Artists from Across the Americas Encouraged To Submit Qualifications for Five Major Permanent Works of Public Art at New International Terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Artists and artist teams from United States, North, Central, and South America* with state-side representation are eligible  

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

“As a global city, Houston is also the nation’s most diverse city. One in four Houston residents was  born abroad, and more than 145 languages are spoken here,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “It is fitting that we open this opportunity to artists from across the Americas whose talents can articulate  the kaleidoscope of people that make our city special. These artworks will not only leave a profound  impression on travelers passing through our international airport hubs but will also strengthen our standing as a premier international city.” 

Once complete, the new international terminal will feature a modernized ticketing and arrivals hall and will fully support post-pandemic growth in international traffic at the airport. It will also address capacity constraints in the central terminal area and improve baggage handling system capacity and reliability challenges. Additional international gates will welcome passengers travelling internationally with new views of artworks from Houston-area artists, commissioned through previously released opportunities. 

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

Five separate Requests for Qualifications are being released to commission artworks for the following key architectural spaces in the new international terminal:  

Departures Façade (Passenger Drop-Off Area), a heavily trafficked area, where three  artworks will be a major focal point with views throughout the hall and the exterior passenger  drop off 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 Houston’s ecology,  economy, recreation, diversity, food culture, and robust art culture. Completion deadline: December 2023. 

Budget: $857,000. 

Departure Level Garage Wall Installation, a drop-off area where artwork will be a major focal  point with views from the exterior drop-off area and the Departures Hall. The intent is for a  large wall installation that reflects the inspiration and innovation of Houston, reflecting the  “Panorama of Houston” theme. Completion deadline: December 2023.

Budget: $600,000.

Arrivals Level Garage Wall Installation, a location where passengers wait for their  transportation. The intent 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. Completion deadline:  December 2023.

Budget: $600,000.

Arrivals Pet Area Sculpture, a place where passengers await their transportation in the  outdoor lounge area or pet relief area. The intent is for a large-scale free standing sculpture  commission that reflects the “Welcome to Houston” theme. Completion deadline: December 2023.

Budget: $334,000.

Arrivals Lobby Artwork (Elevator Bank), a spot where arriving passengers will view the  Arrivals Lobby artwork as they make their way through to the passenger pick up area. The  intent is for a large two-dimensional wall-mounted artwork commission, also inspired by the  “Welcome to Houston” theme. Completion deadline: December 2023.

Budget: $157,000.

Interested artists and artists teams should submit their qualifications and artwork samples to HAA, here, by Monday, April 11, 2022 at 11:59 pm. 

Applicants who have questions can contact Houston Arts Alliance’s Civic Art + Design Department by sending an email to civicart@haatxhelp.zendesk.com no later than Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022. Questions will be answered no later than April 6. 

The Origin of Funding 

Funds for the permanent work of public arts at George Bush Intercontinental Airport were 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. These funds are generated by the 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. 

About the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs 

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

About Houston Airports 

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

About Houston Arts Alliance 

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