Cultural Affairs Office
Press and Communications
Artists from Across the Americas Encouraged to Submit Qualifications for Five Major Permanent Works of Public Art at Houston's New International Terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport
March 4, 2022 -- The Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA), through the City of Houston’s Civic Art Program and on behalf of the Houston Airport System (HAS), is requesting submissions of qualifications from artists and artist teams to design, fabricate and install five major permanent works of public art for the new international terminal at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. This opportunity is open to all artists in the United States and international artists in the Americas with U.S. representation.
“As a global city, Houston is also the nation’s most diverse city. One in four Houston residents was born abroad, and more than 145 languages are spoken here,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “It is fitting that we open this opportunity to artists from across the Americas whose talents can articulate the kaleidoscope of people that make our city special. These artworks will not only leave a profound impression on travelers passing through our international airport but will also strengthen our standing as a premier international city.”
Once complete, the new international terminal will feature a modernized ticketing and arrivals hall and will fully support post-pandemic growth in international traffic at the airport. It will also address capacity constraints in the central terminal area and improve baggage handling system capacity and reliability challenges. Additional international gates will welcome passengers travelling internationally with new views of artworks from Houston-area artists, commissioned through previously released opportunities.
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), in collaboration with MOCA, will manage the artist selection process for this investment in public art, which has a reserved budget of 3 million dollars from HAS.
Five separate Requests for Qualifications are being released to commission artworks for the following key architectural spaces in the new international terminal:
- Departures Façade (Passenger Drop-Off Area), a heavily trafficked area, where three artworks will be a major focal point with views throughout the hall and the exterior passenger drop off level. The RFQ calls for a “Panorama of Houston” that celebrates and reflects the rich and diverse local fabric that makes the city unique, such as Houston’s ecology, economy, recreation, diversity, food culture, and robust art culture. Budget: $857,000. Completion deadline: December 2023.
- Departure Level Garage Wall Installation, a drop-off area where artwork will be a major focal point with views from the exterior drop-off area and the Departures Hall. The intent is for a large wall installation that reflects the inspiration and innovation of Houston, reflecting the “Panorama of Houston” theme. Budget: $600,000. Completion deadline: December 2023.
- Arrivals Level Garage Wall Installation, a location where passengers wait for their transportation. The intent is for a large wall installation. The RFQ calls for a “Welcome to Houston” theme that celebrates and evokes the rich and diverse local fabric that makes Houston inspiring for residents and visitors alike. Budget: $600,000. Completion deadline: December 2023
- Arrivals Pet Area Sculpture, a place where passengers await their transportation in the outdoor lounge area or pet relief area. The intent is for a large-scale free standing sculpture commission that reflects the “Welcome to Houston” theme. Budget: $334,000. Completion deadline: December 2023.
- Arrivals Lobby Artwork (Elevator Bank), a spot where arriving passengers will view the Arrivals Lobby artwork as they make their way through to the passenger pick up area. The intent is for a large two-dimensional wall-mounted artwork commission, also inspired by the “Welcome to Houston” theme. Budget: $157,000. Completion deadline: December 2023.
Interested artists and artists teams should submit their qualifications and artwork samples to HAA, here, by Monday, April 11, 2022 at 11:59 pm.
Applicants who have questions can contact Houston Arts Alliance’s Civic Art + Design Department by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Wed., Mar. 30, 2022. Questions will be answered by no later than April 6.
For inquiries about this announcement, current opportunities for artists, or about the City of Houston’s Civic Art Program, please contact the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs: email@example.com or 832.393.1099.
The Origin of Funding
Funds for the permanent work of public arts at George Bush Intercontinental Airport were allocated by a City of Houston ordinance which mandates that 1.75% of qualified and applicable Capital Improvement Project dollars be set aside for civic art. These funds are generated by the Houston Airport’s Enterprise Fund – a non-taxpayer, self-sustaining fund of the City. Under contract and in partnership with MOCA, Houston Arts Alliance administers these city-funded public opportunities to acquire and conserve the City of Houston's public art pieces.
About the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs guides the City’s cultural investments with policies and initiatives that expand access to arts and cultural programs in the community, attract visitors and leverage private investment. Learn more at www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @HoustonMOCA.
About Houston Airports
Houston Airports is the City of Houston’s Department of Aviation. Comprised of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, IAH, William P. Hobby Airport, HOU, and Ellington Airport/Houston Spaceport, EFD, Houston Airports served 45 million passengers in 2021 and nearly 60 million in 2019. Houston Airports forms one of North America's largest public airport systems and positions Houston as the international passenger and cargo gateway to the South-Central United States and as a primary gateway to Latin America. Houston’s Hobby Airport recently became the first 5-star airport in North America and Bush Airport maintained an exceptional 4-star rating for a fifth consecutive year.
About Houston Arts Alliance
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a local arts and culture organization whose principal work is to implement the City of Houston’s vision, values, and goals for its arts grantmaking and civic art investments. HAA also executes privately funded special projects to meet the needs of the arts community, such as disaster preparation, research on the state of the arts in Houston, and temporary public art projects that energize neighborhoods. To learn more about HAA, visit www.houstonartsalliance.com and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @HoustonArtsAlliance.