Student Selected for UHS Public Art Committee
Angel Quesada to Represent UHD on System-wide Art Acquisition Committee
By Mike Emery
Nearly 700 works comprise the University of Houston System (UHS) Public Art Collection. Paintings, sculpture, installations, photos, and more adorn facilities at each UHS university.
The selection of these works is guided by the University of Houston System-wide Public Art Acquisition Committee. The committee includes representatives from all UHS institutions. Among the recent appointees to this committee is local artist and University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) fine arts student Angel Quesada.
The UHS Board of Regents approved Quesada’s one-year term on this committee during its Aug. 23 meeting.
“As a UHD student, I'm very impressed by the public art on campus. It’s great to see great artwork everywhere I go at UHD,” said Quesada. “To be part of this committee is an honor and allows me to have more insight into the works that are selected for our University.”
Quesada—also known as #ARTKUNGFU— is a prolific Houston artist with murals located across the city. Among his works are “Muertos Mural” and “Segundo Barrio” in Houston’s Second Ward.
“My art helps fill a void in some areas of our city,” he said. “Certain communities don’t receive attention from the arts industry, and the Second Ward is one of those areas. I live and work here, so it’s appropriate that I help provide artwork for the community and its residents.”
Quesada was inspired to attend UHD while working for the Houston Arts Alliance. A colleague recommended that he return to college to complete his bachelor’s degree. Although Quesada has been working as an artist for more than two decades and has 13 years of arts administration experience, he saw an opportunity to further grow his skillset and knowledge at UHD. As a student, he will be involved with the citywide Latino Art Now! conference, which UHD is co-sponsoring, in spring 2019.
“Being at UHD and having opportunities to be a part of the committee and next year’s conference aligns with my life and my career,” he said.
The UHS Public Art Collection was made possible through a system-wide policy that allocates one percent of buildings’ construction costs to the acquisition of public artworks. UHD hosts more than 50 pieces on its campus, including John Biggers’ painting “Salt Marsh” in its Academic Building; Jacob Hashimoto’s installation “Cloud Deck” in the Shea Street Building; and UHD professor Floyd Newsum’s mural “Contemplating Success” that spans all four floors of the Commerce Street Building.
“The collection I’ve seen at UHD and around the UH System is impressive,” Quesada said. “All of the works have the kind of depth that you’d find in a museum. I'm very proud be a Gator serving on the committee and look forward to helping bring more great pieces to our campus and others in the UH System.”
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.