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‘Brute Neighbors’ still making themselves at home
By DeAllous Smith

The oversized ants may be marching toward their 10th anniversary in Hartsfield-Jackson’s baggage claim area, but they remain a big hit with travelers.

“This is a great exhibit,” said Katherine Marbury, Airport Art Program manager. “For a brief moment, arriving passengers can escape their normal routines and enjoy the elements of surprise that this exhibit adds.”

When the Airport Art Program commissioned an exhibit by Joseph Peragine in 2001, the result was an unforgettable collection of red-and-black ants on the ceilings of Terminal North and Terminal South. Peragine said his inspiration for the exhibit, called “Brute Neighbors,” came from a rock in his garden, where he and his young son were searching for bugs.

Peragine installed the ants, which weigh about 3 pounds each, within a week. The ants were hand-painted using a high-gloss automotive lacquer finish.
Marbury said the ants, which serve as a metaphor for the millions of passengers at the world’s busiest airport, are part of the Airport Art Program’s permanent collection and will be around for quite a while.

That’s good news for appreciative travelers like Carrie Montgomery of Connecticut.

“When I walked into the area, I couldn’t believe there were actually replicas of ants on the ceiling,” Montgomery said. “I’m not a big fan of ants — or insects of any kind — but I think these ants are just too cute not to look at.”

“Brute Neighbors” is one of 250 art pieces at Hartsfield-Jackson. Thanks in part to collaborations with artists, museums, galleries and private collectors, the Airport Art Program showcases world-class exhibitions throughout Hartsfield-Jackson’s concourses and main terminal.

“We’re always exploring new and exciting ways to infuse art into the building’s infrastructure. ‘Brute Neighbors’ is one of many artworks for travelers to discover,” Marbury said.

“Brute Neighbors”

The ants of “Brute Neighbors” have been scurrying across the Airport’s ceiling for nearly 10 years.


© 2010 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.

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