O'Kane Gallery Presents 'Mrs. Schmetterling Unframed'
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 was held that featured Davidson reading some of her poems from the book 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.
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 more than 15,000 students, boasts more than 64,000 alumni, and offers 46 bachelor’s degrees, 11 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences & Technology. For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution, and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.