The artists for the Airport Entrance Project and the Terminal Expansion Project were selected through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. The RFQs were open to professional visual artists living in the United States who submitted applications through PublicArtist.org, an online application system. For each project, a Selection Panel of visual art and design professionals was established for the purpose of selecting an artist and an alternate. Selection Panels are aided by Project Advisors who represent the project stakeholders. The Selection Panels’ recommendations were approved by the Art in Public Places Panel and the Austin Arts Commission.
Airport Entrance Project: Selection Panel + Project Advisors
Terminal Expansion Project: Selection Panel + Project Advisors
Art in Public Places staff work closely with Aviation staff to identify unique artwork opportunities for each capital improvement project. Artwork budgets and particular site conditions strongly influence staff recommendations. These recommendations are then reviewed and approved by the Art in Public Places Panel and the Austin Arts Commission.
This is a guiding concept used by artists who are commissioned to create works for the airport and does not have a strict definition. As each person living in our city has a different daily experience, each one of us will have a different impression of Austin’s innate character. The artist is asked to draw upon available resources (resident surveys, local publications, visitor guides, City data, and others), as well as the input of project advisors and stakeholders, to discover Austin’s nature and character.
The notion of integrating the unique character of Austin into the design and operations of the airport was codified in the final report of the New Austin Terminal Task Force, a committee created by City Council in 1994. In this report, several recommendations were made to ensure travelers would have a uniquely Austin experience while at the airport. The recommendations included the use of local concessions and retail, live performances by local musicians, integration of architectural details by local artisans, and permanent visual art that reflects regional issues and themes.
Public art at the airport is funded through airport revenues and bonds. The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport operates as a self-sustaining facility. The airport generates revenue to pay for its operating costs and fund future improvements.
Funds for the Public Art Masterplan, Airport Entrance AIPP Project, and Terminal Expansion AIPP Project come from the Terminal/Apron Expansion Project funds.
By ordinance, 2% of eligible capital improvement project budgets, like the Terminal/Apron Expansion Project, are allocated to commission or purchase art for that site. Austin’s Public Art Collection is found at sites such as the airport, convention center, libraries, parks, police stations, recreation centers, and streetscapes, enhancing public spaces for all residents and visitors to our city. The ordinance is administered through Art in Public Places (AIPP), a program of the Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department.