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Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is the local nonprofit arts and culture agency that enhances the city’s quality of life through advancing and investing in the arts and diverse cultural programming. The work of HAA encourages Houston’s development and shapes its global reputation by fostering tourism and supporting and promoting the city’s creative economy.

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Creating public spaces for civic and cultural use requires artists, designers, architects, and the community to collaborate. By actively fostering these partnerships, both public and private, HAA’s Civic Art + Design program initiates, manages, and maintains public artworks throughout Houston. It serves a vital role as catalyst for change that generates a culturally relevant and rich environment for residents and visitors alike.

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Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Civic Engagement program identifies and honors the artistic and cultural traditions of the city’s tremendously diverse and various communities and works to address the needs of all residents through engagement, citizen-driven initiatives, and equitable community outcomes. The Folklife program has been in existence since 2010. The addition of Civic Engagement to its portfolio was enacted through an HAA bylaws change in 2016.

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December 15, 2015

HOUSTON (December 15, 2015) – Seven new, large-scale, contemporary artworks created by Houston, regional and international artists especially for William P. Hobby Airport are now installed in the airport’s new international concourse and at Southwest Airlines® ticket counters.

As Houston’s newest gateway to Latin America, the concourse introduces international travelers to the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene through presentation of these diverse paintings, drawings, collages and sculptures.

Hobby Airport is open for international travel thanks to a partnership with Southwest Airlines that funded the construction of a new, five-gate international concourse. Southwest Airlines regarded the inclusion of art by Houston artists in the design and execution of the new concourse.

“We are proud to showcase monumental works by local artists Libbie Masterson, Krista Birnbaum, Kia Neill (previously of Houston, now living in Denver), as well as works by San Antonio’s Chris Sauter and internationally acclaimed artist Henrique Oliveira,” said Debra Benton, Southwest Airline Director of Community Programs. Southwest has served Houston since its first flights in 1971 and has grown to offer up to 170 departures a day to 54 cities nonstop. More than 1,600 Southwest employees call Houston home.

As part of the overall project, Southwest Airlines funded five of the new works of art, partnering with Houston Arts Alliance to coordinate the requests for proposals, manage the selection panel process, and work with the artists during the creation of the art as well as at installation. Southwest Airlines has given those works to the City of Houston Art Collection.

The Houston Airport System (HAS) is building a new multi-level parking garage and a modified roadway system at Hobby to complement the new facility. Through the “Percent for Art” ordinance, which mandates 1.75% of qualified Capital Improvement Project monies be set aside for the City’s acquisition of new artworks, HAS funded the monumental artwork Cloud Room Field by Christian Eckart and Time in Motion, a graphic/pictorial, historical timeline of Hobby Airport by Norman Lee and Shane Allbritton (known as RE:site).

“These vibrant and diverse pieces will enhance our visitors’ experience at this new facility and introduce them to the dynamic culture of Houston,” Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz said. “They are part of the Houston Airport System’s efforts to actively support the arts and provide passengers a compelling reason to stop and experience something unexpected and very special.”

To document the installation of the new artwork, HAS commissioned visual artist Brandon Ray to create a film, which is on view in the new international concourse.

“These works of art reflect the true dynamism of Houston — from commentary on our natural environment to displaying our tendency to have an eye toward the future,” stated Jonathon Glus, president + CEO of HAA. “Our artists truly reflect the city’s great commitment to the global sphere, making it just that more meaningful that these contemporary artworks literally bridge Houston with all of Latin America.”

The large-scale art installations are:

  • Shane Allbritton + Norman Lee (RE:site), Time in Motion,  2015. Glass with optical film,  LED,  acrylic, stainless steel, artifacts, 7ft  x 75ft. City of Houston Art Collection,  Hobby Airport. Allbritton lives in Houston, and Lee lives in Dallas.
  • Krista Birnbaum, Roadside Attraction, 2015. Inkjet print on aluminum panels; three sections, each complete size 36in x 20ft. City of Houston Art Collection, in Federal Inspection Services at Hobby Airport. Artist lives in Houston.
  • Christian Eckart, Cloud Room Field, 2015. Dichroic glass with anodized aluminum armature and extrusions and stainless steel components, 120in x 720in x 17in. City of Houston Art Collection, Hobby Airport. Artist lives in Houston.
  • Libbie J. Masterson, Ethereal Sky, 2015. Glass, Epoxy Resin, Mirror; 6ft 6in" H x 35ft W. City of Houston Art Collection, Hobby Airport international concourse ticket area. Artist lives in Houston.
  • Kia Neill, Language of Evolving Trails, 2015. Digital collage of photography, drawing and painting; archival aluminum print approximately 4.5ft x 10ft framed. City of Houston Art Collection, in Federal Inspection Services at Hobby Airport. Previously in Houston, artist now lives in Denver.
  • Henrique Oliveira, Travessia, 2015. Acrylic on linen, 236.22in x 133.858in. City of Houston Art Collection, main entrance of international concourse at Hobby Airport. Artist lives in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Chris Sauter, Airport Seating (Somewhere Between Here And There), 2015. Cement, City of Houston Art Collection, outside Hobby Airport international concourse. Artist lives in San Antonio.

Other major works of art currently at Hobby include Paul Kittelson and Carter Ernst’s Take Off, Jim Love’s Call Ernie and Gorden Huether’s Over Houston.


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