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Mayor’s Office press release

Ten new art commissions for Houston airports in the works

09/21/2022 — HOUSTON – The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) is pleased to celebrate work in progress that will bring ten new site-specific art commissions to George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports. The commissioned works, which will be included in the city’s Civic Art Collection, are sponsored by Houston Airports (HAS) on behalf of the City of Houston through MOCA’s Civic Art Program.

Artists submitted qualifications for consideration in Summer 2020. Prioritizing economic support for artists and arts organizations, these opportunities have been advanced to meet the needs of artists, organizations and small businesses that have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Commissioning eligibility has been extended beyond the greater Houston area to artists in or in the state of Texas.

“At the height of the global pandemic, Houston was considering several ways to support artists and artist teams in our creative industries,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Through their creative work, the artists we hired for these commission opportunities are able to support even more small businesses in the production and installation of the artworks. Local and international travelers can enjoy their work at Houston airports.”

The new commissions bring the city’s Civic Art Collection at Houston airports to nearly 350 pieces, making it one of the largest public art programs in the airline industry.

“These artworks were specifically designed to enhance the passenger experience at both Bush and Hobby airports,” said Mario Diaz, director of aviation for Houston Airports. “Having these talented Texas artists bring color, beauty and character to our terminals is a gift that millions of travelers will enjoy year after year.”


“Karankawa Sun Dream and the Truth Teller” by Cruz Ortiz.

A press conference announcing the artist selection was held at Bush Intercontinental Airport in December, and the artists have been working hard to develop their artworks. The diverse range of accomplished artists and artist teams developing commissions includes:

  • animalis works (Dharmesh Patel), Austin, Texas
  • Colby dealHouston, Texas
  • Cruz OrtizSan Antonio, Texas
  • input output (Billy Baccam and Alex Ramos), Houston, Texas
  • Janavi Mahimtura FolmsbeeHouston, Texas
  • Melissa BorrellAustin, Texas
  • peter hiteHouston, Texas
  • R&R&R (Ryan Takaba, Robert Diaz de Leon and Ronny Eckels), San Antonio, Texas
  • William CanningsLubbock, Texas
  • Xavier SchipaniAustin, Texas

A panel of nationally recognized curators, local art experts and community members was critical to the commissioning process of Houston’s two award-winning airports.


Installation of “Clouds” by William Cannings at Hobby Airport.

So far, two of the ten orders have been installed, with the rest due to be installed by the end of October 2022. Both “Clouds” by artist William Cannings and “Karankawa Sun Dream and the Truth Teller” by artist Cruz Ortiz can now be seen installed by travelers departing and arriving at Hobby Airport, the first airport in North America to offer an international 5- received a star rating.

Source of Funding

Funding for the permanent public art at Houston airports was provided by a City of Houston ordinance requiring that 1.75% of eligible and applicable Capital Improvement Project dollars be dedicated to civic art. These funds are generated by Houston Airport’s Enterprise Fund – a non-tax-paying, self-sustaining fund owned by the city. Under contract and in partnership with MOCA, the Houston Arts Alliance manages these city-funded public opportunities to acquire and preserve the City of Houston’s public works of art.

About the Mayor’s Department of Culture

The City of Houston 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 encourage private investment. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.

About Houston Airports

Houston Airports is the Department of Aviation for the City of Houston. 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 passengers in 2019. Houston Airports forms one of North America’s largest airport systems, positioning Houston as the international passenger and cargo gateway to the south-central United States and the 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 the fifth consecutive year.

About the Houston Arts Alliance

The Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a local arts and culture organization whose primary mission is to implement the City of Houston’s vision, values, and goals for its arts grants and investments in urban arts. HAA also undertakes privately funded special projects to meet the needs of the art community, such as: B. disaster preparedness, research on the state of the arts in Houston, and temporary public art projects that energize neighborhoods. To learn more about HAA, visit and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonArtsAlliance.

For inquiries regarding this announcement or the City of Houston’s Civic Arts Program, please contact the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs: or 832.393.1099.


Mary Benton
Director of Communications
Office: 832.393.0830
Mobile: 713.208.6229

Brent Taylor
Public Relations Officer/Deputy Press Spokesman
Office: 832.393.0808
Mobile: 713.882.5090

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