‘Big Art, Bigger Change’ Comes to UHD
Mural With a Social Conscience Graces CPS Building
By Marie Jacinto
Houstonians love art, and they especially love their murals. That’s why on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, scores of people showed up for Central Houston’s “unveiling” of 19 new “Big Art, Bigger Change” murals.
The celebratory event was held within the College of Public Service building with UHD President Loren J. Blanchard welcoming the exuberant crowd, including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Downtown Houston’s Kris Larson, and Street Art for Mankind’s Audrey and Thibault Decker.
“I am especially proud that one of those 19 murals is painted on the University of Houston-Downtown’s College of Public Service building,” said Blanchard. “‘Accra Floods’ addresses flooding and cautions us to embrace our human vulnerability to the effects of climate change.”
Houston’s Big Art, Bigger Change project showcases an unprecedented series of 29 large murals curated by Street Art for Mankind and created by prominent international and local artists to amplify social and environmental justice in Houston and beyond. The themes chosen for each mural are inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 13 addresses climate changes such as flooding and actions that can be taken to combat the impact. According to the United Nations, climate change has made extreme weather events such as floods and droughts more likely and severe.
Prominent street artist Moh Awudu collaborated with Ablade Glover, award-winning artist and student of John Biggers, to bring Glover’s 1992 painting, “Accra Floods,” to life as a massive mural. Both international artists are from Accra, Ghana, a city that often experiences massive flooding.
“The connection of artists from both Accra, Ghana, and Houston, Texas, is a reminder that we share the impact of climate change and extreme flooding across the globe,” said Blanchard. “As we see through this breathtaking representation of destructive flooding, art has the power to spark discussion, bring awareness, and promote change.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.