Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee Immersive, Aquarium-Like Art Installed At Houston Airport
The Houston-based contemporary and marine conservation artist is now the only South Asian artist to be included in the Houston Airport System art collection.
India-West News Desk
HOUSTON, TX – There is a tunnel that connects the two international terminals at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. But as of November 30, it no longer is just a cemented, carpeted, corridor that passengers rush through.
It is now a showpiece.
Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee, an Indian American contemporary and marine conservation artist’s work has been installed there, transforming the dull hallway into an immersive marine experience.
Inspired by her deep-sea dives at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, off the Texas Coast, the art installation has been endorsed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Sanctuary in Galveston. The project was commissioned by theMayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, on behalf of theHouston Airport System, through the city’sCivic Art Program and theHouston Arts Alliance.
The title pays homage to the constellation Aquarius, the water-bearer. The word “Aquarius” can also be broken down into: “aqua,” representing water and “ri,” inspired by the Hindi word “humari,” which translates to “ours,” and finally “us.” “Taken together, the words signify that water has the power to unite us,” said Mahimtura Folmsbee, “Water is ours — for all of us!”
This, at a time, when the world is immersed in the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), a framework for diverse stakeholders to co-design and co-deliver solution-oriented research needed for a well-functioning ocean.
The tunnel has a special significance for Mahimtura Folmsbee; it is where she, and countless others, take the flight home to India. “I hope to create a bridge between science and art,” she says. “I want to shine a light on an essential natural resource, marine life, that is in dire need of our help, now more than ever.”
Always, drawn to water, Folmsbee’s early life was in Mumbai, a city lapped by the waters of the Indian Ocean, and the place she returned to after studying art in Chicago, IL. She moved later to Houston, where she now lives, and continues to work on marine conservation-related art.