Exploring the public art pieces in Harris County, Texas schools and universities is an exciting journey that reveals the diverse cultures of the Houston metropolitan area and Southeast Texas. From the University of Houston to the Dykes Library, there are hundreds of works of art that represent the unique communities of this region. The University of Houston alone houses approximately 300 works of art, including Temporary Public Art installations. Recently, UH acquired 20 new pieces by Houston-based artists that will be permanently housed in the John M.
O'Quinn Law Building. One of the most remarkable works is Prayer Meeting by Bert L. Long, Jr., which was installed in 1996. According to the artist, this painting is a symbol of the rhythmic patterns of paper fans used by parishioners in rural churches in the south before air conditioning. Another impressive piece is The Grip of Shadow and Light by Bert Biggers, an acrylic on canvas commissioned in 1996 from Biggers, an African-American muralist and one of the founders of the art department at the University of South Texas.
The Dykes Library also houses several paintings by Dorothy Hood, a Texas-born artist whose works are part of UH's collection of more than 700 pieces. One such painting is The Angel's Key, which is on display in the lobby of the Wortham Theater box office. The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) also has a collection of more than 50 unique pieces created by talented and outstanding artists. These works can be found in the corridors, meeting rooms and public spaces of every building on campus.
One must-see piece is Double Physichromie by Carlos Cruz-Diez, which can only be fully appreciated when seen in person. These new installations and acquisitions reinforce Public Art UHS's mission to collect and display works of art that are representative and accessible to the diverse communities it serves in Harris County, Texas. Exploring these public art pieces is a great way to learn more about the history and culture of this region.