The Pink Flamingo at The Best Airport in North America is Going Viral & Now You Can Get the T-Shirt
TPA is the Best Large Airport in the US
How fitting that when I flew back home to Tampa, Florida I was able to snap a long-awaited photo with "HOME". "HOME" is the Matthew Mazzotta sculpture in the main terminal at Tampa International Airport (TPA).
TPA has always been a large airport with easy navigation. It's quite amazing that with all of its modifications over the past couple of years, navigating TPA has only improved. The construction never made it problematic to fly in and out of Tampa.
I even frequented the Tampa airport post office because I found it was easier than dealing with the contract post office near my neighborhood in Westchase.
TPA is the easiest International airport in the US to navigate, in my opinion. It happens to be the opinion of many others as well!
TPA was just named number one in the list of "Best Large Airports in North America" in a JD Power & Associates study. Large airports are defined as those with 10 million to 32.9 million passengers per year. Source: http://www.jdpower.com/pr-id/2022126.
I have taken other photos at TPA because the airport has always displayed numerous public art pieces in its terminals.
Tampa International Airport has always been a champion of iconic public art as a way to welcome our visitors and give them a sense of wonder and whimsy when they arrive in our beautiful region," said Chris Minner, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications at TPA and a member of the Airport’s public art committee. "We’re certain that ‘Home’ will help create memories and inspire people of all ages who begin and end their travel journeys at TPA. ~ Chris Minner, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications at TPA
"HOME", by Matthew Mazzotta, is a massive, floor-to-ceiling sculpture of a flamingo dipping its head underwater. If you look up you'll see reflective panels that symbolize water.
There were more than 700 art proposals submitted from artists worldwide, but Mazzotta's "HOME" was chosen and approved by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority’s Board of Directors in 2020.
On Matthew Mazzotta's website, he describes HOME:
Flights arrive and depart from the Tampa International Airport, bringing people - from their home, back home, to a new home, or a place that “feels like home”. The idea of “home” in Florida is not only for people, it is also home for the abundance of wildlife that lives here as well.
One of the most iconic animals of Florida is the flamingo, and even though its popularity and image graces innumerable pieces of memorabilia that claim to be from Florida, for years this beautiful bird has been thought to be non-native. However, recent research has changed the story of the flamingo’s home, and new findings trace its roots to Florida, which has caused a stir and excitement among researchers and residents.
“HOME” is a site-specific art installation in the Central Terminal of the Tampa International Airport which gives time and space for travelers from all over the world to take a deeper look at the bird whose image is literally all over Florida. However, the story of HOME is not about whether someone or something, is originally from here or not. The exaggerated scale of the flamingos in HOME puts the lives of these birds in the focus, and puts us, as humans, in awe as they tower above us, reminding us that we all share the same home. ~ Matthew Mazzotta
HOME Flamingo is Instagram Famous
Just search the hashtags, #tpa, #tpaflamingo #tampainternationalairport and you'll see hundreds of posts on Instagram featuring the enormous flamingo. One can't help but marvel at the new installation.
An Instagram Reel posted by a travel influencer, @BlueJuice007 exhibits airport footage with a voiceover starting with "I come here for the same reason people go to the zoo..." and it ends with a photo of the flamingo and the voiceover saying, "Look at that thing!"
I myself couldn't help posting the flamingo in my Instagram stories even after a long flight from abroad. I captioned "I'm Back" standing in front of the beautiful art installation, "HOME."
Flamingo Merch Now Available
Local fashion designers who are participating in Tampa Bay Fashion Week are offering flamingo-inspired designs at TPA. This year, Tampa Bay Fashion Week will be hosting an exclusive event at TPA called “Destination: Style.” The invitation-only event will showcase speakers in the fashion industry.
Anyone who wants it has access to flamingo fashion and design at The Shoppes at Bayshore in Main Terminal. The Shoppes at Bayshore is located adjacent to the "HOME" sculpture. Since the Main Terminal is pre-security checkpoint, patrons do not need a boarding pass to access The Shoppes at Bayshore or the iconic "HOME" sculpture.
Gift with Purchase
Many stores at TPA partnered to offer shoppers a signature flamingo beach bag (a $90 value) for spending $140 on same-day purchases. Shoppers must bring receipts to The Shoppes at Bayshore to receive the gift.