PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — A sculpture owned by the Peoria International Airport for nearly 50 years was moved outside and rededicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning.
The sculpture was created by George Rickey in 1976 and given to the Peoria airport in 1978, due to the contributions of George and Norma Kottemann.
It is a kinetic art piece, with two open rectangles that move with the wind. The piece had been inside the airport for the past 11 years, but it was recently determined that it would be better for the sculpture to be placed outside.
Bill Conger, who is the chief curator at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, said moving the sculpture outside is a positive development.
“The significance of the sculpture is diminished when it’s not outdoors, and the beauty of the currents and the airflow, all the things that airplanes require as well, so there’s a kind of harmony with that piece being here,” he said.
The garden outside the main terminal entrance was re-landscaped in order to make room for the piece. The airport was helped by several community partners in this endeavor, including the Riverfront Museum and the Kottemann family.
Conger referred to Rickey as “one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century” and believes this move shows the Peoria International Airport as a great representative of the city.
“They are leaders and this move is proving that they understand the quality of the sculpture and the symbolism of having it,” Conger said.