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This artwork at the Salt Lake City International Airport could win a big award — with your help

Gordon Huether’s ‘The Canyon’ brings Utah’s great outdoors to the airport. Here’s how to help the project win a big award

Gordon Huether’s “The Canyon” artwork featured along the walls of the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Travelers move through Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Gordon Huether’s “The Canyon,” artwork featured along the walls of the airport, has been nominated for an international award.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Artwork that lines the walls of the new Salt Lake City International Airport could win an international award — but it’s up to the public to help the work reach that achievement.

See ‘The Canyon’ at the Salt Lake City International Airport

  • Gordon Huether’s “The Canyon” is one of 100 large-scale community artworks from around the world that has been nominated for a People’s Choice CODAaward — an annual award given to “remarkable works that successfully integrate art into interior, architectural and public spaces,” according to a news release sent to the Deseret News.
  • Working with a $5 million budget, Huether and the architecture firm HOK sought to create an indoor canyon in the new airport, which opened in September 2020.
  • As the lead artist, Huether brought the shapes and ridges of Utah’s canyons to life along the airport walls. “The main goal was to bring the outside in and grant a sense of place for visitors to the state of Utah,” according to codaworx.com.
  • “The Canyon” is the Salt Lake City International Airport’s “centerpiece art installation,” the Deseret News reported. As part of the Salt Lake City Airport Redevelopment Program, “Canyon 2.0” will be installed in a concourse that will finish construction in 2024, according to codaworx.com.
  • “The Canyon” and “Canyon 2.0” won’t be Huether’s only works at the airport, though. Spanning a future 990-foot tunnel meant to connect concourses will be the “River Tunnel,” another Utah-inspired piece complete with blue light and water sound effects, the Deseret News reported. The anticipated installation date is 2024.

How to vote for ‘The Canyon’

  • Thirty countries submitted hundreds of commissioned art projects for consideration this year, representing $477 million in commission fees, according to the news release. The two projects that receive the most online votes will receive the People’s Choice CODAaward.
  • Voting is open now and will extend through June 30. People can vote for their favorite artwork at codaworx.com. The winners will be announced on Aug. 30.
  • Other artwork in the running includes painted windows of a redeveloped All Saints Church in Nuremburg, Germany; the “Animalia” exhibit at New Jersey’s Montclair Art Museum; and a 30-foot beacon of arches made from aluminum that sits at the entrance to the Edmonton Police Center in Canada.
  • Toni Sikes, the CEO of CODAworx, said in a statement that the People’s Choice competition can become “quite heated,” with heavy traffic even causing the website to crash from time to time.
  • “It is an exciting race to the finish line — the art world’s equivalent of the Tour de France!” Sikes said.