Millions of travelers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport are will now experience a large-scale installation by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Coby Kennedy. Installed above escalators in the airport’s Multi-Modal Facility and measuring approximately 27 and 31 feet long, outstretched arms reach across the space frozen just before they touch hands. Titled “REACH,” the sculpture exists in one of the busiest transportation hubs in the US, reminding travelers as they pass under it that togetherness and connection is why they are there.
“As longtime collaborators we have had an incredible opportunity to create an artwork together and reframe a piece of public space, where most are in transit and passing through, for interconnectivity and togetherness. REACH is a connection point and large-scale gesture that inspires us to come together.”
The installation is part of a larger expansion and modernization of the airport’s Terminal 5. $3.5 million USD has been dedicated to the project which will see 19 commissions featuring more than 20 artists throughout 2023.