The University Museum presents Approaching Tides: Graduating Seniors Exhibitions Fall 2019,on view Saturday November 23rdthrough Sunday January 5th2020with an opening night reception on Friday, November 22nd, 2019 at 7pm. 


 Approaching Tideis a kaleidoscope of visuals showcasing creative ideals and foundational techniques in paintings, drawings, photography and 3D Works. The exhibition presents a range of styles, subjects and materials telling the story behind the journey our students have made in their pursuit of becoming professional artists.  


The works of Tyler Allen, Keila Perez, Kei Takahashi and Brittany Danielle Torres, are a continuation and contribution to the legacy of the excellence in arts at Texas Southern University’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts. This exhibition is the final requirement for these aspiring creatives. We welcome all to join us, in the introduction of our graduating seniors to the art community of Houston. 

Artist Bios

Tyler Allen

From an early age Tyler Allen, was always intrigued and amazed by art. As a child, the first thing that really made an impact on him was cartoons. Characters from shows like Dragon Ball Z and Digimon; intrigued him to the point where he would attempt to draw the characters exactly as they appeared. Also he was surrounded by family members who did crafts including quilting and clothing design, and could accurately draw his favorite cartoons. This fueled him to refine his own drawings and create even more original pieces as a child. From elementary through high school, he would draw every single day either from reference photos or just things completely made up from his imagination. But it was not until high school sophomore year that he began to think of art as a career due to the influence of his art teacher Mr. Jason Engles who introduced him to photoshop and Art history.  

            During his 4 years at Texas Southern University, his views on art were broadened as he discovered the many different paths available within the field. His immediate goals for the future is the pursuit of a graduate degree in Fine Art where he plans to synthesize his skill set in technology and art.


Kelia Perez

Keila Perez is an interdisciplinary artist who uses multiple techniques and materials such as paper and found objects in her works. As a child Keila excelled in all subjects, but she always had a special interest in arts and crafts. At the age of 10, her grandfather taught her how to draw and introduced her to photography.  Although Perez was unable to take art classes until late in her high school career, she participated in extracurricular activities and clubs in efforts to gain more art experiences. One of these experiences led her to Alvin Community College where she was first exposed to ceramics in the college art studio. This directly inspired her decision to become an art major in college.


In the fall of 2015, Perez started her journey in at Texas Southern University (TSU), where she was fully immersed in various techniques and forms of art. Embracing this new knowledge, she formed her own process to articulate specific messages throughout her work. Due to her work ethic at TSU, she was invited to participate in several Ivy League Art Mentor-ship and Conservator programs for students. Combining her curatorial, conservation, and creative skills, Perez carefully constructs pieces based on research or personal experience. December 2019 marks the completion of her B.A in Fine Arts degree, but for Perez this is just the beginning. She continues to learn and expand both her process and body of work as an artist, while pursuing her interests in art education and therapy.

Kei Takahashi

Kei Takahashi was born in Nagoya, Japan and moved to the United States when she was 15 years old. Living there allowed Kei to be exposed to many aspects of Japanese art and culture. These experiences include visits to Nagoya castle and Inuyama castle, and the Golden Pavilion and Kiyomizu temple in the city of Kyoto. Although she enjoyed these early cultural experiences, she never thought about a career in art because she did not have any family members or personal connections to the field.

When she first moved to Houston, she could not speak or understand English and did not know much about American culture. It was difficult, but she studied hard and practiced the language, which made her better able to communicate with others and slowly become more familiar with her new home.

When Kei entered Texas Southern University, she decided to major in Fine Arts because she knew she wanted to do something in field. She felt this major would help her gain the skills she needed to figure out her career path. During her college years, art professors helped her find professional opportunities. As she participated in conservation workshops, she learned much about the many professions related to conservation and at the same time gained basic knowledge and skills in studio art and art history.

As sophomore, she participated in the Summer Teachers Institute in Technical Art History program at Yale University. It was this program that introduced her to the field of art conservation. She gained insight into the field, which ultimately led her to choose conservation as her career path. After this life changing experience she went on to participate in many activities relating to art conservation and developed an interest in paper conservation. Conservators often use Japanese handmade paper for their work because it is a very strong. Through this she felt extremely connected to her culture and identity, and wanted to share her knowledge of the numerous beautiful works originating from Japan with others. In her immediate future, she plans to continue studying Japanese paper tradition as well as Asian art and conservation. She is passionate about introducing Japanese art, to other people especially those from different cultural backgrounds.

Brittany Danielle Torres

Brittany Danielle Torres is a Houston based artist who has been influenced by art for more than 10 years. She first began exploring her love of color and mixed media as a teenager, later in high school she found herself comfortable sculpting with clay and other found materials. She gained her first insight into the art world while competing in a high school Visual Arts Scholastic Event. Two of her artworks placed in the competition, which further motivated and helped solidified confidence as an artist. She fell in love with this ability to express through art and came upon an opportunity to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at Texas Southern University (TSU).


During her four years at TSU, she learned structure and techniques, attended different museums and artist talks while continuing to build confidence in her work. These experiences brought expansion in her creativity and worked as assistant teacher in beginner art classes at Sterling high school and judging first works from students at Macgregor Elementary. These enriching experiences steered Brittany in setting a goal to become an Art Professor. Ultimately, her plans to continue refining her work as an artist and use the platform to expand the love of art in the community.