Air travelers know the peculiar, low-level stress of retrieving suitcases from baggage claim — and the sudden cheer of seeing one’s personal luggage tumble onto that slow-moving carousel. If your bag as it comes into view seems to speak with an eloquence only you can understand, Pittsburgh-based artist John Peña has the artwork for you.

Peña is one of more than a dozen artists creating pieces for the new Pittsburgh International Airport terminal. His work, to be positioned in baggage claim and titled “What Does Luggage Think About?” will consist of four sculptures of oversized suitcases with big word balloons suspended above, each containing a mechanical split-flap display conveying a series of messages attributed to the luggage itself. But what that luggage will say when the terminal opens in 2025 is largely up to the public. Peña is still crowdsourcing ideas, though he says he’s already got some good ones.

Read more at WESA 90.5.

Originally published: April 19, 2024