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Artist's style wins over Airport Authority

After several months of searching, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has chosen an artist to design large-scale artwork to be mounted on the transportation center at Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Commissioners unanimously voted during a meeting on Monday to award New Mexico artist Fausto Fernandez an $85,000 contract to come up with six different designs for each of the panels outside of the building along Hollywood Way.

The airport authority is required to put up art pieces on the center to fulfill Burbank's Art in Public Places obligation after the building was constructed, said Nerissa Sugars, who is in charge of the authority's marketing and business development.

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Fernandez, who said that he has always had a fascination with airplanes, is no stranger to public art pieces. His work can be seen at East Rancho Dominguez Park in Compton and at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

He was chosen by the airport authority's artist selection committee because of his unique style and his willingness to work with the community on the project, said Gail Goldman, an art consultant hired by the authority.

"There's a lot of confidence in his experience in public art and with his approach to the work that he does," Goldman said. "We feel a strong sense that his work will translate really well onto that large scale."

Fernandez said that his concept for the six designs will be based off an art project he recently worked on which involved creating abstract collages of people from specific communities and mixing in graffiti elements.

The artist plans to go out in Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena to do research and design the art pieces.

"I do research. I talk to people. I photograph [examples], and I try to gather all that information in order for me to do public-art projects," Fernandez said.

The overall cost of the project, which was approved by the airport authority this past August, will be roughly $377,000, which includes the design process and Fernandez's contract as well as construction of the art panels.

Fernandez will have until this April to develop the panels' designs, which will need approval from the airport authority.

Barring any setbacks, the project is expected to be completed by May 2018.

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Anthony Clark Carpio, anthonyclark.carpio@latimes.com

Twitter: @acocarpio

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