UHD Artists in the Spotlight During Student Exhibition
By Mike Emery
More than 100 student works of art are currently on view at the O’Kane Gallery as part of the University of Houston-Downtown Student Exhibition.
This annual showcase features a range of works, including watercolor, graphic design, drawing, costume design and more. The exhibition will run through May 2.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to present their work in a professional gallery,” said Mark Cervenka, director of the O’Kane Gallery. “For any artist, this kind of recognition is very validating. This is a really proud moment for our students and reflects UHD’s commitment to their work.”
Among the pieces on view are excerpts from graphic novels created by lecturer Beth Secor’s students. These illustrated stories include Chelsea Markcray’s “Black Tear” and Eliseo Villanueva’s “Lucha.” Also included are costume designs from drama lecturer Laura Winslow’s class. Student Daniel Cheramie contributed designs of 1930’s socialite attire.
“This annual exhibition benefits all of us as student artists,” said Cheramie. “Students here have amazing works of art that should be shown to the public. This event allows us to do just that.”
Other student pieces include posters addressing environmental issues designed by student Augustus Ciotti for the course Advanced Computer Graphic Design taught by assistant professor Natacha Poggio; and Pilar Rodriguez's replica of an existing post-impressionist painting for professor Floyd Newsum’s class.
Another bonus for students is the opportunity to learn from acclaimed artists and creative professionals.
“It’s awesome,” Rodriguez said. “Students want that close connection with faculty members like Professor Newsum. They can get it right here at UHD.”
UHD’s annual Student Exhibition complements other events aimed at spotlighting emerging student artists. These include the current exhibition at Saint Arnold Restaurant featuring UHD students and the upcoming High Art show at the O’Kane Gallery, which will feature the work of Houston-area high school students.
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.