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Globe-Hopping at the San Diego International Airport: "Port of Entry" Artwork

illustration of earth day

Next time you’re passing through San Diego International Airport—at the start or on the heels of an unforgettable stay with us at the Sofia Hotel, naturally—spare some time for the thought-provoking art currently on display there.

“Port of Entry” at the Airport

Besides its rich array of public art, the airport displays temporary themed exhibitions. This year, for example, travelers can enjoy some 14 distinct installations in the “Port of Entry” exhibition, which explores the notion of cultural interchange and borders. That’s an appropriate subject for an international airport, of course, and all the more so in San Diego, which includes one of the busiest (and “coolest,” mind you) land-border crossings on the planet. Indeed, some of the artists contributing to “Port of Entry” (curated by Norma Iglesias-Prieto) focused specifically on the deep-rooted San Diego/Tijuana connection.

100 Worlds

Among the striking “Port of Entry” material is the 100 Worlds Project, the brainchild of San Diego artist-designer Ron Miriello. Joining forces with local craftspeople—especially those of the Barrio Logan neighborhood downtown, where Miriello’s studio is situated—Miriello forged globes rendered out of prosaic objects: the soles of shoes, an aluminum highway sign, inner tubes, bicycle gears, a worn-down sawblade, old letterforms, etc. Each globe thus has its own surprising composition and arresting design.

The 100 Worlds Project reveals the artistic potential of everyday materials and the creative potential latent in just about everybody, and also reminds us of the lovely diversity of our one and only planet. “We are all creative beings,” Miriello said in a writeup on the exhibit over at San Diego’s official tourism blog. “We just manifest our creativity in different ways.”

And the 100 Worlds Project is meant to be an ongoing, collaborative, and communal effort: Miriello has made 50 globes thus far, and hopes others will be inspired to make their own.

You can see the 100 Worlds Project near Gate 33 in the airport’s Terminal 2 West (post-security) through December of this year. And make sure to check out the other awesome “Port of Entry” installations, too, while you’re there—a great way to reflect on your visit to a proudly multicultural city!