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New Art Pieces Enjoy Dazzling Debut

October 8, 2013

  © Houston Airport System
  The Portable Art Collection features more than 100 unique works of art.

From Measured Madness by Debbie Wetmore to The Sentinels from Elizabeth DeLyria and Flowers by Jim Love, passengers traveling through Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) can experience the newest collection of paintings, sculptures and mixed-media pieces crafted by established Texas masters and emerging artists.

The first Portable Art Collection within the Houston Airport System consists of more than 100 pieces which range from pendant-size to six foot tall art and are placed throughout the terminals to enhance the travel experience with bold colors, surprising shapes and unusual materials.

“Houston is a great city and one with a distinct personality,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “The new pieces highlight our commitment to actively supporting the arts and giving passengers a reason to stop and experience something unexpected and very special.”

The art work is funded by an ordinance Mayor Parker championed, which mandates 1.75% of qualified Capital Improvement Project monies be set aside for the City’s acquisition of new works of art and the professional restoration of the City’s existing art collection. Houston Arts Alliance administers the fund and since approving this ordinance in 1999, the City’s art collection has expanded to more than 500 pieces and now includes crafts within its collection.

“What better place to see the breadth and depth of creative talent than to welcome passengers with art ranging from the smallest Compass #5 by Mary Rogers which sits in Terminal A of Bush Intercontinental Airport, to the largest piece of our permanent collection- Radiant Fountains by Dennis Oppenheim which lines John F. Kennedy Boulevard,” said Aviation Director, Mario Diaz.

Alongside Houston Airport officials, creative experts were involved in the selection process of the new collection, among them Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Executive Director Julie Farr, Galveston Arts Center Curator Clint Willour, Menil Curator Michelle White, Houston CORE Fellow Gabriel Martinez and University of Houston Public Art Collection Curator Michael Guidry.

Pamela Ingersoll is the Director of the Airports’ Public Art Program and invites everyone to experience portable and newer permanent pieces which are placed inside and outside of the terminals such as: Houston Can You Hear Me by Hannah Hillerova, in Terminal A near the above ground train, Croton IV by Joseph McDonnell and the Art Benches by Kelly Gale Amen which are located in the reception garden area of the administration building.

“Art is a part of the fabric of my life and to see this masterful evolution of growth at the Houston Airport System is exhilarating.” said Ingersoll. “Our portable art collection is the first for any city department in Houston and I am pleased that we can present a collection of museum quality art that is fun, educational and didactic.”

“The art world is often dominated by a language that is more ephemeral than the work before the viewer. By placing an emphasis on craft in the portable works collection, we can see and experience the pleasures of the material world,” said HAA Civic Art + Design Director Matthew Lennon. “We can celebrate the skill, diversity and the imagination of the makers as they bend, twist, layer and form objects that delight, challenge and go beyond function.   This is true for the wood works of Jason Makepeace; the delicate jewelry of Heidi Gerstacker, Sandie Zilker and Jan Harrell; and the neo realism of Libby Delyria.”

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