The sculpture was created by Glenna Goodacre, an artist most known for designing the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington D.C. and the Sacagawea dollar the US put into circulation in 2000. (Fun Fact: Goodacre's daughter was a Victoria Secret model and is the wife of Henry Connick, Jr.)
Though a native Texan, Goodacre has lived in New Mexico since 1983, so it seems fitting her artwork would have a prominent place at many people's first introduction to her adopted state. Though "The Basket Dance" is not her most famous work, it is certainly interesting and honors the Native American tradition so prominent in New Mexico. The Basket Dance is an annual Hopi tradition celebrating the end of harvest where anything extra was re-distributed to help everyone make it through the tough winters. It is a beautiful work of art and definitely a great introduction to New Mexico for those making their first visit. Or for me, trying to forget how long I've been stuck in an airport.