City of Houston commissions 12 artworks for the new international terminal at Bush Airport
February 7, 2023
Concept for artwork from artist Miguel Arzabe for Bush Intercontinental Airport
Concept for artwork from artist Miguel Arzabe for the new international terminal at IAH

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) is pleased to announce an investment of more than $4 million in the selection of 12 new site-specific art commissions for the new Mickey Leland International Terminal (MLIT) and the new International Central Processer (ICP) at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The commissioned works are sponsored by Houston Airports (HAS) on behalf of the City of Houston through MOCA’s Civic Art Program.

The commissioned artworks will be new additions to the City of Houston’s Civic Art Collection and are expected to be installed and on view by spring of 2024. In line with the equity guidelines and ethos of the City’s Civic Art Program and considering the goals of the HAS, this effort sought concepts for art meant to enhance the passenger experiences by highlighting ideas that are reflective of the international character of Houston.

“The magnitude of commission efforts at IAH leads in the pace and funding for increased activity in Civic Art across the City and we’re very proud of the artworks residents and visitors to Houston will soon encounter,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “How fitting that artworks from Houston's own artists will welcome every single international passenger landing at IAH.”

For each of the six gates for MLIT, the City requested the submission of proposals from Houston-based artists to design, fabricate and install a three-part installation addressing the upper and lower landings of the six new international gates. For all commissions, preference was given to artists not currently represented in the City of Houston Civic Art Collection.

“This significant investment will provide a unique opportunity for our airport guests to experience art,” said Mario Diaz, Director of Aviation for the City of Houston. “The modern, functional and intuitive design of the new international terminal at IAH will be accentuated by these diverse works of art.”

“We are proud of our strong collaboration with the Houston Airport System,” said MOCA Director, Necole S. Irvin. “Together, we are creating a presence at the airport through art that strongly conveys the character of our city, known to be a gateway to Latin America and our warm welcome to visitors to our city.”

All of the artworks selected reflect the welcoming nature of Houston as a city with a distinct culture; celebrating and evoking the rich and diverse local fabric that makes Houston inspiring for residents and visitors alike.

The artists developing commissions for MLIT and ICP at IAH include Reginald Adams, Miguel Arzabe, Carolina Caycedo, Marta Chilindron, Emilie Duval, Leslie Gaworecki, Marlo Saucedo and Houston Poet Laureate Emanuelee “Outspoken” Bean, Graciela Hasper, Lovie Olivia, Gerardo Rosales, Regina Silveira, Nick Vaughn & Jake Margolin and Rafael Vargas-Suarez of Vargas-Suarez Universal.

Find more info on the artists developing commissions, nominators, panelists, and the selection process here.

About the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) guides the City’s cultural investments with policies and initiatives that expand access to arts and cultural programs in the community, attract visitors and leverage private investment. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @HoustonMOCA.

About Houston Airports
Houston Airports is the City of Houston’s Department of Aviation. Comprised of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, IAH, William P. Hobby Airport, HOU, and Ellington Airport/Houston Spaceport, EFD, Houston Airports served 54 million passengers in 2022 and nearly 60 million in 2019. Houston Airports forms one of North America's largest public airport systems and positions Houston as the international passenger and cargo gateway to the South-Central United States and as a primary gateway to Latin America Houston’s Hobby Airport is the first and only 5-star airport in North America and Bush Airport maintained an exceptional 4-star rating for a fifth consecutive year.

About Houston Arts Alliance
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a local arts and culture organization whose principal work is to implement the City of Houston’s vision, values, and goals for its arts grantmaking and civic art investments. HAA also executes privately funded special projects to meet the needs of the arts community, such as disaster preparation, research on the state of the arts in Houston, and temporary public art projects that energize neighborhoods. To learn more about HAA, visit and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @HoustonArtsAlliance.