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The School of Art announces The Contemporary Project. Join us for a two-year odyssey on which we will examine contemporary art in ways that will sustain, surprise, and delight. What is it to be the art of Now? Click on the image for more information.

Art and design are never products of the assimilation of a body of knowledge, but rather the result of risk-taking within a field of “not knowing.” We prepare young artists and designers by providing them with a secure environment in which to risk failure, as well as the technical, conceptual and contextual tools to inform that risk.
A beneficial academic environment will provide those “languages” while encouraging the uniqueness of speech. To create these nurturing environments, we have to maintain both an institutional agility—an ability to respond appropriately and meaningfully to change—and a clear, collective sense of the primacy of each student.
At the School of Art, we provide the student profound expertise in the art disciplines coupled with the room to play and risk at combining, deconstructing, and re-constructing one or several of those disciplines. Programs expand or contract based on individual need and interest. We have that flexibility because we are large enough (775+ majors) to sustain the insularity of an atelier environment that is also embedded within and has access to the vast resources of a premier research institution.
It is the best of both worlds.

News & Events


Assistant Professor Sandra Zalman published her first book “Consuming Surrealism in American Culture: Dissident Modernism” in December 2015. The book was supported by grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Association of University Women. Thomas Crow, of the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU, calls the book: “the most deeply and imaginatively researched account of the profound ways in which European Surrealism altered not just American art but the wider culture as well. Fluently written and full of riveting details, hers is now the definitive study of this vital, long-running phenomenon.”
A reading is scheduled on February 26 at the Menil Collection bookstore.

PDM Faculty Member Delilah Montoya included in "Detention Nation"

UH School of Art faculty member Delilah Montoya (PDM) included in “Detention Nation” at Denver’s Museo de las Americas. Read more here.

PDM Faculty Member Delilah Montoya Given Faculty Grant

Professor Delilah Montoya received one of two 2016 Center for Mexican American Studies Faculty Collaborative/ Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grant. The grant is to support the publication of Contemporary Casta Portraiture: Nuestra “Calidad" catalog in collaboration with Nicolás Kanellos, Ph.D. as the Arte Publico Press publisher.

Contemporary Casta Portraiture: Nuestra “Calidad"

A photographic investigation of the cultural and biological forms of “hybridity.” Professor Montoya will explore how the colonial experience found throughout New World still has resonance and importance in our contemporary society.

Art History MA Student Curates in the Windy City

Maryam Athari, a first-year M.A. student in the Art History program, recently opened a major, innovative show on Iranian photography in Chicago, IL at the Bridgeport Art Center. You can hear WBEZ Chicago radio’s interview with Maryam here
Maryam is the UH/Menil Curatorial Fellow at the Menil Collection this year. Her stipend is courtesy of a generous donation to the School of Art.

Art History Undergraduate Receives Mellon Fellowship at MFAH

Mai Kolkailah, a junior majoring in Art History, has been awarded the prestigious Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship for 2015-2017.  Only ten fellowships in the entire US were awarded this year. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship aims to provide specialized training in the curatorial field for students across the United States from diverse backgrounds. Mai’s fellowship, administered by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, honors two outstanding students in the region who will work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on curatorial research projects tailored to their interests. Mai will begin her new position at the MFAH this September, joining a national network of partnering institutions, which include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the High Museum in Atlanta, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City.

School of Art Welcomes New Faculty Member: Contemporary Art Historian and Critic, Natilee Harren

Natilee Harren, who joins the School of Art faculty from UCLA where she recently finished her Ph.D., will be an important addition to our perspective on contemporary art. Dr. Harren's recent work has involved the history of the Fluxus movement, and she has also written contemporary art criticism for numerous journals including Artforum.

PDM Student wins UH Graduate Research Presentation Award

Mark Chen, Photography/Digital Media MFA Student, wins "Best Talk" at the Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects Day on Oct. 30. Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRaSP) is an all-day event showcasing graduate student research across the disciplines. The competition was among an already select group of graduate researchers in the sciences, mathematics, social sciences, engineering, and the arts. Mark's talk was entitled “How I Raise Environmental Awareness Through Art”. He presented his work in which photographs are digitally constructed, based on scientific projections, to visualize our possible environmental futures.

Photography/Digital Media Alum Receives National Award

Adrienne Meyers, recent graduate of the UH School of Art's Photography/Digital Media program, was awarded a Portz scholarship by the National Collegiate Honors Council, which includes a cash award and the opportunity to present her work to the Council's annual meetings in Chicago this November. She was one of four recipients from  around the country. Dr. Bill Monroe, longtime Dean of our Honors College, will present her to other Deans and faculty who will be in attendance.