UHD Joins Latino Art Now!
By Sheryl E. Taylor
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is joining the effort with the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (based within the University of Houston's Center for Mexican American Studies) to redefine Latino arts in Houston.
UHD is among the many sponsors of the program's 6th Latino Art Now! (LAN!) 2019 Conference, “Sight Lines and Time Frames” on April 4-6.
LAN! is the only Latino-led cultural event of this scale in Houston’s history. Unlike any other event in Houston or nationally, LAN! is Latino-founded, Latino-run, and Latino-focused. This year’s conference will explore Houston’s and the nation’s vibrant contemporary art scene from the perspective that Latino art is an evolving notion traversing multiple generations and varying historical and social contexts.
“This is a celebratory event of Latino art and culture in cities across the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago and now, Houston,” said Mark Cervenka, associate professor of arts and communications. “UHD’s participation significantly showcases our partnering with LAN and support for the this vibrant and important cultural segment of both our city and nation.
More than 20 museums, galleries and cultural centers, artists, community leaders, businesses, and non-profits from Pasadena to Cypress, The Washington Cultural District to East Houston, and including activated exhibitions in Third Ward, Second Ward, the East End, the Museum District, and elsewhere are participating in the spring event.
“Great universities produce festivals and conferences that push the boundaries of creativity while spotlighting relevant, contemporary artists. UHD is proud to serve as one of the first sponsors for one such event, Latino Art Now! Houston,” said UHD President, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. “Exhibitions are taking place throughout the city and right here on campus at the O’Kane Gallery. This event provides Houstonians with a unique opportunity to view provocative works of art at exhibitions throughout the city. I encourage our faculty, staff and students to explore these local galleries and art spaces and fully experience Latino Art Now! Houston.”
UHD’s O’Kane Gallery is participating as an exhibition location. Presently on view at the Gallery is "Close to Home: Latinx Art and Identity," an exhibition of 46 artists from the collection of Drs. Harriett and Ricardo Romo of San Antonio, Texas.
“This collection highlights Latinx artists producing a wealth stylistic diversity while linked by a common cultural heritage,” said Cervenka, director of O’Kane Gallery. “This exhibit is a wonderful vehicle to add to the richness of Latino Art Now! and pares perfectly with one of the O’Kane Gallery’s core initiatives exploring diversity in the arts. Our involvement in this citywide event is a great way to partner with other organizations furthering relationships and engaging community members all of which highlight UHD and benefit our 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.