The City of Houston is calling on Houston-area artists to submit their work for consideration for six new boarding gates that are being built in the D-West Pier of the new Mickey Leland International Terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, IAH.
The Houston Airports System and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) are working collaboratively to coordinate the first of several art acquisition phases for the new International Terminal at IAH, currently under construction. The large-scale two-dimensional art pieces will flank six new wide-body aircraft gates.
“Each of the six gates will provide a unique opportunity for a Houston-based artist to share a piece of Houston’s story,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “For some travelers, the commissioned artwork will be their first impression of Houston and will emphasize our city’s commitment to Public Art.”
The goal of the permanent artwork is to complement the architecture and to create a memorable passenger experience that reflects the unique characteristics of the City of Houston and the surrounding regions of Texas. This is integral to Houston Airports’ journey to become a Skytrax 5-star rated airport.
“The artwork will be one of the first impressions of its diverse culture, its landscape and ideas that Houston has to offer the traveling public,” said Mario Diaz, Houston Airports Director. “Public art will play a critical role in enhancing the passenger experience in the new International Terminal, which will provide a seamless, world-class traveling experience from curb to gate.”
The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is open to eligible artists and artist teams residing and working in Greater Houston Area – a nine-county metropolitan area which includes Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties.
Applicants must submit required qualifications and artwork samples by the application’s February 8, 2022, deadline to be considered for the opportunity.
“This call for art provides an opportunity for local and regional artists to have their work viewed on an international stage in front of the millions that pass through the airport each year,” said MOCA Director Necole S. Irvin. “It continues our goals of supporting local artists and bringing more first-class art into the city, adding to our already-impressive public art collection.”
The art investment of $540,000 for the new Mickey Leland International Terminal is made possible by the City of Houston Civic Art Program. The funds are 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. The funds will come directly from 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.