Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

September 27, 2006

Contact: Contact: Mike Emery
713.743.8186 (office)
713.415.6551 (pager)


When gallery visitors view a work of art, they may wonder about its inspiration or think about how it was created. To provide arts audiences with further insight into the creative processes of artists, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston has launched the “Artists Up Close” series in collaboration with the UH School of Art and Blaffer Gallery—the Art Museum of the University of Houston.

As part of the series, South African artist Siemon Allen will present a lecture and slide presentation at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 in the Fine Arts Building, Room 110. Allen’s talk will focus on his development as an artist, with a special emphasis on his work featured in the exhibition, “A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad,” which runs through Nov. 11.

Terrie Sultan, director of Blaffer Gallery and chair of the Mitchell Center’s board of directors, sees Allen’s participation in “Artists Up Close” as an opportunity “to extend the outreach of the exhibition -- a way to make the exhibition more real, more intimate to viewers, especially students,” by giving them a chance to meet and ask the artist questions about his intention and the motivation behind his work.

The “Artists Up Close” series offers free public performances, readings and demonstrations by artists featured in Blaffer Gallery exhibitions. Other artists scheduled to participate in this series include Chitra Ganesh, Jean Shin and Mika Tajima from the upcoming spring show, “One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now.” In addition, these artists will work with UH art students through studio critiques.

For more information on “Artists Up Close,” visit

WHO: Siemon Allen
WHAT: “Artists Up Close” lecture and slide presentation
WHEN: 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5
WHERE: Fine Arts Building, Room 110
University of Houston - Entrance 16
Houston, TX 77204

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