MSP Airport to unveil new 2-story sculpture called 'Aurora'

A new sculpture at MSP Airport will give guests a memorable, interactive experience on two different stories between baggage claim and ticketing.

As travelers return to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, they’ll be greeted with a new sculpture.

For the past four months, artist Jen Lewin has been working on a sculpture that rises two floors at MSP Airport. Lewin adjusted LED lights on the new, interactive sculpture she calls the Aurora Tuesday. 

"So, this is meant to be a virtual aurora borealis that you can actually control and play with," Lewin said. "When we’re finished as you move around the ground, you’ll be able to gesture and create light effects that will just swoosh up the aurora."

The effects are all generated by motion sensor cameras connected to a computer. As the people change the aurora in the space above, there’s more to interact with below.

The main elements of the sculpture were created in Lewin’s Brooklyn studio. To prepare for its installation, MSP Airport actually cut a hole in the ticketing floor to allow the aurora to flow up from baggage claim below.

The whole idea of the sculpture is it’s a gateway to the state of Minnesota. It serves as a way for travelers to artistically experience the beauty of the state.

"So, I’m hoping they see some activation and they get kind of wooed in and have a playful experience within the piece," said Lewin.

Lewin added that she hopes it will reflect the beautiful natural environment offered in Minnesota and serve as a memorable piece for travelers.

Interestingly, the sculpture is interactive but does not require touching, which will come in handy as the state continues to combat COVID-19.