EUGENE, Ore. — An art installation at the Eugene Airport that depicts local people in flying poses will return after it was moved for an expansion project.

The Register-Guard reports workers will reinstall the first 28 pieces of the 174-piece exhibit on the south wall of the airport’s new baggage claim area next week. The installation of the remaining exhibit is expected to be finished before Christmas.

Airport spokesman Casey Boatman said the location will give the general public — not just ticketed passengers — the chance to view the iconic artwork.

“The artwork will enhance our new bag claim area, and dispersing these friendly faces throughout the airport provides a sense of continuity,” he said.

Emails previously obtained by the newspaper show airport officials had planned to permanently remove the exhibit when it was moved in 2015 for an airport expansion. That changed after public outcry, including from members of the City Council.

“It’s a unique and wonderful part of our airport,” Mayor Lucy Vinis said. “We’re thrilled to have it back.”

The late David Joyce, an art instructor at Lane Community College, created the exhibit that shows black-and-white cutouts of people he photographed in flying positions in 1988.

The exhibit spent more than 25 years on a long wall leading to the boarding gates. The terminal-expansion project required removal of the main wall inside the A Concourse, where the installation was displayed.

The city moved the artwork to Lane Community College during the expansion.

A public art consultant, Greta Latchford, will oversee the exhibit’s return and is preparing to write a public art master plan for the airport.

“The ‘flying people’ remind us all that despite the latest developments in aviation technology, it’s our human connection that matters most (at the airport),” she wrote in a news release.

Information from: The Register-Guard,

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