City of Houston wants to hire artists for $500K Bush airport mural project

Bush Intercontinental Airport will spend $ 540,000 to welcome travelers from around the world with colorful murals depicting local culture, according to a request for proposals by artists from the City of Houston’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

The airport’s next Mickey Leland terminal, which will serve international flights, is looking for Houston-based artists to decorate six gates of D-West Pier. Each artist will receive up to $ 90,000 to design a permanent mural showcasing the city’s neighborhoods, landscapes and cultural traditions. The projects will be funded by the Houston Airport Enterprise Fund.

“Each of the six doors will provide a unique opportunity for a Houston-based artist to share a piece of Houston history,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a city press release. “For some travelers, the commissioned artwork will be their first impression of Houston and highlight our city’s commitment to public art.”

The murals are the first of several art acquisition phases for the new terminal. The artwork is “integral” to the city’s push to have Bush Intercontinental Airport certified as a five-star airport by Skytrax, an international airport and airline consultancy.

Both Bush and William P. Hobby Airports are rated four stars, making Houston the only city in the Western Hemisphere to have two four-star Skytrax airports. If the city is successful, the Bush Intercontinental Airport would become the first five-star airport in the United States, the 15th in the world, and only the fourth outside Asia.

Mural artists must live in one of the nine counties of Greater Houston: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller. Works of art will be considered part of the city’s public art collection.

The city is accepting online applications until February 8, 2022 and expects the murals to be completed by December 2022.

charlie.zong@chron.com

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