Art Faculty Biennial 2014
The University Museum at Texas Southern University presents the Art Faculty Biennial 2014 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 October 18th, 2014 through January 4th, 2015. Faculty members are active artists and scholars that make significant contributions to the arts. Works include glass, clay, metals, paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography. The artist’s reception will be held at 12pm Thursday, October 23rd.
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.
Artist Statement: 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.
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.
Artist Statement: 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.
Houston-based ceramic artist and muralist Jesse Sifuentes 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.
Artist Statement: 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.
M’KINA J. TAPSCOTT
M’kina J. Tapscott a Houston, TX native received her MFA in Sculpture in 2012 from the University of Houston with a focus on ceramics. She has exhibited work in Houston as well as nationally and most recently received the Houston Art Alliance, Emerging Artist Grant in 2014.
Tapscott works in a variety of materials, with a practice that focuses on recontextualizing commonplace objects, historical accounts and pop culture through the lens of science fiction and cultural identification. Tapscott also works with a loose collective of local artists sometimes working under the name STACKS and is the Co-Director of Houston Open Studio Tours (with collaborator and artist Robert Pruitt). Currently, Tapscott has a solo practice, and serves as visiting professor of art at Texas Southern University.
Artist Statement: In my practice I create work that utilizes aspects of popular culture, social constructs, and historical accounts to critique life in the 21st century. Typically, my sculptures have used diverse materials from found and repurposed objects, to historic memorabilia. Recently my sculpture and installation works has become a platform to speak about the correlation between the finite aspects of humankind and the vastness of our universe. Through the examination of science fiction, astrophysics, and African American cultural, my work seeks to create a new, and alternate origin story by highlighting the “clues” presented in the body.
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