The City of Houston is asking Houston artists to submit their work in consideration as part of its plans for the new Mickey Leland International Terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), which is currently under construction.
Works will be displayed in the terminal's six gates in the D-West Pier. The city is investing $540,00 in the project, with monies coming from the Houston Airport Enterprise Fund.
“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 in a press release announcing the initiative. “For some travelers, the commissioned artwork will be their first impression of Houston and will emphasize our City’s commitment to Public Art.”
The call for artwork is a joint effort by the Houston Airports System and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA). In partnership with MOCA, the Houston Arts Alliance administers city-funded public opportunities like this one to acquire and conserve the City of Houston's public art pieces.
This effort is the first of several art acquisition phases for the new terminal. The works, large-scale, two-dimensional pieces, are to flank six new wide-body aircraft gates. The works will be permanent and the idea is that they will not only complement the terminal's architecture, but also reflect the unique characteristics of Houston and the surrounding region.
Submissions are due by February 8, 2022. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is open to eligible artists and artist teams residing and working in Houston's nine-county metro area, including Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties. Full details and instructions for artists is available here.
“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 Houston Airports Director Mario Diaz, in the same release. “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.”