Friday, February 3, 2012

"Flying people" photos return to Eugene Airport

EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- One of the most beloved art installations in Lane County arrived back from vacation at the Eugene Airport on Thursday.

Crews spent Thursday morning, February 2nd, 2012, rehanging more than 170 clouds and infamous flying people from the “Flight Patterns” photographic art exhibit at the Eugene Airport.

The pictures were first installed in 1989 by a Eugene-area photographer named David Joyce. The photos depict various people from the Eugene-Springfield community flying through the air, lining the hallways of the upper gates at the airport.

In summer 2011, the photos came down from the walls as the airport underwent remodeling. Windows were installed in the long corridor to the A gates.

The art pieces were also deteriorating. Originally, the photos were supposed to last 20 years. A little after 22 years up, many were becoming faded and delaminated.

The process of restoration has been a big challenge for local workers. Crews from Imagine Graphics took on the job, photographing digital pictures of the flying people cut outs, as the negatives were unavailable for use.

After taking pictures of the “flying people,” Imagine Graphics printed new copies to re-hang. The process was challenging according to photographers.

“As we photographed each and every piece, we wanted to make sure that size didn't change or lighting didn't change. So when we got all the digital files finished, they were sent off to the production guys and everything was absolutely consistent,” says Steve Smith, Lead Photographer for the Imagine Group.

Helping re-hang the pictures back in the A gates hallway on Thursday, David Joyce's widow Kacey Joyce used pictures of the original installation to accurately place the pictures where they used to be.

“I think its wonderful to see such timelessness. It's a thread holding the community, a kind of a thread through the community. It's a constant,” says Joyce.

The Eugene Airport has taken the old copies of the flying people and put them up for sale.

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