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RELEASE – 450 Feet of Art Touches Down at Reno-Tahoe International Airport

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First Public Art Installation Begins Today

RENO, Nev. (March 6, 2024) – Today, the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) prepares for a splash of color and creativity to be introduced to the terminal building. As announced last year, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) Board of Trustees unanimously approved the airport’s first ever Public Art Installation Agreement to commission a public art piece in the newly designed Ticketing Hall, and the airport is thrilled to announce the arrival of this vibrant masterpiece.

Materials arrived in four colossal crates, weighing over 1,300 pounds collectively. These crates house an eclectic mix of materials, including strips of aluminum, Dibond aluminum composite panels, and Terralon DreamScape wall coverings. It’s a monumental undertaking, and the airport is buzzing with anticipation as the installation takes flight.

Renowned artist Dixie Friend Gay, who has 20 years of experience creating awe-inspiring public art, was commissioned for this unique project she titled “Repeated Refrains”. Teaming up with installers Artisan Wallcovering LLC, a duo of skilled professionals, is set to bring Dixie’s vision to life, showcasing the artist’s connection to nature and surrounding landscapes.

The installation takes shape on the overhanging wall above the airline ticket counters, while airport staff, in coordination with the artist and installer, is working tirelessly during graveyard hours to ensure a seamless integration without disrupting airline operations. Dixie’s inspiration for the 450-foot long wall is rooted in a meditative awareness of the natural environment.

“Nature-based art in urban settings creates moments of visual pause, reflection and mindfulness,” Dixie said.

“Repeated Refrains” intricately weaves elements inspired by northern Nevada’s diverse environment, from forested mountains to vegetation-covered hillsides and dry desert valleys. The wall is divided into four sections, each dedicated to a different season, portraying the rich colors and diverse ecosystems found within a 100-mile radius of Reno. The artist collaborated with plant specialists, regional experts and local landscape artists to identify native flora and fauna. Geological maps form the underlying elements, providing a visual journey through the region’s natural beauty.

In describing her work, Dixie says, “Repeated Refrains celebrates Reno’s diverse native environment. It’s an immersive invitation to delve into the natural beauty of the Reno area.”

Jennifer Cunningham, RTAA Trustee and Board Liaison to the Art Advisory Committee, expresses the significance of this inaugural public art installation for the airport. “This project emphasizes the commitment from the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority to enhance public spaces with art. By allocating a minimum of one percent of capital improvement projects in public spaces, we aim to create an enriched travel experience for all passengers, making the airport not just a transit hub but a destination for artistic inspiration.”

Art will continue to play a prominent role as RNO undergoes a transformation through the MoreRNO program. With the recently approved Art Master Plan and construction continuing at the airport for several years, the opportunity to celebrate the vibrant culture of the region through art is at the forefront of each project.

For more details about this project, downloadable images, and other art initiatives at RNO, visit Arts at the Airport. Stay tuned for the grand unveiling in spring 2024, when the inside of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport will be forever changed by this monumental public art installation and the Ticketing Hall Expansion project.


Image Credit: DIXIE FRIEND GAY, Repeated Refrains


The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) Board of Trustees have pledged a minimum one percent of design and construction costs for capital improvement projects in public spaces for art at Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and Reno-Stead Airport (RTS). RNO strives to engage passengers, enrich the travel experience, and reflect the vibrant culture of the region through all forms of art with the core values of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the forefront. For more details, visit