Houston Airports, Orange Show collaborate to showcase Art Cars

First-ever Art Car displays at Bush and Hobby airports celebrate Houston's vibrant arts scene while providing a unique passenger experience. 

February 22, 2024

In an exciting collaboration that seamlessly merges the worlds of aviation and art, Houston Airports is proud to announce its partnership with the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art to exhibit a spectacular Art Car at both George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). This unique display will enhance the world-class passenger experience and bring a touch of Houston's vibrant cultural scene to the airports over the next 12 months. 

"Art has the power to transform spaces and create memorable experiences,” said Alton DuLaney, Curator of Public Arts for Houston Airports. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Orange Show to showcase an Art Car at our airports, providing passengers with a delightful visual journey that captures the spirit of Houston's eclectic artistic community."

The collaboration comes on the heels of the Houston Airport System's prestigious win of the 2023 World Airport Award for Best Art in an Airport, a testament to the commitment to integrating art seamlessly into the travel experience. The airports have become more than just gateways, they are immersive cultural spaces that reflect the rich tapestry of Houston's art scene. With 60.1 million passengers traveling through Houston’s airports in 2023, the award-winning airport art program captivates an annual audience bigger than the world’s most popular museums. 

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The selected Art Car for display is not just any vehicle, it’s a rolling masterpiece celebrating a Texas icon. Guests visiting or traveling through Bush Airport’s Terminal A Ticketing Lobby will have an opportunity to view an Art Car that pays tribute to the late Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the rock band Queen. During the band’s 1979-1980 tour stop in Houston at The Summit, Mercury famously sang “We Will Rock You’ while on the shoulders of someone dressed up as Darth Vader from “Star Wars.” 

At Hobby Airport, guests will have the opportunity to marvel at the intricately designed vehicle that pays homage to the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, a musician from Texas who is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. SRV, as he’s known to fans, played across Houston in the 1980s at venues like Fitzgerald’s, Rockefeller’s and the Sam Houston Coliseum. The Art Car is displayed in the Hobby Airport Ticketing Lobby, near TSA Security. 

The decision to collaborate with the Orange Show, an organization that focuses on making basic elements of art accessible to the public, aligns perfectly with the mission of Houston Airports, which exists to connect the people, businesses, cultures and economies of the world to Houston. Artist Rebecca Bass works with Houston I.S.D. students to create some of the Art Cars featured in the annual parade. Some of those HISD students participated in the airport installation of the Art Cars.

Houston's Art Car Parade, an annual event organized by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, has become a cultural phenomenon. With its eclectic display of artistically adorned vehicles, the parade has played a significant role in shaping Houston's identity as a city that celebrates creativity and individuality. This year marks the 37th Annual Houston Art Car Parade and Festival. The world’s oldest and largest celebration of its kind returns on April 13, 2024. 

"Art has the power to unite, inspire, and elevate our spirits,” said DuLaney. “By showcasing a sampling of the iconic Art Car Parade to our airports, we aim to create a sense of wonder and curiosity among passengers, making their journey through Houston a truly memorable and enriching experience."

Houston Airports remains dedicated to pushing the boundaries of traditional airport aesthetics, providing passengers with an immersive and culturally rich environment. The collaboration with the Orange Show is yet another step towards transforming airports into dynamic spaces that reflect the spirit of Houston.

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