JFK’s Terminal 4 uses art to immerse passengers in New York life

New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport will present a series of art installations to travellers to truly immerse them in New York life. The exhibitions will be held at Terminal 4 and aims to ‘foster a a vibrant, welcoming environment…that truly embodies and celebrates diverse communities’.

JFK's T4 artists

A list of the artists who will have their work exhibited at Terminal 4.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFKIAT) will be giving travellers an authentic New York experience with their new immersive art programme. T4 Arts & Culture presents a unique series of installations, exhibitions and performances to truly immerse passengers in local New York life. The art programme will be held at JFK’s Terminal 4

JFKIAT formed a new committee to facilitate the T4 Arts & Culture program, including the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY), Delta Air Lines, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Terminal Four Airline Consortium.

“As a Queens-based business and the gateway to New York City for millions of people, it is important to us that we foster a vibrant, welcoming environment within our terminal that truly embodies and celebrates the diverse communities around us,” said Roel Huinink, President and CEO of JFKIAT. “The T4 Arts & Culture programme will connect passengers to New York City in the same way that Terminal 4 connects travellers to the world through an immersive art and cultural experience. We are so proud to collaborate with the Museum of the City of New York, Delta Air Lines, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Terminal Four Airline Consortium to bring this vision to life.”

The expansion of the T4 Arts & Culture programme begins with the unveiling of MCNY’s inaugural triennial photography exhibition, titled New York Now: Home. Coinciding with the opening of the exhibition, which is on view at MCNY through August 27th, the T4 Arts & Culture programme is presenting a Queens-based digital installation focusing on artists who live in Queens or who make Queens the subject of their work. New York Now: Home examines contemporary ideas of “home,” highlighting the dwellings and experiences of New Yorkers. Each piece demonstrates the meaning of “home” to the individuals who are featured, encompassing a variety of viewpoints as diverse as the city itself, and inviting viewers to engage with the city through a new perspective.

“As New York City’s storyteller for the last century, it’s a thrill to partner with Terminal 4 to bring arts and culture to all who travel to and through New York City and beyond,” said Sheryl Victor Levy, Vice President Marketing Communications for MCNY. “We are inspired by their commitment to bring a fresh and accessible approach to what is presented in the Terminal and are excited to have MCNY’s photography Triennial be the launching pad for Terminal 4’s arts and culture program.”

A selection of 15 powerful images is now displayed throughout Terminal 4 – along with two viewing stations in the Retail Hall – activating the terminal through community-driven narratives that spotlight the artists and their stories, and connecting viewers to the community around them. The featured artists include:

  • Xyza Cruz Bacani: a Filipina photographer and author who shares images from the life of Farah, a Filipina survivor of labour trafficking living in Queens. The photographs document a migrant woman’s journey towards safety and security in her adopted home.
  • Elias Williams: Williams grew up in St. Albans, Queens, a community where Black home and business ownership has flourished. The featured photograph celebrates the pride of St. Albans during economic hardship, preserving the identity of one of New York City’s historically Black communities.
  • Maureen Drennan: Drennan began photographing Broad Channel, Queens in 2012. On the only inhabited island in Jamaica Bay, she encountered a small, tight-knit working-class community with a lifestyle similar to a fishing village. Drennan’s work highlights the enduring fantasy of living near the water, and the delicate balance between community and natural environments.


Xyza Cruz Bacani photographer

Photography of exhibited artist, Xyza Cruz Bacani

“This new immersive art experience aims to engage and educate travellers on various experiences living in the surrounding borough of Queens, New York,” said Teresa Rizzuto, JFKIAT’S General Manager. “Integrating three local artists native to Queens provides a first-hand look at the area and subjects of each of their works. We urge those who pass through Terminal 4 to take some time to stop and view these unique works of art to get a sense of what Queens has to share.”

New York Now: Home will be presented in Terminal 4 through May. The T4 Arts & Culture programme will showcase a diverse mix of art installations and performances representing the local community throughout the year, including:

  • A pop-up gallery featuring historical photos of New York City neighbourhoods that will appear in the A and B Concourses in May.
  • A series of summertime performances and exhibits spotlighting performers, artists and photographers within the Terminal 4 community.

“JFK Terminal 4 is a true gateway to New York City and to the world, connecting a local and global audience to the eclectic cultural beauty, talent, and flavour of our New York performers,” said Frank DiMola, Executive Director at Terminal 4 Airline Consortium. “This wonderful immersive art program created by JFKIAT, in partnership with The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Delta Air Lines, and MCNY, promises to provide our passengers with an educational and entertainment experience and a respite from the hurried nature of an airport terminal. The Terminal 4 airlines applaud the inaugural launch of this immersive arts initiative and look forward to its continuing programme.”

Earlier this year, JFKIAT partnered with Steinway & Sons to bring the unmistakable sounds of Steinway for a week-long series of performances in the Retail Hall spotlighting 17 talented local pianists and artists as part of a Valentine’s Festival of Music.

“We were very proud to partner with JFK International Air Terminal’s T4 on this uniquely New York project,” said Gavin English, President of Steinway & Sons Americas. “For the many travellers arriving and departing from the terminal, the Steinway Skyline piano provided a welcome taste of music and art during their busy days. We saw Valentine’s Day as an appropriate time to celebrate the strong bond Steinway & Sons has always had with New York City. It’s truly a love story, 170 years in the making.”

The T4 Arts & Culture programme is part of JFKIAT’s commitment to supporting the local community and providing enriching experiences for travellers that epitomise New York City. Previous programmes and installations at the terminal have included: a mental health-themed mural that raised awareness around mental health and helped to reduce the stigma toward people who experience mental illness, created as part of the NYC Mural Arts Project and displayed in the Arrivals Hall last summer; and a powerful musical performance honouring 32 veterans at Terminal 4 in partnership with CreatiVets, in celebration of Veterans Day in 2022.

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