Passengers delighted by Houston artists now in-residence at Bush and Hobby airports

Artists Brian Zievert and Rachelle LeBlanc are the fourth round of local creatives to participate in the airport’s award-winning arts program which launched last September.

July 20, 2023

Passengers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport are surprised and delighted by Brian Zievert. In a well-loved, wide-brimmed hat, sandals and cargo shorts and with the relentless whisk of his paintbrush, the Houston artist is capable of fully capturing his environment in a matter of hours.  

On this day, Zievert’s yellows, greens and blues danced on his canvas as the air control tower at Bush Airport hovered over planes, trains and automobiles.  

During a layover, passengers just might be able to watch the Houstonian create a masterpiece from start to finish. 

The fourth participant of the Houston Airports Artist-in-Residence program is bringing a creative style all his own. Zievert’s painting style is plein-air. It dates back to 19th century France when artists took to painting outdoors with the artist’s subject in full view. Plein-air is a central feature of French impressionism and captures the spirit and essence of a landscape or subject by incorporating natural light, color and movement into the work. The works of famed painters like Monet and Sisley serve as examples of plein-air. Zievert’s work does too.  

“As his technique suggests, Brian Zievert will be moving around Terminal A to capture different aspects and angles of Bush Airport,” said Alton DuLaney, Curator of Public Art for Houston Airports. “He’s already captured the attention and appreciation of thousands of passengers who are able to talk to the artist as he works, and we’re thrilled. Houston Airports is using the Artist in Residence program to enhance a unique and memorable art experience. Zievert and his talents help us to deliver on our mission.”  

Passengers flying in and out of Bush Airport can look for Zievert at his studio in the Terminal A Connector Gallery. He will be painting on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for the next three months.  

Passengers flying in and out of William P. Hobby Airport will encounter textile artist Rachelle LeBlanc. The local artist will be hand-hooking textiles on weekdays, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. just past TSA security for the next three months. 

LeBlanc's hand-hooked surface works blur the line between traditional craft and contemporary art. Working in textiles, LeBlanc communicates complex ideas about the role contemporary art practices can have in social and environmental reform. Her process also transforms and celebrates traditional skills while giving high importance to new innovative material processes that help her bring difficult conversations forward through craftivism and its unique role in effecting change. 

“Rachelle LeBlanc uniquely approaches her work like a painter approaches a canvas or a storyteller approaches a story,” explained DuLaney.  "The result is very process-oriented and one that most passengers have likely never experienced before, which is what makes her time in residence at Hobby Airport even more special.” 

The Houston artist and educator, whose work is internationally recognized, incorporates recycled/upcycled materials and plastics in every new artwork. She teaches art-making classes and is a current member of the Art in Embassies program of the United States.