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New Art Acquisitions Grace The Walls @ UHD


By Sheryl E. Taylor

If you take a moment to think about it … art is everywhere … and the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) campus is no exception.

The Public Art of the University of Houston System (UHS)—one of the most significant university-based art collections In the U.S.—recently announced 20 new works by Houston-based artists. Of these new acquisitions, two now grace the walls of UHD.

Near the UHD Office of Admissions is Houston-based artist Adriana Corral's “Impunidad círculo vicioso,” which “displays the hazed names of 51 victims of violence in Mexico. Eight of these names are the kidnapped, tortured, and raped women whose remains were found in Campo Algodón, a cotton field near Ciudad Juarez In 2001” (per the Public UHS site).

According to her bio, the El Paso native’s “subjects are framed by human rights abuses, memory and erased historical narratives. Corral’s conceptual, research-based practice often takes her to work across international borders where she mines state and national archives for primary documents and engages historians, anthropologists, journalists, gender scholars, human rights attorneys, and victims’ families for information that materializes in performances, sculptures, and installations.”

Watch On Site x Off Site Artist Conversations featuring Corral and Vincent Valdez, moderated by Mark Cervenka, Director of the O’Kane Gallery and Professor of Art at UHD.

Adjacent to the O’Kane Gallery now resides Bert L. Long Jr.’s “The Couple (Chest of Material Wealth)” (1977), which depicts one of Long’s recurring motifs of “spirit-beings” that shows the rewards of the extrinsic pursuit of success and what is lost in such pursuit. Long, one of the artist co-founders of Project Row Houses, believed “in art's redemptive, elevating, and healing power. ” The Public Art UHS site quotes Long as saying, “Our job as artists is to paint what we come in touch with to help people diagnose the ills of society. Once we diagnose them, we can cure them.” Long’s “The Force (or Bottom Bound)” (1977) is part of the Public Art UHS Collection, and the Bert L. Long Jr. Papers reside in UH Libraries Special Collections.

“The University of Houston-Downtown is honored to have these amazingly talented artists join our public art collection,” said Cervenka. “UHD continues to pride itself on showcasing art that exemplifies the diversity of the artists and our Campus Community.”

UHD’s O’Kane Gallery features annual exhibits including the UHD High Art Exhibition and the Spring 2022 Student Art Exhibition. In Spring 2022, the Gallery hosted the Andy Warhol exhibition, “Instantaneous Beauty: Andy Warhol and The Photographic Process.”

About the University of Houston-Downtown

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.