Public Art of the University of Houston System (Public Art UHS) will host a book release celebration and panel discussion this evening, Wednesday, Nov. 6, for its new monograph On Site: 50 Years of Public Art of the University of Houston System. The event will take place 6 – 7:30 pm on the second floor of the Student Center Theater at UH, 4455 University Drive, followed by a book signing with participating authors and artists.
Public Art UHS’ nearly 700-piece collection’s 40 most notable works are highlighted in On Site, and features 30 essays written by accomplished artists, scholars, curators including Alison de Lima Greene (Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), and María C. Gaztambide (Public Art UHS Director and Chief Curator).
UH System Chancellor Renu Khator, who emphasizes the importance of putting the “public” back in public art, states in the book’s foreword: “The arts are crucial to our universities, to our communities and to our country. If the University of Houston System’s other endeavors supply the brains, the brawn, the vitality and well-being of our collective body, then the arts surely provide the spirit.”
The list of artists represented in the Public Art UHS’ collection includes Carlos Cruz-Diez, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Dorothy Hood, Margo Sawyer, Alyson Shotz, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol.
There will be introductory remarks by Gaztambide, which will frame a panel discussion featuring Nancy Hixon, former registrar and assistant director of UH’s Blaffer Art Museum and Public Art UHS administrator; Floyd Newsum, an artist featured in the Public Art UHS collection and professor of art at University of Houston-Downtown; and Clint Wilhour, curator emeritus of the Galveston Arts Center who has served on the UH System Wide Art Acquisition Committee. Michael Guidry, Public Art UHS curator, will moderate the discussion.
Public Art UHS’ newest work, Mobius Houston, by New York-based Uruguayan artist Marta Chilindrón, was unveiled as an temporary public art installation at the campus’ Wilhelmina’s Grove, which Glasstire announced in late September. The Public Art program began in 1966 when UH President Philip Hoffman and the Board of Regents proposed a policy to set aside 1% of new building construction costs to purchase works of art. In 1969, the Texas Legislature formally approved the policy which paved the way for UH to become the first state university to initiate a public art program.
On Site: 50 Years of Public Art of the University of Houston System is published by Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers Ltd.
For more about Public Art UHS, visit its website here.