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airport, floor, terrazzo, painter, sky, Pittsburgh International Airport, planes, Carrie Furnace, Cathedral of Learning

Artwork Type

Integrated, Other 2D Work, Permanent

The Sky Beneath Our Feet


Clayton Merrell


Commissioning Entity Pittsburgh International Airport
Owner Allegheny County Airport Authority

The Sky Beneath Our Feet is a 69,000 square foot terrazzo artwork that includes iconic Pittsburgh landscapes such as Heinz Field, the Smithfield Street Bridge, Cathedral of Learning, and Carrie Furnaces. These recognizable images border a blue sky, which swirls through the center of the airport’s floor, extending the experience of flight and freedom to walking through the terminal. 

Clayton F. Merrell grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. He studied painting and printmaking at Brigham Young University and the Yale School of Art, where he earned an MFA in 1995. He received a Fulbright Grant to Oaxaca, Mexico in 1996-97. His work is exhibited widely, with recent exhibitions at: The American Embassy in Belmopan, Belize; The Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell NM; Concept Gallery, Pittsburgh PA; the Lincoln Center for the Arts, Fort Collins, CO; and the Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua NY. He was the 2005 “Artist-of the Year” at The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh PA. He has received awards and grants from the Pro-Arts Foundation, Skowhegan, The Millay Colony for the Arts, the Blue Mountain Center, the Vermont Studio Center, Artists Image Resource, and the Center for the Arts in Society. During 2004-05 he was a fellow at the Roswell Artist-in Residence Foundation. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. - Excerpt taken from Clayton Merrell's profile at Concept Art Gallery: http://conceptgallery.com/artists/clayton-merrell/#1

Allegheny County Airport Authority, Lami Grubb Architects, Mosites Construction and Roman Mosaic & Tile Company