Houston Airports is the only airport in the U.S. to currently offer an Artist in Residence (AIR) program. The interactive arts program encourages engagement between local artists and airport guests.
HOUSTON, TX, 2023-Feb-02 — /Travel PR News/ — Time flies when you’re meticulously creating art in the middle of a bustling airport. After a three-month-long stint, Houston Airports is moving forward with the only active Artist in Residence program in an airport in the United States. The program, which is the first of its kind in Texas, invites airport guests to engage with local artists as they work.
The experience is wildly popular among passengers.
“On average, more than one million passengers per week visited Houston’s airports in 2022,” said Alton DuLaney, Curator of Public Art for Houston Airports. “The exposure and crowds we’re cultivating for these local creatives in our airports is tremendous! We get the number of guests in a week than some of the most famous museums in the U.S. will welcome in an entire year.””
The unique opportunity launched September 2022 through a collaboration between DuLaney and Liliana Rambo, Chief Terminal Management Officer for Houston Airports. Local creatives are selected by Houston Airports to participate in the program. The artists are responsible for creating art during a set weekly schedule. Houston Airports is responsible for providing an artist-specific workstation and a monthly stipend to cover the artist’s supplies.
“The program underscores the commitment of Houston Airports to prioritize and showcase the arts as part of the world-class experience offered to all passengers,” said Rambo. “Spectators will witness the metamorphosis of an idea into a work of art while having the unique ability to engage with the artist as the work comes to life,” said Rambo.
Visual artists Mathieu JN Baptiste and Jaymes Earl were the first artists-in-residence at William P. Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. At the end of the three-month period, Baptiste and Earl donated a piece of art to be displayed at the airport.
The unparalleled exposure and a collaborative exchange of ideas between artist and traveler are what’s propelling the program forward.
Contemporary artist Thedra Culler-Ledford is the current Artist in Residence at Bush Airport. Guests can watch live painting and interact with the artist Monday-Friday, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Bush Airport’s Terminal A Connector Gallery.
Mark Francis, whose practice combines elements of photography, drawing and collage, creates captivating portraits of locals while working at Hobby Airport. Passengers can see Francis work Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“The next generation of creators could be among the crowd watching these acclaimed artists work,” said DuLaney of AIR. “The innovative program is an example of our vibrant and thriving arts program which is becoming a signature experience of Houston Airports.”
As the primary gateway to Latin America and a gateway to the South-Central region of the U.S., Houston Airports welcomes a diverse group of travelers. “The hope,” Dulaney said, “is that our program is as impressive as it is inspiring.”
Source: Houston Airports