Acclaimed artist Carlos Alves worked five years on the airport project before completing it when Concourse C reopened in 2007. Alves' design, an abstract aerial view of southeastern Wisconsin, created in terrazo, runs the length of the concourse's floor. Fourteen colorful mosaic tile medallions, set throughout the floor, feature close-ups of scenery common to sourtheastern Wisconsin. It provides a sweeping artistic representation of the rural-to-urban views a traveler might see from an airplane window while flying into Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport. From farm fields and lake country, set in warm tones, to the downtown streets and buildings, and finally a sea of cool blue, representing the Lake Michigan waterfront, the elaborate tile imagery celebrates the region.
Alves created the individual ceramic images in his South Beach studio. Then he and his wife shopped Milwaukee stores for tiles later shattered into thousands of pieces for brilliant background fields.
The image above is based on a 1950s photo of Milwaukee. Alves said his only change was adding a Green Back Packers bumper sticker on a car. Alves and his wife and working partner J.C. Carroll came into town after spending weeks in their Miami shop firing kilns day and
night to bake the tiles to finish the floor.