MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Art may not be the first thing you think of when traveling in an airport, but Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport wants it to be a part of the experience.

"We're unveiling four new public art installations here at Terminal 2-Humphrey and this is just a small part of the reimagining of MSP Airport. This is a multi-year, multimillion dollar project that MSP is undertaking to really showcase who we are as Minnesotans and the upper Midwest," said Robyne Robinson, director of arts at MSP.

Minneapolis artist Philip Noyed's installations include "Leap of Joy," "L'Etoile du Nord" and "Aurora Borealis."

"L'Etoile du Nord" (Star of the North) is based on the Minnesota State motto that was first adopted in 1861. According to Noyed, the piece uses rainbows partly because it signifies that anybody of any race, creed, nationality or sexual orientation is welcome in Minnesota.

According to Robinson, there are more than 40 airports in North America that champion arts in the airport.

"Rather than just have you sit at the gate and look at the laptop, we want you to get to know a little bit about Minnesota," Robinson said, adding that all the art featured is by Minnesota artists.

Danny Saathoff's "Coming or Going" at Terminal 2-Humphrey. (Photo: Heidi Wigdahl) 
Danny Saathoff's "Coming or Going" at Terminal 2-Humphrey. (Photo: Heidi Wigdahl) 

Bev Strickland and her granddaughter had an hour-and-a-half wait at Terminal 2.

"We came from San Antonio, Texas... that's where we're visiting from but I'm a Minnesotan. So I'm happy to be here and see Minnesota artwork," Strickland said.

Other permanent installations include Danny Saathoff's "Coming or Going," as well as Stacia Goodman's "Summer Swim" and "Winter Run."

A display case also features work from Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis.

"This is really just the beginning of what we're doing to create a 21st century airport. Down the road we are going to be embarking on a major signature sculpture at Terminal 1 that will be unveiled in 2020," Robinson said.

Wednesday evening, a private reception was held to celebrate the new works.