The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) is pleased to celebrate ongoing work which will bring ten new site-specific art commissions to both George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby Airports. The commissioned works, which will be added to the City’s Civic Art Collection, are sponsored by Houston Airports (HAS) on behalf of the City of Houston through MOCA’s Civic Art Program.
Artists submitted qualifications for consideration in the Summer of 2020. These opportunities, which prioritized economic support for artists and art organizations, were advanced to help meet the needs of artists, organizations, and small businesses heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Eligibility for the commission opportunity was extended beyond the Greater Houston Area to artists from or living in the state of Texas.
“At the height of the global pandemic, Houston considered multiple opportunities to support artists and artist teams within our creative economy,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Through their creative work, the artists we engaged for these commission opportunities can support even more small businesses as they fabricate and install the artwork. Local and international travelers can enjoy their work at Houston’s airports.”
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The new commissions bring the City’s Civic Art Collection at Houston Airports to nearly 350 pieces, making it one of the largest public art programs in the aviation industry.
“These artworks are designed specifically to elevate the passenger experience at both Bush and Hobby airports,” said Mario Diaz, Director of Aviation for Houston Airports. “Having these talented Texas artists add color, beauty, and character to our terminals is a gift millions of travelers will enjoy year after year.”
A press conference announcing the artist selection was hosted at Bush Intercontinental Airport in December, and artists have been hard at work developing their artworks.
The diverse range of accomplished artists and artist teams developing commissions includes:
- Animalis Works (Dharmesh Patel), Austin, Texas
- Colby Deal, Houston, Texas
- Cruz Ortiz, San Antonio, Texas
- Input Output (Billy Baccam and Alex Ramos), Houston, Texas
- Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee, Houston, Texas
- Melissa Borrell, Austin, Texas
- Peter Hite, Houston, Texas
- R&R&R (Ryan Takaba, Robert Diaz de Leon, and Ronny Eckels), San Antonio, Texas
- William Cannings, Lubbock, Texas
- Xavier Schipani, Austin, Texas
A panel of nationally recognized curators, local arts professionals, and community members were essential to the commissioning process for both of Houston’s award-winning airports.
Thus far, two out of the ten commissions have been installed with the rest scheduled for installation by the end of October 2022. Both “Clouds” by artist William Cannings and “Karankawa Sun Dream and the Truth Teller” by artist Cruz Ortiz can now be seen by travelers departing from and arriving at Hobby Airport, the first airport in North America to earn a 5-star international rating.