Austin | Dallas | Houston
Hometown Glory

Taking off: Houston artists win national honors for airport and Montrose tunnel work

Enlarge
Slideshow
North Texas Sunrise by Dixie Friend Gay at Dallas Love Field Airport
Dixie Friend Gay's North Texas Sunrise, in the lobby of Dallas Love Field airport, was honored as one of the best pieces of public art of the past year. Photo by Nathan Cox
News_DiverseWorks_Luck of the Draw_Dixie Gay Friend_Nicole Laurent
Dixie Friend Gay, left, in file photo Dixie Gay Friend, Nicole Laurent Photo by Bill Olive
Funnel Tunnel by Patrick Renner Montrose Boulevard Zapiola
Patrick Renner's "Funnel Tunnel" on Montrose Boulevard was named one of the best pieces of public art of the past year. Photo by Pablo Gimenez
Patrick Renner, left, and Mark McCray at the CAMH Gala April 2014
Patrick Renner, left, in file photo Photo by Morris Malakoff
North Texas Sunrise by Dixie Friend Gay at Dallas Love Field Airport
News_DiverseWorks_Luck of the Draw_Dixie Gay Friend_Nicole Laurent
Funnel Tunnel by Patrick Renner Montrose Boulevard Zapiola
Patrick Renner, left, and Mark McCray at the CAMH Gala April 2014
News_Decorative Center winners_Dixie Friend Gay_columns and mural setting

The program to fill Dallas Love Field Airport with all manner of public art has earned national recognition: Houston artist Dixie Friend Gay's North Texas Sunrise has been named one of the year's top public art installations in the United States by Americans for the Arts, Public Art Year in Review.

Friend Gay used around 300,000 pieces of mosaic and hand-glazed ceramic tiles to depict a sunrise breaking behind a field of Texas wildflowers, which represents the vanishing prairie landscape. It has a prominent position in the airport's main lobby.

 It is the only national program to specifically honor public art. Led by three highly regarded artists, the network highlighted 37 pieces across the country. 

Also recognized was Houston artist Patrick Renner, who created an enormous installation along Montrose Boulevard for the Art League of Houston. Spanning 180 feet in length along the esplanade, the colorful, serpentine structure titled “Funnel Tunnel” responds to the orientation of the trees and lighting conditions in the small park where it was built. The work is composed of reclaimed wood woven through a steel skeleton.

Public Art Year in Review is compiled annually by Americans for the Arts Public Art Network. It is the only national program to specifically honor public art. Led by three highly regarded artists, the network highlighted 37 pieces across the country.

North Texas Sunrise is one of 15 pieces of public art on display at Love Field and one of 11 commissioned under the relatively new Love Field Art Program. All pieces are now in place; two final works were installed earlier this year.

Friend Gay, who was named Texas Artist of the Year in 2003 by the Texas Commission for the Arts, has created massive award-winning mosaic murals installed at Bush Intercontinental Airport, the Port of Miami, Indianapolis International Airport, Sam Houston State University and Texas A&M Galveston. 

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address

HTX Ready to Jingle 2014