Mayor's Office Press Release

Houston Celebrates the 'Largest One-Time' Art Acquisition at Houston Airports

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Barbosa Landois, Julia. As Above Below. 2020. Houston’s Civic Art Collection.

August 23, 2021 -- Houston Airports, with the support of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA), has made its largest one-time art acquisition that will be installed at Houston’s award-winning, four-star George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airports (HOU). The investment was directly made using Houston Airports’ Enterprise Fund – a non-taxpayer, self-sustaining revenue source.

“Art helps to define a city, and this is an important investment in our creative community,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This is the largest number of artworks the City has acquired, at one time, in its history, and, we will explore future opportunities to add artwork from Houston artists into the Civic Art Collection at Houston Airports.”

The selection of these 74 artworks underwent one of the most competitive processes to date. Eligibility for this opportunity was opened to include artists across the state to represent the diverse creative communities active in Houston and in Texas.

“The City's Civic Art Collection featured in Houston's Airports now includes the work of legendary Texas artists which truly reflects the artistic and cultural essence of our city and our state,” Houston Airports Director Mario Diaz said. “But more importantly, it adds artworks from underrepresented artists and showcases Houston’s airports as global air-service gateways.”

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Hood, Dorothy. Untitled. 1990. Houston’s Civic Art Collection.

A committee of art professionals, artists and departmental representatives reviewed over 670 applications from artists across the state of Texas offering ready to hang “portable” artworks for Houston Airports to purchase. “Portable Works” are artworks that are not permanently sited and will be curated to enhance the aviation experience for passengers.

“As we continue our efforts to develop a Civic Art Collection truly reflective of our city, we must foremost extend our gratitude to all of the artist applicants who responded to this opportunity,” Theresa Escobedo, the Manager of the Civic Art Program for the City of Houston, said. “It is the tireless creative work of artists in our communities that have made it possible for Houston Airports to enhance the customer experience by providing a “sense of place” for millions of passengers.”

Included in this purchase are 2-D and 3-D works from renowned Texas artists like Dorothy Hood, Jesús Moroles, Mel Chin, and Bert L. Long, Jr. Additionally, artwork from local legends like Jesse Lott, Susan Budge, Gael Stack and Orna Feinstein are on the purchase list as well.

Houston’s Civic Art Collection is also soon to enjoy new artwork from Texas artists on the rise: Joyce Lin, Farima Fooladi, Mitch Stevenson, and Julia Barbosa Landois, all active in Houston, and from notable names across Texas: Letitia Huckaby, Adrian Esparza, and Ling-lin Ku.

“I’m beyond thrilled with the diversity and quality of these new works coming into our award-winning airports,” Houston Airports Curator of Public Art, Alton DuLaney said. “This new acquisition is monumental. We are grateful to the new artist and for the legacy pieces that reflect Houston’s thriving art history and culture.”

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Fooladi,  Farima. Mirage. 2020. Houston’s Civic Art Collection.

About MOCA
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.

To learn more about the City’s cultural programs visit www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs and follow us on Facebook and 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 24.7 million passengers in 2020 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 is proud to be the only city in the Western Hemisphere with two Skytrax rated 4-star airports. Fly2houston.com.