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Houston Arts Alliance Supports O'Kane Gallery with Grant

UHD's O'Kane Gallery Director Mark Cervenka recently received a $6,500 grant from the Houston Arts Alliance to help fund an upcoming fall exhibit.

Houston Arts Alliance is a nonprofit arts organization that exists to enhance the quality of life and tourism in the Houston region by supporting and promoting the arts through programs, initiatives and alliances.

The grant will go to support "The 'Left Bank' on the Bayou: Avant-Garde Art and Theater in 1930's Houston," which will run at UHD from Sept. 4 - Oct. 16, 2014.

In 1930, Houston was home to less than 300,000 people but was attracting progressive Texans who believed that avant-garde performing and visual arts had a place in the Bayou City. A key figure in that early arts scene was Margo Jones, a theater director and innovator who is credited with creating the first professional theater-in-the-round in the United States. She spent time in Houston during the 1930's and 1940's with her troupe called the Houston Community Players. Jones went on to earn credits on Broadway and around the country.

Inspired by Jones' passion, a group of visual artists sought to bring modern and abstract art to Houston, including Carden Bailey, Gene Charlton, Nione Carlson, Maudee Carron, Forrest Bess, Robert Preusser and others.