The best views at Houston airports may soon be inside, not out the windows.
Late this month, visitors to Hobby Airport will see the first installation of the “Houston Airport System Portable Art Collection” throughout the entrance concourse. Another group of works will be displayed at Terminal D of Bush Intercontinental in late October, when renovations there are complete.
Managed by the Houston Arts Alliance, the Portable Collection includes about 60 works to date. It will grow over time, and works will rotate occasionally, said Matthew Lennon, HAA director of civic art and design.
This program brings opportunities to visual artists in a range of disciplines beyond big, permanent commissions — including craft artists, who were under-represented in city collections, Lennon said. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft executive director Julie Farr, Menil Collection curator Michelle White and Galveston Arts Center curator Clint Willour were among those who nominated artists for the city’s selection process, which included gallery visits. The HAA also hosted an open call for works.
“It’s really a push for quality that drove us,” Lennon said.
The program is a model that the city could use as a whole across its reception areas, Lennon said. “It demonstrates the high level of creativity that makes Houston’s art community what it is.”
There’s nothing too provocative in 10 of the works on view in “LAYOVER: Houston Airport System Portable Art Collection Preview” at the Houston Arts Alliance Gallery, 3201 Allen Parkway, through August 24.
Katrina Moorhead’s calmly graphic “Map of Incomplete Listing of Uninhabited Islands of the World,” which combines watercolor and digital printing, might have you rethinking your travel plans. Dixie Friend Gay’s “Bayou,” a large acrylic painting on canvas, revisits a familiar theme of backwater nature. Karin Broker’s “Painting Pretty, Agents de Change” a small, three-dimensional mixed-media piece, sparkles with a bouquet made of costume jewelry remnants.
Also on preview: Howard Sherman’s brightly colored abstract painting “Texting Finger;” Jonathan Leach’s equally bright “B.C.,” a sculptural Plexiglas box painted with striped patterns, and “Mainline,” a large acrylic on canvas; Mary Helene Gagneaux’s “Harmonious Void,” a beautifully formed glass sculpture reminiscent of a harp, in blues the color of the sky just before dark; Jeffery Forster’s ceramic “Device,” which looks like a wheel from an archaeological dig; Damon Thomas’s “Crow Aura,” a figurative sculpture in glazed clay that looks timeworn; and Randy Twaddle’s “Grid Your Lines,” an abstraction of power line silhouettes with a background of meticulously poured coffee stains.