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Houston Scholar: Brandon Montenegro


“One of my key findings in my research about street art – that I accept – is that for a work of art to be considered street art, it necessarily has to be produced on someone’s property without their consent and display some form of activism.”

Major: Philosophy
Houston Scholars Project: 
Understanding Street Art, a Mini-series
Advisor:  Dr. Jacob Mills

Despite majoring in different disciplines, Brandon Montenegro, a Sophomore Philosophy major, and Luke Walther, a Sophomore Pre-Business major, both explore their shared interest in the arts through their minors in Creative Work.  For their project, Brandon and Luke will create a documentary that explores the definition of street art through the lens of aesthetics, and how the artistic and cultural legitimacy of street art might be confirmed in the public eye though this philosophical, scholarly, and creative analysis.  Through their project, they hope to contribute to the academic and artistic question, “What is street art?”  Brandon and Luke interviewed University of Houston faculty in philosophy, aesthetics, and art, and local street artists.  Many of these artist interviews took place during an event planned by Brandon and Luke in coordination with Houston-based musician and founder of Wonky Power Records, Mario Rodriguez.  The event was an invitation to selected street artists to paint Wonky Power Records’ performing and venue space, and an opportunity for Brandon and Luke to collect exciting documentary footage.  

Future Direction:  This project marks Brandon's first foray into video.  However, the philosophical exploration into the essence of street art - the ways in which it has changed over last decade and the questions of commercial profit and legitimacy - sits squarely in Brandon's "wheelhouse."  At the conclusion of this project, Brandon and Luke intend to promote the film and submit it to film festivals around the country.

About Houston Scholars

Supported by the Provost's Office and the Honors College, the Houston Scholars program is designed to bolster students’ academic and professional goals through faculty mentoring, research proposal development, and a semester discussion series led by University of Houston faculty from across the campus. Houston Scholars will also learn about national and international award opportunities, and receive assistance in developing applications for competitive programs.

Find out more about Houston Scholars>>