A giant rabbit sculpture in the Sacramento, California airport recently won an award from the Art’s Public Art Network. The sculpture, named “Leap” and created by Lawrence Argent, is a huge aluminum and fiberglass rabbit suspended in the Ticket Hall area. It appears to be jumping into a giant granite and brass suitcase located in the Baggage Claim area.
The award was one of 50 outstanding public art projects chosen from among several hundred entries.
“Leap” is better known as “The Red Rabbit,” and is the reason why the building has more recently become dubbed the “Hareport.” The sculpture, measuring 56-feet long, 11-feet wide and 24-feet high, is suspended by cables and is visible from all levels of the new Central Terminal B.
According to the airport authority, the rabbit was chosen for many reasons. Around the world rabbits are the subject of many myths and legends. It is linked with longevity, cleverness and courage in some cultures, while in others it is a metaphor for a messenger. This rabbit is rushing to claim her luggage quickly. Its red color symbolizes speed. Perhaps it is a magic rabbit that appeared out of the hat of a magician, or maybe it is like the Alice in Wonderland rabbit who is worried about being late.
Although some Sacramento area residents complained about the rabbit sculpture’s $800,000 price tag, the airport was careful to make it very clear the funding did not come from taxpayer dollars.
Born in England, Lawrence Argent studied sculpture at the Royal Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. He is a Professor of Art at the University of Denver, where in 2002 he was honored with a Distinguished Scholar award.
Photo courtesy prayitno