The University Museum at Texas Southern University presents the Art Faculty Biennial 2018 exhibition. Works by the fine arts faculty members from the school of Visual and Performing Arts at Texas Southern University will be on display at the University Museum from September 15th through November 18th. Faculty members are active artists and scholars that make significant contributions to the arts. Works include glass, clay, metals, paintings, drawings and sculpture.

Jamal Cyrus Houston-based artist produces revisionist approaches to American history in his work through appropriation and reinterpretation of charged political paraphernalia and cultural objects. He focuses on the formulation of Black identity through political and cultural movements, such as the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and the Black Power movement of the 1970s, and its consequent appropriation by mainstream culture. In his 2D, 3D, an time based work, Cyrus creates his own alternative accounts of Black history, causing the viewer to acknowledge the subjectivity of interpreting past events. He has had solo exhibitions in Texas and New York and participated in group exhibitions nationally and internationally.

 

Leamon Green earned the BFA in Painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art. He was awarded the MFA degree from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.  Green has lived in Houston since 1990 and has taught at Texas Southern University since 1996.   As painting professor, Green sets an example for the students as an artist/academician.  A highly regarded artist, Green is represented by Hooks-Epstein Galleries.  He completed in 1998 a commission for Bush Intercontinental Airport, Terminal B. His art is also permanently installed outdoors in the Courts District in Downtown Houston. Green is represented in numerous museums and private collections. Professor Green has been the coordinator of the Tanzania Study Abroad Program for the past several years.  With other Texas Southern faculty, he has taken over 100 students to East Africa where they have studied the history and culture of the region at the University of Dar Es Salaam. In 2007, as a Fulbright Fellow, Professor Green studied and taught for a year in Tanzania.  Many works in this exhibition were inspired by his time spent in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

 

States the artist: Although the artwork fits into the category of painting, speaking accurately it is an amalgamation of traditional painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage processes. Content is derived from reflecting on similarities and differences in cultures.  Specifically the imagery reflects the complicated definition of being African American in an increasingly global community. The figures are anonymous portraits of characters or types, who could be family members, either yours or mine.  There are clues to identities, patterns viewed in the clothing or the surrounding space, historical African or European objects, all placed in ways that support the figures.  For myself one’s identity is an accumulation of cultures one meets both directly and indirectly.

 

Kingsley Onyeiwu at a very young age, living in Lagos, Nigeria, became influenced by the beautiful animations and child-friendly graphics he saw on television. States the Artist: Growing up I sought to replicate those animations I saw with determination and commitment. It was these habits that drove me into realizing my talents during my teenage period, and eventually initiates me into the world of art. As a youth, I have learned to nurture my talent and channel it into creating works that are aesthetically pleasing to me. When I setup to make a painting, I hold within my thoughts the goals I aim to achieve; to visually communicate with viewers both mentally and emotionally. As an artist, I make my work define my aesthetic; the beauty of humanism in art. My belief is that art and the human figure are interlaced.  Realizing beauty in works of art means producing figurative works that encompasses the versatile topic I present with each work of art. This could range from examining universal socio-political issues to the domestic aspect of relating to one’s own self. As a student, I am constantly learning to work in the manner of the classical and contemporary painters such as Diego Velasquez, Caravaggio, and William Bouguereau. Primarily Kehinde Wiley because through the contemporary painter, I have learned to embrace afro-centric works and also realize the beauty of being of African descent; as a result, embedding African themes into my work has become a part of preference. I prefer making my work look life like because it is aesthetically pleasing to me and also, because I want my viewers to easily interpret the message I try to convey with each work of art I produce. Seeing myself as always being a student of Art, I visualize the branch of drawing and painting as an endless array of possibilities involving mediums I can use to create my works to themes and subjects that I can explore. Being committed and ever zealous about making works of art, I perceive my present body of work as a testament to my endeavor to become a better and professional artist in the future.

Deon Robinson has always been an artist. From his earliest years, he has always sought to explore the world through the creation of images. With visual art, Deon learned that he could utilize his skills to communicate introspective ideas to the outside world. Cultivating this interest quickly, he also developed a love for teaching. As a student, Deon studied art with an education emphasis, and earned the B.A. in art from Fisk University in Nashville Tennessee. While at Fisk, he devoted his college years to developing his technical abilities.  The artist’s understanding of techniques was furthered when Deon enrolled into the graduate program at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. At the Academy, he was exposed to a broad assortment of specialized media and training, this increased knowledge base has culminated in a specialization for Robinson in both traditional media such as watercolor, oil, and charcoal to digital applications including digital painting, vector graphics, and graphic design. After completing the MFA degree in Illustration, Deon began his career as a professional illustrator and educator. He has worked on a variety of commercial contracts as a designer/illustrator for companies and organizations including Huntsman Innovations, Kelly, and Montgomery College in Conroe.  Deon Robinson has taught art at several institutions including Houston Community College, Lone Star College, and Texas Southern University. Deon’s interest in illustration is deeply rooted in his fascination with storytelling.  It was this love for narratives that led him to cultivate knowledge in the disappearing genre of American folklore.  Early in his career Deon began to research and write his own stories, and illustrate them as graphic novels. One such tale, ‘The Life of John Henry,’ was created from Deon’s desire to preserve, and introduce the stories to future generations, in a contemporary format, that young people could find both compelling and accessible.

 

States the artist: Picasso once stated that, “Art is the lie, which makes us realize truth.” I like to believe that my works are in accord with this sensibility. As a fine artist, I enjoy creating objects and paintings that can express visually, what my language cannot express verbally. As an illustrator, my drawings and paintings are primarily concerned with bringing clarity. Whether designing an instruction manual, or communicating visual narratives, I am most content creating illusions that facilitate the understanding of others, who like me, enjoy seeing pictures.

 

Jesse Sifuentes - Houston-based ceramic artist and muralist was born in Kingsville, Texas and grew up in Galveston where   he attended Ball High School.  His art teacher Ms. Mignon, recognizing his exceptional talent as an artist, strongly encouraged him to pursue art beyond high school.  With the support of a Moody Scholarship, Sifuentes enrolled in the prestigious art program at Texas Southern University founded by nationally renowned artist and muralist Dr. John Biggers and master sculptor and ceramist Professor Carroll Harris Simms. Sifuentes became the first person in his family to attend college.  Another scholarship allowed him to travel to Mexico City in 1974 where he studied the work of Mexican muralists Rivera,Siqueros, and Orozco. Following his graduation from Texas Southern University, Sifuentes received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston. An accomplished ceramist, the artist has exhibited his ceramics in numerous exhibitions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  Sifuentes has created eight murals in the city of Houston, including the commission for the  mural, “41 @ 80”at Fonde  Recreational Center which honors the public service of President George H.W. Bush given as an 80th  birthday gift by the city and assisted with many public art projects. He has assisted with many public art projects, several of which are in his East End community. Earlier this month, the most recent mural of artist Sifuentes was unveiled at a ceremony at Starbucks on Wayside. Jesse Sifuentes retired in 2007 from the Houston Independent School district after 27 years of service as an art teacher.  He is currently an instructor at Texas Southern University’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

 

States the artist: Dr. Biggers once stated that the artist has a responsibility to the public. As a “documenter” of the affairs of the community there are some thing that cannot be ignored and should be address in verse or in visual statements. Public or private work includes images in an aesthetic form to address these issues.   

 

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