By: Mary Ann Cozza
For Ellen Orseck, blending art and working with students is an invigorating challenge. The new adjunct in the Arts and Humanities Department splits her time between teaching art appreciation at UHD and working in her studio space in the Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street.
“In my previous positions, I never had time for my own work,” she said. “At UHD, I really enjoy the relationship between teacher and students and exploring the student experience, but also having the time and ability to create my own work.”
Orseck first learned about UHD from Mark Cervenka, O’Kane Gallery director, while they were on a panel for an arts council. Cervenka visited her studio space, viewed her work and offered her a solo show at the Gallery.
“During the show, I was so impressed with the students here at UHD,” she said. “They were so inquisitive and asked such great questions, I felt an affinity for them.”
Before coming to UHD, Orseck taught at St. Agnes Academy, was the chief curator for the Holocaust Museum Houston, and the senior editor of “Southwest Art” magazine.
“Whether I am painting fully clothed figures floating underwater or sumo wrestler dolls immersed in chocolate cake, my subjects are characters in a narrative. At times grave and at times beautiful, the subjects are selected to evoke different responses to life, to illuminate, or to call to mind human emotions,” Orseck said of her most recent artwork.
Orseck’s art and workspace will be on full display during the Winter Street Studios’ Annual Artists Exhibition this weekend, 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Those interested in seeing how artists, including print makers, fine artists, jewelry makers and sculptors, really work and create their masterpieces are invited to attend.
Orseck said, “This event is great because it demystifies art for the public. Tubes of paint, brushes, chisels are all out so people can see our real environments.”