DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Chicago Connections > Artistry in Terminal 5: Curating art for a unique space
By Jade Walker /
November 20, 2023 /
Posted in: CHICAGO CONNECTIONS /
This fall, O’Hare International Airport debuted its public art project in the newly renovated Terminal 5 featuring a diverse selection of 20 artists, including animator
Selina Trepp, an adjunct faculty member in the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media. The project was spearheaded by Ionit Behar, curator of the
DePaul Art Museum, and architect Andrew Schachman, who worked closely to choose artists and commission work that would fit perfectly in the unconventional space.
The project is already receiving high praise, as Chicago Tribune's art critic Lori Waxman calls it "one of the most sensational art exhibitions currently on view in Chicago."
Since the hallways are so large and people continuously move through them, each artist was given a large space to create a world of their own. “Working with the artists, we had to be mindful that the work was easy to grasp and aesthetically pleasant,” says Behar. “We also took great care to select a group of artists who would represent Chicago and its diversity.”
Trepp adapted to the space by creating an animation that moved along with the travelers towards their destination. “The unconventional space the work is installed in did affect my thinking about how the viewership would interact with it,” Trepp says. “If someone in the corridor experiences at least one or two of my characters walking with them, there is the possibility of a full experience even in this brief interaction.”
Working for over a year on her animation for this project, Trepp aimed to make a piece that would make the arrival process easier by mirroring the passengers’ experience with bright colors and funny characters.
This installation is one example of how art can enhance even the most mundane parts of life, while creating community and uplifting artists around the city. Read more at
Jade Walker is a student assistant of media relations and communications in University Communications.