Arts & Culture

Houston Airports add ten new original permanent art pieces from Texas-based artists

The entire process took approximately two years – from the city calling for commissions in 2020 to the artist completing their artworks this year. 


Dharmesh Patel’s art piece, Wings, is behind Mayor Sylvester Turner. The piece is by TSA at Hobby Airport.

Passengers traveling through Houston airports will notice new artwork in every terminal. On Tuesday, The Houston Airport Systems unveiled ten permanent pieces of artwork that are displayed in terminals at both Hobby and Bush Intercontinental Airports.

Ten local artists were chosen out of thousands to be part of the city's Civic Art Program to create the pieces during the unpredictable times of the pandemic. Mayor Sylvester Turner said they wanted to give back to the state's art community and the difficult time artists went through during the pandemic.

"We created these opportunities to mitigate the negative impact that lockdowns and protective measures had on local artists and during a time of uncertainty. The city of Houston offered hope and we offered support," he said.

Turner said the City of Houston has invested million into public artwork.

"I’m proud to announce that the city of Houston has invested more than $4.5 million in commission projects released at that time," he said " In the case of these 10 commissioned, Houston Airports sponsor nearly $2 million in funds."

The entire process took approximately two years – from the city calling for commissions in 2020 to the artist completing their artworks this year.

"The call for art here was a very long and thorough process, we launched this call at the beginning of 2020," said Public Arts Curator for the Houston Airports System, Alton DuLaney. "Of course there was this little thing going on – the global pandemic so that really both intensified and slowed down the project."

DuLaney said the Houston Airport Systems sometimes serve one million passengers in a week and he wants travelers to not only see the artwork but get a feel for the City of Houston.

"Houston is a very rich and diverse cultural community and we feel that these art pieces that we represent here in the airport help shine a great light on everything Houston has to offer," he said.

Dharmesh Patel is one of the artists chosen from Austin. His piece called “Wings” is displayed near the TSA security checkpoint at Hobby Airport. He said it was hard to be creative during the pandemic.

"As an artist you don’t have a lot of maneuverability and flexibility and this commission really allowed that.”

The ten new art pieces will bring the City's Civic Art Collection at the Houston Airports to almost 350 pieces. According to city and airport officials, Houston has the largest airport art collection in the world.

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