By Peg McRoy
The National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association (NTMA) named Tiffany Black’s terrazzo floor, designed for the Clinton Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, the 2023 Judge’s Choice Art Honor Award at its national convention in Como, Italy on May 11.
Only 17 honor awards, representing a diversity of international fields, were given by the NTMA at that convention. Only one was given in art and Black’s work was chosen.
Her terrazzo floor design, titled “Under an Arkansas Sky,” represents Arkansas flora and fauna.
Holding true to Arkansas’ nickname, “The Natural State”, an apple blossom, mockingbird, and the Diana fritillary butterfly are included within the extensive design. Each one of those images is part of the State’s insignia.
Overall, there are 16 different types of insects and twelve plants within her design. It features 50 epoxy terrazzo colors and 50 mixes of stone aggregate- including mother of pearl and recycled glass.
The inlaid design spans 20 x 90 feet between the ticketing area and the security checkpoint at the airport. Her focus in creating the design was to convey the magic of flight.
She used butterflies throughout the floor to accomplish her vision. The impact one feels while walking across the terrazzo floor is akin to an aerial view, also providing a sensation of flight.
NTMA describes it on its website as an inviting exploration and glorious celebration of Arkansas’ natural beauty.
The terrazzo contractor was Missouri Terrazzo out of St. Louis, the general contractor was Flynco, Inc. out of Little Rock, with direction by Alliance Architecture based in Minneapolis, and management by the Via Partnership.
Black maintains that the entire team believed in her vision and encouraged her to push the limits and that she owes them a great deal of thanks.
“It was a steep learning curve to design for a medium I knew very little about, and a fantastic learning experience,” said Black. “Missouri Terrazzo was so great to work with, and they interpreted my design beautifully. Alliance Architecture took me under their wings and shared ways to approach designing with terrazzo. Everyone involved took the time to get every detail just right, down to the color of the turquoise arch that represents Arkansas’ rivers.”
Black grew up in Danville, graduated from Danville High School, and Hanover College. She is known locally for her mural “Open Window” which she designed and painted on the southside of the town square. While she travels the country designing and creating public art, she still calls Danville home.