Landmarks are great navigation tools, including in the labyrinthine corridors of airport terminals. Now, anyone getting off a plane a little jetlagged and disoriented and sees a cow-headed matador will know they’ve arrived at Cheyenne Regional Airport.
The large painting is one of several new quirky works on the walls of the airport terminal. And anyone who likes what they see is free to take it home with them.
Cheyenne art dealer Harvey Deselms has been on a mission to bring more art to Cheyenne and is one of the driving forces behind the Capitol Avenue Bronze Project, which has lined the street with 62 bronze sculptures (so far).
His latest effort has been bringing an artist’s touch to Cheyenne Regional Airport.
“They have a lot of naked walls, and they would like them filled up with local artists,” he told Cowboy State Daily.
Traffic has increased at airport, especially since its September reopening after closing last summer for much-needed runway repairs.
Most people aren’t considering art acquisitions during their travels. However, Deselms said the paintings lining the terminal’s walls are an excellent opportunity for local artists to get tremendous exposure.
“They have more people through this airport (in a day) than I do in two or three weeks at my gallery,” he said. “They're not shopping for art, but the paintings are seen by many people.”
Every piece is available to buy, but the buyers must go to Deselms Fine Art and Custom Framing in Cheyenne to complete the transaction. Once a painting is bought and removed, the space will be filled by work from another local artist.
But for the largest, barest walls in the terminal, Deselms already has his go-to artist and his signature bodacious bovines.
Big Bovine Buyers
Two large acrylic paintings depicting a majestic matador and a sharply dressed infiltrator with a katana are already hanging in Cheyenne Regional Airport. And both have cow heads.
The cow-headed paintings are the works of Dorian Aguero-Anaya, a Cuban artist applying for American citizenship. Deselms has showcased Aguero-Anaya’s work since he arrived in the United States last year.
“He likes to use this large format, and he has cow heads on human bodies,” Deselms said. “That's his thing. We had a show for him last spring, and it was amazingly well received.”
Thanks to the exposure at Cheyenne Regional Airport, Aguero-Anaya has already sold a piece. His painting of a cow in a business suit sitting on a leather couch was in the airport until it was bought.
Deselms said Aguero-Anaya’s preference for large format pieces makes his work an excellent space filler for an airport terminal art gallery.
“Dorian’s are so large that they just blend nicely into the airport,” he said.
With its ample space and high traffic, Deselms hopes that Cheyenne’s artists and others will consider the airport a potential venue for their events. He spent Friday setting up a one-day gallery in one of the airport’s conference rooms.
“The airport's an underutilized space for (art),” he said. “It's all flat and handicap accessible, and sometimes people want to park downtown and walk upstairs. I think it's important that we let people know that you can come out here and rent a room and have an event.”
Andrew Rossi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.