Public Art

Wilmington International Airport’s permanent public art installations capture the spirit of the coastal Cape Fear Region, welcome ILM’s patrons, and contribute to the local cultural aesthetic. The installations will occur during the terminal expansion project.

Site 1:  Venus Flytrap (mock-up, subject to change)

Venus Flytrap Terrazzo Floor Design in the Wilmington International Airport lobby

Artists:  Paul Hill, lead artist, and Jeff Hackney, artist and sculptor

The Design:

The Venus Flytrap has become a symbol of Wilmington and southeastern North Carolina.  This unique carnivorous plant is native to the Cape Fear Region. In fact, it only grows within 70-100 miles of Wilmington! The artists’ design is a welcome to the airport and surrounding community.

Paul Hill, a metal sculptor and painter, studied Fine Art & Design at Kent State University from 1966 – 1974. The untimely school delay was due to military service from 1967 – 1971 during the Vietnam War. From 1975 through 1985, Paul worked in various advertising agencies as Art Director and Creative Director for national clients such as Firestone Tire, Alcoa Aluminum et al.

Beginning in the early 90’s, Paul put down his brush and picked up a torch. His steel and mixed media sculptures are now seen in numerous corporate, residential, and public collections along the Eastern Seaboard.  His work is permanently displayed at North Carolina Veteran’s Park, Fayetteville, North Carolina; won “Best in Show” at the Cary Visual Arts National Sculpture Competition, Cary, North Carolina; Biennial Sculpture Show, Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Detroit Diesel, MTU; Detroit, Michigan.

His sculpture, Southern Hospitality, a metal and glass rendering of the Venus Flytrap is a beloved attraction on Wilmington’s riverfront. 

Paul Hill has collaborated with Jeff Hackney, a fellow sculptor and graphic designer. Jeff’s experience in public sculpture, construction, and restoration work, as well as graphic design support a design that can be readily translated into terrazzo.

Jeff Hackney is an independent graphic designer and design consultant who served as the creative consultant for Technique Mirage in Atlanta, Georgia. He created a one of a kind, hand painted, 12-inch wide motion film that was projected across the entire face of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, for its centennial celebration, Images in Motion. Graphic design work for the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill included an award-winning design for the North Carolina Literary Festival.  He also worked for Kaleidoscope Graphics, Fourth Media, and Southern Belle, all of Atlanta, Georgia.

Site 2: Loggerhead Labyrinth  (mock-up, subject to change)

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Loggerhead Labyrinth  (mock-up, subject to change)

Artist:  Jill Webb

The Design:

Beauty. Peace. Local. Fun.

Labyrinths are ancient symbols which invite playful interaction as well as mindful contemplation.  Unlike a confusing maze, a labyrinth has only one path and is soothing.  We expect this one will be used to give restless children an activity and provide an unusual bit of peace and fun for adventurous adults in our airport.  Travelers are often drawn to our area for the coastal beauty and the loggerhead sea turtles are a friendly reminder of that.  The path to the center of this labyrinth is an homage to their heroic annual journey from their nests to the Atlantic.  The baby turtles, cut from brass (image 03), mark the path into the center.  Aggregate will include seashells. The colors used will mirror the colors of the sand and sea.  It would be especially effective if additional brass sea turtles and shells could be inset into other areas of the airport to continue the theme and provide a bit of surprise, like a treasure hunt. 

Public artist Jill Webb is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill where she earned a BA in Journalism.  From 1992-2001, she worked in the film and television industries as an Assistant Director and Assistant Camera.  In 2009, she won the Wilmington Business Journal and Cape Fear Green Builders Alliance’s Green Living Award for Riverfront Fountain and Elevated Park designs.  She co-designed the Micro-Park at 200 Market St for 1000 People Who Care. 

Jill has also created numerous murals in Wilmington and Asheville, including at two Friends Schools, Cape Fear Academy, Old Books on Front, and the Brooklyn Arts District in Wilmington, as well as Mountain Valley Water in Asheville.

Site 3: Laurel Oak Tree (mock-up, subject to change)

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“Laurel Oak Tree” three dimensional sculpture adjacent to the “Loggerhead Labyrinth” terrazzo floor design (mockup, subject to change).

Artists:  Paul Hill and Greg Hall

The Design:

This sculpture is a replica of the Laurel Oak tree made of stainless-steel trunk, branches and leaves encompassing the space of site 3.  A plaque on a Plexiglas stand with a finished burl slab will be engraved with information about the tree’s significance to the region. 

Paul Hill, a metal sculptor and painter, studied Fine Art & Design at Kent State University from 1966 – 1974. The untimely school delay was due to military service from 1967 – 1971 during the Vietnam War. From 1975 through 1985, Paul worked in various advertising agencies as Art Director and Creative Director for national clients such as Firestone Tire, Alcoa Aluminum et al.

Beginning in the early 90’s, Paul put down his brush and picked up a torch. His steel and mixed media sculptures are now seen in numerous corporate, residential, and public collections along the Eastern Seaboard.  His work is permanently displayed at North Carolina Veteran’s Park, Fayetteville, North Carolina; won “Best in Show” at the Cary Visual Arts National Sculpture Competition, Cary, North Carolina; Biennial Sculpture Show, Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Detroit Diesel, MTU; Detroit, Michigan.

His sculpture, Southern Hospitality, a metal and glass rendering of the Venus Flytrap is a beloved attraction on Wilmington’s riverfront. 

Greg Hall is a UNCW graduate who earned his B.A. in sculpture, design, and ceramics.  As a welder and fabricator, Greg has assisted in the hand fabrication of custom metal sculpture commissions for public and private buyers.  He has a passion for maximizing the functionality of unique spaces as well as creating aesthetic atmospheres conducive to stimulating their performance and customer experience.