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