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Hobby Airport renovation project includes signature artwork

Houston Airport System
April 25, 2010

Houston Airport System
All four featured artists attended the big unveiling at HOU

The $250 million renovation project underway at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), includes three new signature art pieces that were unveiled by the Houston Airport System (HAS) and the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), during a special ceremony.

The construction project represents strategic planning by HAS to make sure Hobby Airport offers a welcoming atmosphere for passengers and maintains its ranking as one of the top performing airports in the world.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker attended the unveiling, and focused on the Civic Art Program, that made the acquisitions possible.

"I am here to thank everyone who has been involved in the public art process, to salute the artists who have given a wonderful lasting gift to the City of Houston," said Mayor Parker. "And to our airport system that is once again a legacy, not only for Houstonians, but will be part of the face that we present to the world."

According to the Civic Art Ordinance - that defines the program - 1.75 percent of all qualified capital improvement projects, is reserved for art acquisition, professional restoration, and treatment.

The Civic Art Program is managed by the Houston Arts Alliance, which is headed by Jonathan Glus, the chief operating officer, who also attended the unveiling.

Glus commended the designers saying, "What is particularly special about these new additions, is that they truly reflect Houston, in that we have a young international artist, we have a well-established American artist, and we have a well-known, well-respected Houston artist team, to round out this collection.

All four artists attended the unveiling, which made the event extra special. Italian artist Luca Buvoli's artwork, Vector HH has not yet been completed. It is a visually dynamic structure of a human figure, flying with open arms and is to be suspended over the new escalator leading to the baggage claim area.

Over Houston, by artist Gordon Huether, is a selection of abstract aerial photographs of Houston, transcribed into alternating hand-blown glass panels from Europe, lining the connector bridge walkway. Eight people worked more than six months to create the design.

The airport's gateway artwork, Take-off, by artists Paul Kittleson and Carter Ernst, is an enormous stainless steel bird's nest, 30-feet wide, held 20-fee above the ground by three steel tree trunks, floating above a subtropical garden.

The artwork, with its interwoven branches, re-created in industrial materials, is meant to reflect the spirit of Houston's industries, working along the coastal plains. It is located at the Broadway entrance to the airport.

Ten new art and conservation projects for the Houston Airport System have been completed or are scheduled for completion by this summer.

The unveiling ceremony featured enlarged photographs and renderings of the artwork. The three art piees are meant to compliment the $250 million construction make-over underway at HOU, which includes a new central concourse, a redesigned terminal, and a dramatic new entrance to the baggage claim area.

Visit for more information on the HAS art program.

Copyright 2010 - Houston Airport System

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