City of Houston Announces $540,000 Open Call for Commissions at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport

by Jessica Fuentes December 23, 2021

The new Mickey Leland International Terminal, which is currently under construction at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), is set to open in 2024. Leading up to the completed project, the Houston Airport System and the City’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) are working together to begin the first of several phases of art acquisitions for the project. Currently, they are looking for artists to design, fabricate, and install permanent, large-scale two-dimensional works.

These new installations will flank six aircraft gates, with the goal of complimenting the terminal’s architecture and creating a memorable experience for passengers. “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. The budget for the project is $90,000 for each of the six airport gates.

“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,” added 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.”

This request for qualifications comes on the heels of the city’s largest one-time acquisition of works to date: in August of this year, MOCA announced that the Houston Airport System had acquired 74 “ready to hang” pieces by Texas artists.

Artists and art teams living in the Greater Houston Area — defined as Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, or Waller counties — are invited to apply to this Mickey Leland International Terminal project. Important requirements to note, per the open call, are:

—Artworks should be family friendly and suitable for public display to a diverse and international audience.
—Artworks must be free of safety hazards.
—Artworks must meet or exceed City of Houston ADA requirements.
—Artworks should be resistant to graffiti and vandalism and require minimal maintenance.
—Artwork must have an expected life span of at least 20 years.
—Artwork should make a significant artistic addition to the City of Houston Art Collection

Applications are due February 8, 2022. For additional information and to submit an application, click here

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