This Airport Painting Shows the World Who Houston Is

The painting, part of a public art exhibition titled Always Strong, is now on display in Terminal A.

By Morgan Kinney May 4, 2018

Houston is Always Strong. That's the message of Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport's latest public art exhibition, created to celebrate the resilience the Bayou City displayed after Harvey walloped the Gulf Coast last summer. Featured work comes from Gary Sweeney, the Color Condition (a duo responsible for last summer's Arcade), and Houston painter Sarah Fisher.

The exhibit joins the already considerable art holdings scattered throughout the city's largest airport. As of late 2016, Bush held more than 100 pieces valued north of $40 million, quietly marking IAH as one of the city's larger museums.

Fisher's contribtuion—titled "That was Harvey. This is Houston."—captures a group of volunteers that flocked to NRG Center last summer to assist the thousands who sought refuge in the convention center (and coincidentally where President Donald Trump left his own bit of artwork). Huddled together in front of an empty 18-wheeler, the volunteers capture the Houston-ness of the response, where people of all ages and races banded together to help one another. Mundane details, like styrofoam takeout boxes, half-empty water bottles, and baseball caps disguising rumpled, unwashed hair, animate the remarkable ordinariness of the motley crew assembled. It's even set in a parking lot, which is perhaps the most Houston part of the eight-panel canvas.

You—and the more than 40 million passengers who pass through IAH annually—can check out the painting now on display in Terminal A.

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