Faculty Art on View at City Hall Annex
By Mike Emery
It’s no secret that the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is home to some of the top artists in the state and across the nation. While patrons flock to galleries and museums to experience their works, employees and visitors at the Houston City Hall Annex (900 Bagby St.) can view these professors’ art every day.
UHD faculty members have loaned several of their pieces to Houston City Hall Annex’s fourth floor. Works include paintings, photographs and fabric hangings created by UHD faculty, including Floyd Newsum, Beth Secor, El Franco Lee II, Mason Rankin, John Davis, Natacha Poggio, and Emily Keown.
The City of Houston’s Cultural Affairs Office contacted Mark Cervenka, director of UHD's O'Kane Gallery, regarding loaning faculty art to the space, which has been relatively bare. Cervenka had just assisted Saint Arnold Brewing Company in displaying student art, and recognized this as a perfect opportunity to spotlight faculty talents.
“I’ve heard that the employees on the Annex’s fourth floor really love seeing our art every day,” said the associate professor of arts and communication. “And these faculty artists appreciate having a new venue for their work.”
Presently, 10 faculty works are on the fourth floor. These include paintings, such as Newsum’s “Flight Over Blue Islands” Cervenka’s “Song” and Davis’ “Pardon, Come Again?” Other works on view include Keown’s fabric works and digital prints from Poggio.
“This is an important opportunity for the University and our faculty,” Cervenka noted. “It places our faculty’s work on a new stage and allows others to recognize that UHD has world class artists serving as faculty members.”
This month, more faculty art will be installed on the Annex’s third floor.
“This is a happy collaboration between the City of Houston and UHD,” Cervenka added. “We’re honored to share these works in these spaces and look forward to further partnerships with the city and its Cultural Affairs Office.”
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.