Art conservation is underway at Houston Airports.

In addition to acquiring and displaying the impressive body of work that makes up the public art collection at Houston Airports, conservation is also a very important part of its popular and diverse art program. 

“With ownership comes the responsibility of good stewardship,” said Alton DuLaney, curator of public art for the airport system. “Over time things get dirty, become damaged, stop working, or, in the case of lighting, burn out!”

Over the past year, DuLaney said that Houston Airports has been working on some very important lighting projects at both George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby Airports.

“We have fully replaced the lighting on ‘Call Ernie’ by Jim Love, ‘Take Off’ by Paul Kittelson and Carter Ernst and ‘Travessia’ by Henrique Oliveira at Hobby with energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures,” he said. 

DuLaney said that they had also upgraded the solar-powered lighting system on “West of the Pecos” by Rolf Westphal at Bush Airport. 

Houston Airports currently has two major conservation projects underway, including full lighting upgrades on “Radiant Fountains” by Denis Oppenheim and “Light Spikes” by Baker/Llewelyn-Davis Sahni, Inc.

Under DuLaney’s direction, they have also restored the “Celestial Candyland” projection by Jay Shinn in the ticketing lobby at Terminal D at Bush Airport. 

“And soon we will be doing lighting conservation to ‘Travel Light’ by The Art Guys and ‘Sky Wall’ by Bill FitzGibbons, both located inside the International Central Processor building at International Arrivals,” he said.

“You might say things are looking a lot brighter at the airport these days.”

DuLaney said he recognized that conservation and maintenance are not always the most glamorous part of managing a public art collection. However, he said they are vitally important in preserving the work and ensuring that passengers can fully experience and enjoy the art.

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