New mountain inspired sculpture greets visitors to Salt Lake City

Travellers to Salt Lake City International Airport are now welcomed by a new entry feature titled ‘The Peaks’, a monumental sculpture imagined by Artist Gordon Huether then fabricated and installed by his team.

“Salt Lake City International Airport is still growing and transforming just like our City,” said Salt Lake City Mayor, Erin Mendenhall.

“For millions of travellers, The Peaks will generate thoughts of reaching new heights and new destinations. It’s exciting to see a sense of place and identity grow through creative artworks that remind us of Utah’s incredible natural features.”

The Peaks art installation was inspired by the Wasatch Mountains and pays tribute to Utah’s five Native American tribes – part of the state’s eight sovereign nations – as well as the five elements of the natural world: air, earth, fire, space and water.

“Most large US airports have an entry feature to welcome travellers,” said Bill Wyatt, executive director, Salt Lake City Department of Airports. “The Peaks not only marks the entrance to the airport, but highlights Utah’s magnificent mountains, while paying homage to the original custodians of the land.”

It is made out of weathering steel with the tallest structure standing 90ft high — the size of a 12-story building — with the smallest structure standing at 40ft high.

The combined weight of the sculptures is approximately 75 tons. The skin of each of the five sculptures has a graphic of the globe etched on the surface. A glass orb, placed near the top of the tallest peak, pinpoints the location of Utah on the globe. The cost of the installation is $6 million.

“Our Peaks installation is one of the largest airport gateway sculptures in the country and we are both humbled and proud to have created it for the community of Salt Lake City,” noted Huether.

“This sculpture continues the theme established throughout the airport, which is to celebrate the natural beauty of Utah.”

Huether is based in Napa, California and specialises in large-scale, site-specific permanent art installations. His most complex commission to date is the seven architecturally integrated installations for Salt Lake City International Airport.

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