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Airport Art Program Makes Big Splash in 2010

Several art pieces make their public debut

Houston Airport System
December 14, 2010

© Houston Airport System
Numerous works of art have been completed in 2010.

The Houston Airport System (HAS) has added several art pieces to their overall collection in 2010, each of them bringing a distinct look and feel to their respective homes.

The additions range from gateway pieces that create a dramatic impression for guests entering both George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby (HOU) Airports, to more subtle works of art designed to create a relaxing atmosphere for passengers as they make their way through the airport facilities.

“Why would we want to look at sterile walls, steel and glass only?” asks Pam Ingersoll, art curator for the Houston Airport System. “The travel process is stressful enough. We need art in place to have that calming effect, even if people don’t realize at the time that it’s having a positive impact.”

Take Off

One of the first pieces unveiled in 2010 was Take Off by artists Paul Kittelson and Carter Ernst, an enormous stainless steel bird’s nest, 30-feet wide, held 20-feet above the ground by three steel tree trunks. The artwork features interwoven branches which are meant to reflect the spirit of Houston’s industries working along the coastal plains.

Over Houston

Unveiled around the same time was a collection of manipulated aerial photographs entitled Over Houston. The photographs of various spots in and around Houston were meticulously transferred on to glass panels by artists Gordon Huether and his team. The dramatic results can be seen in the terminal concourse at William P. Hobby Airport.

Vector HH

Also at Hobby Airport is an incredibly dynamic work of art called Vector HH, by Luca Buvoli. Hanging above passengers as they make their way down the escalator toward the baggage claim area, the piece captures the spirit behind man’s quest for flight.

Wind Trees

Intercontinental Airport celebrated several unveilings during 2010, including a piece called Wind Trees, by artist George Sacaris. Thirty metal tree forms line the bus approach to the Consolidated Rental Car Facility, each of them featuring three spinning “fins.” The painted aluminum fins spin freely in the breeze, enhancing the arrival experience for drivers visiting IAH.

Houston, Can you hear me?

Another new work of art at Intercontinental Airport is located inside Terminal A. Houston, can you hear me? features 19 colorful aluminum sculptures, ranging from two to eight feet in diameter. The “stars” are suspended on cables at various lengths from the ceiling above the escalators which gives passengers the sense of being astronauts traveling through a galaxy.

Ingersoll says creating experiences like that “travel through space,” is just one of the many reasons why she enjoys her work so much. “When you leave the airport and you’re about to get on your plane, what is the last thought that you have of Houston? It might be, wow, did you see that work of art?”

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