Oculus – Fort Wayne International Airport

Fort Wayne International Airport, Fort Wayne, IN | Laser-Cut Powder-Coated Steel, Dichroic Glass | 18’H x 40’ Diameter


Oculus is an exciting and vibrant gateway project designed for the Fort Wayne International Airport. It boasts a visually stunning mix of materials, shapes, colors and lighting effects. The installation celebrates the rich history of aviation, enhances the airport’s visual appeal, promotes the state of Indiana and provides a unique and interactive space for passenger experiences.

The concept for Oculus takes inspiration from the fluid and iconic shape of airplane wings and establishes the viewer’s engagement with the history of aviation in the state. Four 18-foot stainless steel ‘wings,’ elegantly designed to resemble airplane wings, provide support for an open yet structured space.

Each wing is powder-coated and laser-cut with iconic images illustrating one of four vibrant historic stories of the Fort Wayne region: an apple tree celebrating Johnny Appleseed, music notes representing the region’s rich musical heritage as the birthplace of Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, The Inkspots, the Jackson 5 and John Mellencamp; the word “Hello” inscribed in multiple languages, and images of airplanes. The delicate tracery within each wing, and the intricate shadows cast on the surrounding sidewalks throughout the day and night, offer a spectacular visual display.

The four wings hold aloft an 8-foot diameter oculus (the Latin word for a circular window or opening at the top of an architectural dome). A dichroic glass disk, treated with various metal oxides to create a multitude of colors, is suspended from the oculus frame. The result is a constantly changing and dazzling array of light and color that serves as a visual focal point, encouraging passenger and visitor engagement.

Bench seating beneath the sculpture creates a restful and contemplative place for visitors to gather and reflect on the wonder of flight as they approach or depart from the airport. Oculus celebrates the area’s history, commerce, and way of life with visitors from all over the world, enhancing Fort Wayne’s reputation and stature.

The Oculus installation establishes a landmark for arrivals and departures at the Fort Wayne International Airport, making it a unique cultural and visual addition to the aviation hub.