Where Art & Science Intersect
UHD’s ‘Suzette Mouchaty: How to Talk to a Nudibranch (and some other things worth knowing)’
By Marie Jacinto
Large-scale marine animals—real and imagined—will fill the Mark & Tami Mallett Grand Lobby of the College of Sciences & Technology (CST) building from August 22 to September 1.
These colorful, whimsical sculptures are the brainchild and creations of Dr. Suzette Mouchaty,
Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Natural Sciences, whose artistic practice blends formal structures of rational scientific thought with the imaginary and subversive artistic realm.
Presented by CST, “Suzette Mouchaty: How to Talk to a Nudibranch (and some other things worth knowing)” is at the intersection of art and science, encouraging viewers to reflect on the natural world and “re-imagine the future” as communities come to terms with climate change.
The campus community is invited to the opening at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 25. As part of UHD’s Week of Welcome activities, Mouchaty will host a brief Artist’s Talks at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 25. A public reception and Artist’s Talk will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 27. Light refreshments will be served, and parking is free for campus visitors.
“Art has no utilitarian function and the reasons for making art are as varied as the artists who make it,” said Mouchaty. “In contrast, science is a quest to understand how the material world works. Art is irrational and poetic, and it broadens our perceptions; science is rational and logical, and it tests our perceptions. This space between the irrational and the rational, between art and science, is wide open for exploration, and the large-scale, charismatic artwork in this exhibition takes a tentative step in that direction. Through artwork and dialogue, I hope to inspire people to re-imagine the future as our societies grapple with the looming existential issue facing humanity today—climate change.”
“Suzette Mouchaty: How to Talk to a Nudibranch (and some other things worth knowing)” is funded in part by the CST and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance (HAA). Earlier this year, Mouchaty was generously awarded a $2,500 Let Creativity Happen grant from HAA. Artwork is courtesy of Mouchaty and the Anya Tish Gallery.
Mouchaty earned an MFA degree from the University School of Art in Interdisciplinary Practices and Emerging Forms and a Ph.D. in genetics from Lund University in Sweden.
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.