View on entering main door of Hobby

Whether waiting to pick up passengers, checking in for a flight, picking up a suitcase, or looking for a free attraction, visitors and travelers at Hobby Airport can enjoy artworks in a variety of styles and media, from painting to sculpture to music.

Half of the 350 artworks are in areas outside passenger security zones, meaning all airport visitors can enjoy them.

The art installations are the result of a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Houston Airport System. Houston- and Texas-based artists from various backgrounds receive commissions from those partners to create attention-grabbing projects.

Alton DuLaney, the curator of public art for Houston airports, is responsible for coordinating and maintaining the collection of work.

“We have textile art, video art, sound art — everything from tiny little jewelry to gigantic 80-foot tower outdoor sculptures,” said DuLaney. “It’s a huge variety in terms of art styles, the art pieces’ materials, and the artists themselves.”

DuLaney points out that visitors can find art even in places they don’t expect it, starting from the moment they exit the parking garage and step onto the sky bridge linking the top floor of the main garage with the airport’s second level.

“As soon as visitors walk in, they’re bombarded with art. We’ve added seven vitrines (glass cases) full of small sculptures with about 25 works of art in this area. There’s a lot of art going on here,” DuLaney said of the Skybridge Gallery.

There is also art outside the building, including a “Don’t Mess With Texas” slogan-themed mural and a collection of concrete blocks that spell out “Somewhere Between Here and There,” created by artist Chris Sauter. Directly across from the main airport entrance is a longtime mainstay — a giant sculpture of a plane by artist Jim Love.

The TSA checkpoint features two of the airport’s most prominent pieces: a floor-to-ceiling, curved tower adorned with crystals, titled Wings and created by Indian artist Dharmesh Patel, and a steel and acrylic display hanging from the ceiling, created by Luca Buvoli and titled Vector HH.

Past the security checkpoint, in the hallways leading to the departure gates, is where Hobby Airport artist-in-residence, otherwise known as art ambassador, Mark Francis, often is found.

“I sit here and draw, and as people come by with questions, we just talk about their experience with art and what I’m doing here,” Francis said.

Down the hall from Francis’ table (and past even more art displays), passengers can enjoy live music thanks to the Houston Airport’s performing arts program “Harmony in the Air.” Daily performances range from classical string quartets to flamenco to R&B and pop music.

Watch a video about the airport art here.

— By Ruth Nasrullah

Mark Francis

Skybridge gallery vitrine

TSA Checkpoint