing arts program also has the added benefit of supporting the arts in the Memphis region.

Art Exhibits

Memphis International Airport hosts a variety of locally focused art exhibits. Our goal is to enrich the experience of travelers flying through Memphis International Airport and provide them with a little insight into the culture, art and museums of Memphis. Our exhibits have some connection to the Memphis area, for example a collection on loan from a local museum, a photography exhibit from a local artist or a student art display. In addition, there are 34 fine art pieces from the Memphis In May International Festival's collection on display in the "B" concourse gate areas. The pieces are the original art work created for the honored coutry for each year's Festival.

Memphis, Its Music, Sights and Sounds
In 2008, Memphis International launched an annual local visual art contest. Each year the top 45 works of art are selected and put on display in the Airport’s passenger walkway connectors between concourses A, B and C. Students are challenged to capture what they love about their city.

Memphis International Airport worked closely with Memphis City and Shelby County Schools, Memphis College of Art, the University of Memphis’ Art Department, a panel of local artists and several area businesses to bring the contest to fruition. Each year a panel of judges evaluates the new works for theme, concept, composition and craftsmanship.

More than 300 students submit preliminary entries, from which 45 are selected to become paintings for the Airport’s exhibition along the walkway connectors. The works are finished with quality brand acrylic paints on 36” x 48” museum quality stretched canvases. The materials are provided by the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority from donations received from the Art Center and businesses at the airport.

Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art
Memphis International has 20 pieces from the Belz Collection on display outside the Delta Sky Club in the connector between B and C.

This beautiful collection of art includes jadeite and jade vases, ivory balls and figurines, an intricately carved mammoth tusk, a model Judaica train, silver scroll cases and a handcrafted Judaica set. One of the most impressive pieces is the exquisitely carved mammoth tusk featuring a beautiful Chinese landscape. Perhaps the most intriguing piece in the display is an ivory mystery ball. The mystery ball on display has a total of forty-eight concentric layers.

The Judaica collection is just as impressive as the Asian pieces. The two foot long Judaica train is made from solid silver and consists of four train cars, including the engine. The wheels actually move. Various ritualistic motifs are designed on the train which includes an omer counter with a handwritten prayer.