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O’Kane Gallery Premieres ‘Mrs. Schmetterling Unframed’ Oct. 20

New Exhibition Features an Intersection of Literature & Visual Art


By Sheryl E. Taylor

UHD’s Dr. Robin Davidson’s 2021 book “Mrs. Schmetterling” provided the curated theme for the upcoming O’Kane Gallery exhibition, “Mrs. Schmetterling Unframed,” on view from Oct. 20 to Dec. 14. An Opening Reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, and will feature Davidson reading some of her poems and a brief discussion by Houston artist Sarah Fisher.

“Mrs. Schmetterling” (Arrowsmith Press) includes 22 poems by Davidson, Professor Emeritus of English & Creative Writing, complemented by Fisher’s artwork.

“This interdisciplinary exhibition is a great opportunity to celebrate the arts and creativity at the intersection of visual art and literature,” said Mark Cervenka, Director of the O’Kane Gallery. “It also provides another format with which to experience the musings of the book’s protagonist, Mrs. Schmetterling.”

Cervenka, Professor of Art, also noted that mixed-media artworks by Fisher, who provided images for 12 of the book’s 22 poems, will be exhibited next to their companion poems. Additionally, recordings of Davidson reading excerpts from the poems will be heard intermittingly in the gallery. 

“The arts give us great insight into how the human imagination shapes our interior lives, as beings with richly complex experiences and emotions,” said Davidson, Houston’s second poet laureate. “Mrs. Schmetterling may be an ordinary woman whose daily life is filled with prosaic tasks, but her interior life is vastly different.” She continued, “Her thoughts, overheard in the poems, are rich with curiosity, metaphysical questions, and nostalgia.

“What I hope patrons will experience as they walk among the artworks is a moment to stop, dwell in the images and voices of the exhibition, where they, too, can look inward, tap into, and enjoy the call of their own rich imaginations,” she said.

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.