Press and Communication

Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communication

Artists from across the Americas are encouraged to submit qualifications for five major permanent works of public art at the new Houston International Terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Entrance to the departures hall at the new international terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

March 4, 2022 — The Mayor of Houston’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA), through the City of Houston Civic Art Program and on behalf of the Houston Airport System (HAS), is seeking submissions of artist qualifications and teams of artists to design, fabricate and install five major permanent public art projects for the new international terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. This opportunity is open to all artists in the United States and international artists from the Americas with American representation.

“As a global city, Houston is also the most diverse city in the country. One in four Houston residents is foreign-born, and more than 145 languages ​​are spoken here,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “It is only fitting that we are offering this opportunity to artists from across the Americas whose talents can articulate the kaleidoscope of people who make our city special. These works of art will not only leave a deep impression on travelers who pass through our international airport, but will also strengthen our position as a leading international city.

When completed, the new international terminal will feature a modernized ticket office and arrivals hall and will fully support the post-pandemic growth of international traffic at the airport. It will also address capacity constraints in the central terminal area and improve baggage handling system capacity and reliability issues. Additional international gates will welcome passengers traveling abroad with new views of works by Houston-area artists, commissioned through previously posted opportunities.

The Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), in conjunction with MOCA, will manage the artist selection process for this public art investment, which has a reserved budget of $3 million from HAS.

Render photo of IAH 2 airport

East facade of the parking garage on the departures level of the new international terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Five separate RFQs are issued to commission artwork for the following main architectural spaces of the new international terminal:

  • Departures facade (passenger landing stage), a busy area, where three works of art will be a major focal point with views across the entire concourse and exterior passenger landing 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 the ecology, economy, recreation, diversity, food culture and robust arts culture of Houston. Budget: $857,000. Deadline for completion: December 2023.
  • Installation of a garage wall at the starting level, a drop-off area where artwork will be a major focal point with views from the exterior drop-off area and departures hall. Intention is a large wall installation that reflects Houston inspiration and innovation, reflecting the “Panorama of Houston” theme. Budget: $600,000. Deadline for completion: December 2023.
  • Installation of garage wall at the arrivals level, a place where passengers wait for transport. The intention 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 Animals Area Sculpture, a place where passengers await transportation in the outdoor lounge or pet rescue area. The intention is to create a large-scale, free-standing sculpture commission that reflects the “Welcome to Houston” theme. Budget: $334,000. Deadline for completion: December 2023.
  • Arrivals Hall Artwork (Elevator Bank), a place where arriving passengers will see the arrivals hall artwork as they walk to the passenger pick-up area. The intention is to create a large commission of two-dimensional wall art, also inspired by the “Welcome to Houston” theme. Budget: $157,000. Deadline for completion: December 2023.

Interested artists and teams of artists must submit their qualifications and artwork samples to HAA, hereby Monday, April 11, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

Applicants with questions may contact the Civic Art + Design Department of the Houston Arts Alliance by emailing civicart@haatxhelp.zendesk.com no later than Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Questions will be answered no later than April 6.

For questions regarding this announcement, current opportunities for artists, or the City of Houston’s civic arts program, please contact the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs: cultural.affairs@houstontx.gov or 832.393.1099.

The origin of the financing
Funds for the permanent public arts work at George Bush Intercontinental Airport have been allocated by a City of Houston ordinance that requires 1.75% of qualified and applicable capital improvement project dollars to be set aside for the civic art. These funds are generated by the Houston Airport Enterprise Fund, an autonomous city fund that does not rely on taxpayers. Under contract and in partnership with MOCA, the Houston Arts Alliance administers these city-funded public opportunities to acquire and preserve the City of Houston’s public works of art.

About the town hall of cultural affairs town hall
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 culture programs in the community, attract visitors, and leverage private investment. Learn more at www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.

About Houston Airports
Houston Airports is the Department of Aviation for the City of Houston. Comprised of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, IAH, William P. Hobby Airport, HOU, and Ellington Airport/Houston Spaceport, EFD, Houston’s airports served 45 million passengers in 2021 and nearly 60 million in 2019. Houston Airports is one of the largest public airports in North America. airport systems and positions Houston as the international gateway for passengers and cargo to the south-central United States and as the primary gateway to Latin America. Houston Hobby Airport recently became the first 5-star airport in North America and Bush Airport maintained an outstanding 4-star rating for the fifth consecutive year.

About the Houston Arts Alliance
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a grassroots arts and culture organization whose primary work is to implement the City of Houston’s vision, values, and goals for its arts grants and civic art investments. HAA also executes special, privately funded projects to meet the needs of the arts community, such as disaster preparedness, 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 and Instagram @HoustonArtsAlliance.

James C. Tibbs