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1. Sister city mural, Terminal 5. 2. Gallery 37, mural. 3. Chihuly Inspired Chandeliers,Terminal 2

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Copyright art and photos © 2000 Chicago O'Hare International Airport


Arts in Action at O’Hare International Airport

The Chicago Airport System is committed to being a partner in Chicago’s arts community, by featuring more than 30 exhibits of fine art, exhibits by area cultural institutions, outdoor sculpture, live music performances, and original artworks by some of Chicago’s finest artists. At O’Hare International Airport, travelers can enjoy nearly 500 feet of murals in the pedestrian parking tunnel, six locations within the domestic terminals offering a sampling of some of Chicago’s finest cultural offerings, a stained glass collection in International Terminal 5, and the new Visiting Curator Series that brings in Chicago’s art experts to create shows featuring a vast array of styles from artists working throughout Chicago.

For information on the Chicago Airport’s Arts in Action Program, call the Chicago Department of Aviation at 773/686-3555, or contact us by E-mail at 


Terminal 1

Dinosaur in Terminal 1

Airport passengers passing through United Airlines Terminal One at O’Hare International Airport are greeted by a four-story tall model of a Brachiosaurus, the largest mounted dinosaur in the world. The Field Museum was pleased to partner with United Airlines to introduce the Brachiosaurus to the millions of visitors who pass through O’Hare International each year. Brachiosaurus a plant- eating dinosaur lived 150 million years ago and was modeled from bones excavated in 1900 by Field Museum paleontologist Elmer Riggs.


Terminal 2

Butch O’Hare Airplane Exhibit

Terminal 2, Ticketing Lobby, West End

This exhibit features an original F4F-3 Wildcat recovered from Lake Michigan by the United States Navy and donated to the Air Classics Museum to be restored to replicate the plane flown by Lt. Commander Edward "Butch" O’Hare during his Medal of Honor Flight in World War II. Sponsored by the City of Chicago and McDonald’s, the exhibit honors the heroic feats of O’Hare International Airport’s namesake.


Chicago Children’s Museum KIDS ON THE FLY Interactive Exhibit

Terminal 2, through Security, to the left

Designed by the Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, this exhibit provides interactive entertainment and education with Chicago and aviation themes. It was planned with children up to twelve years of age and their families in mind, and is fully accessible to people with disabilities. Fun and educational activities at Kids on the Fly include an Air Traffic Control Tower, a Fantasy Helicopter, a Cargo Plane, Luggage Station and more!


Gallery 37 Millennium Chandeliers

Terminal 2, through Security, to the right

The chandeliers were created by Gallery 37 apprentice artists ages 14-21, under the guidance of Chihuly Studio, headquarters of renowned artist Dale Chihuly. 450 of the chandeliers created a sea of light and color in honor of the City of Chicago’s International Millennium Dinner on December 31, 1999.

Gallery 37 is Chicago’s internationally acclaimed job training program in the arts. Since its inception in 1991, the program has provided over 15,000 jobs for Chicago youth and 1,500 teaching jobs for professional artists.


Terminal 5

Chicago Stained Glass Exhibit

International Terminal 5, Arrivals Area

Selections from the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows feature 43 windows from residences, public buildings and places of worship throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. This exhibit highlights diversity and style produced by local and international studios and artists including Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan among others.


Sister City Murals

Terminal 5, Arrivals Area

Beautiful murals by artists from 12 of Chicago’s 22 Sister Cities show a visitor’s interpretation of Chicago life. Sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the City of Chicago in 1994, leading artists were brought to stay in Chicago for 30 days, and to capture their experience in an original work of art created in honor of the opening of International Terminal 5.


Parking Tunnel

Gallery 37 Murals

Nearly 400 feet of murals adorn the walkways connecting O’Hare’s terminals with the parking garage and train station. Created by artists in the Gallery 37 program, "The Good Stew" captures images of Chicago urban life, while "I’ve Known Rivers" brings to life the words and spirit of the Langston Hughes poem of the same name. Gallery 37 provides year-round job training in the arts for youths 14 to 21.


Temporary Exhibits

Display Cases

Four locations in the domestic terminals (two in terminal 1, one in terminal 2, and one in Terminal 3) showcase Chicago’s museums to visitors with exciting exhibits that change every four to six months. Currently featured are the Schubert Theater, the Illinois Artisans Council, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Brookfield Zoo. The Art Institute of Chicago, the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, eta Theatre and more are among past exhibitors.


Post Office Gallery

Terminal 2, next to the Post Office

The award winning Heroines in Aviation Exhibit was created by the Chicago Department of Aviation in cooperation with Women in Aviation International and the Federal Aviation Administration Great Lakes Region. Curated by pilot and educator Karen McArdle, the exhibit features 12 dynamic women of a variety of backgrounds, who have chosen pioneering careers in the field of aviation.

Past exhibits in this location have included the Chicago Park District’s Cans Film Festival exhibit, and Perspectives in African American Art.


Rotunda Gallery

Connecting Terminal 2 and 3

Currently this location features outstanding aerial photography of Chicago by photographer Robert Cameron, combined with beautiful images from along the Chicago River by photographer Joan Lindsay. With nearly 150 feet of linear space larger scale exhibits in this location have featured the Chicago Art Dealers Association, featuring images from some of Chicago’s finest galleries, and a traveling exhibit from The National Women’s Hall of Fame installed at O’Hare International Airport in celebration of their sesquicentennial.


International Terminal 5

Visiting Curator Series

Two large gallery areas (the East Gallery encompasses departure gates M10-M21, and the West Gallery fills gates M1-M9) offer year round exhibits based on a theme, allowing a wide range of Chicago artists to showcase original work to the traveling public. "Made in Chicago" opened May, 2000, and features landscapes and urbanscapes, abstract and realistic images that capture life in Chicago from the artist’s perspective. "Earth and Sky," opening November, 2000, will replace the Gina Grillo photography exhibit, "Between Cultures," black and white photography that captures the immigrant experience in Chicago.


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