Red Rabbit Leaps into Conversations about New Sac Airport Terminal

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Meet the red rabbit. This 56-foot-long aluminum sculpture by Denver artist Lawrence Argent is a centerpiece of the Sacramento airport’s new $1 billion terminal, which opened Oct. 6. According to the Associated Press, its looming presence has already inspired the nickname “the Hare-port.”

The rabbit – who is leaping into a granite suitcase on the baggage-claim floor – is one of 12 new public art pieces displayed in the terminal, at a combined cost of $6 million. He’s also a definite talking point for locals and visitors, whose reactions range from confused to inspired.

The new Terminal B houses eight airlines – all except Delta, United/Continental and U.S. Airways. The glass-and-steel terminal includes a 45-second shuttle to get from check-in to the departure gates, perhaps the biggest difference for travelers used to the one-building convenience of Terminal A.

After the security checkpoint, the energy-efficient, high-tech terminal opens into an airy seating area near restaurants, shops and departure gates.

The shiny horn sculpture near the windows is a piece of interactive art called “Your Words are Music to My Ears” by artists Po Shu Wang and Louise Bertelsen. Travelers can compose email messages, which are then translated via computer code into musical notes and played from the horn.

Hanging above the entryway past the security checkpoint is a striking piece called “Acorn Steam” (an anagram for “Sacramento”). This sculpture by Donald Lipski combines three oak tree trunks adorned with 5,000 hand-cut Austrian crystals.

To view Sacramento Bee photos of the new terminal, click here.

To see photos and learn more about the 12 art installations contained within the terminal, click here.

Candace L. Brown has been a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor since 1992. A longtime Redding resident, she’s flown many times out of the Sacramento airport. She admits her first reaction to the red rabbit was that it made her think of Spiderman. Candace can be reached at

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Candace L. Brown
Candace L. Brown has been a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor since 1992, including eight years at the Redding Record Searchlight. She lives in Redding and can be reached at
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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Adrienne Jacoby says:

    Thank goodness there are some in our culture that see the value of public art. And before someone is up in arms about wasteful spending, I would bet you dimes to donuts (my dad used to say that . . . dunno what it means) that all or part of it was funded through private grants and awards.

    I can hardly wait to fly out of Sac. . . in fact, next time I drive by I may just stop and take a look. Jeesh . . . who on Earth would go to an airport just to look? And that, I believe, is the point.

    • Avatar Insanity Prevails says:

      Classic liberal mentality to say things they do not understand the meaning of yet assume they are valid. Expenditures of this nature cannot be rationalized in this economy and marginally, at best, in any economy. Art is a luxury that I appreciate, but where are our priorities people?

      By the way, the idiom means simply betting something of worth against something of no value which kind of makes my point here.

      • Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

        Bah, she's right. It's just plain cool and I love it.

      • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

        Art is not a luxury. It's a necessity for living, not just existing. Without art we'd be alive only in the strictly physical sense. Art is all around us, whether we stop to notice it or not. Life cannot be all heart attacks and seriousness. We need joy, whimsy, expression, fantasy, dreams – all the things that make us human.

        More public art, please!

  2. Avatar Doug says:

    Flew out of the old International Terminal this summer….this should be much, much better. Have not seen the rabbit yet but always chuckle when I see the stacks of old suitcases piled high at the Sac baggage claim…

  3. Avatar denise says:

    The new terminal is wonderful! The tree with the crystals is especially nice.

    When we travel, most of us are out of sorts, leaving home or returning, tired, anxious. Beauty is just the ticket to a peaceful soul.

  4. Avatar Canda says:

    The terminal art looks beautiful. One downside to the new $1 billion terminal is that Southwest is going to have to cut back on their flights due to the rent increase. I have to admit, I enjoyed the convenience of being dropped off and picked up by First Class Shuttle, rather than riding the tram. Fantastic art aside, I wonder if in this economy, it was a good time to add such an expensive terminal. The prices will surely trickle down to us as customers, at a time when we're all trying to hang in there. Not trying to be negative, just my opinion.

  5. Avatar Michele says:

    Regarding beautiful buildings and public art, is it that much more expensive to build something beautiful than something that looks like a Soviet prison? Our surroundings can inspire and energize us, or they can depress and demoralize us. Great public spaces are great community investments – good for business, good for property values and good for our psyches. (And I'm not sure of the exact timing of this project, but I think it's been under way for quite some time. Certainly the planning, bidding and letting of contracts would have preceded the recession. )

  6. Avatar Carole Cline says:

    Sacramento has a great little airport—Now, it's beautiful, as well, with the exciting displays of public art. Without the arts, life would be "nasty, brutish, and short."