May 2015

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Smither Park is named honor of folk art enthusiast John H. Smither who was a distinguished Houston Lawyer and well known art patron that served as president of the Houston Ballet and board member of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Arts.

Sitting on half an acre, the park's main component is a 400-foot, serpentine "memory wall" adorned with shells, mirrors, bones, marbles, stones, tiles and objects with special meaning to Houston residents. Joining in on this work in progress, is the TSU Art Club, spear headed by Art Professor Jesse Sifuentes. The TSU Art Club volunteers began working on the twin tigers a three dimensional mosaic in 2014 and is looking to complete the project soon. Dr. Danille Taylor recently joined in along with Dr. Alvia Wardlaw (Board Member of the Orange Show), Bonita Cutliff (Museum Publicist) and art student Christopher to add a festive touch. The group meets every Saturday from 9am to 12pm and is open to public participation.


April 2015


Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Internship

LaStarsha D. McGarity

Ms. McGarity has been awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Internship at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a part of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Her role is to prepare the first artifacts for the opening of the new museum, scheduled to open in 2016. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the last museum to be constructed on the National Mall Washington, D.C. McGarity's appointment, which includes a paid stipend, runs for four months. She remarks, " This is a wonderful opportunity for the development of my experience in the conservation of museum artifacts. This is the first Smithsonian site dedicated exclusively to African American Art."


Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow

Stormy Hamilton

Ms. Hamilton has been named an Andrew W. Mellon undergraduate Curatorial Fellow, working at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She is pursuing a B.A in art at TSU. In her new role, she is working with curatorial mentor Alison de Lima Greene, curator of Contemporary Art and Special Projects at MFAH and researching the work of John Biggers, who established the TSU art department in 1949. Last summer, Hamilton was named one of the first students to the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program and Summer Academy. Volunteering at the University Museum at TSU under the guidance of Dr. Alvia Wardlaw inspired the young artist to learn more about art history and curatorial field.


National Museum of African American History and Culture Internship

Kingsley Onyeiwu

Mr. Onyeiwu has been awarded the first internship in a pilot project developed as an HBCU centered, museum professional practice internship program under the Smithsonian Institution. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), a part of the Smithsonian Institution, will participate in the global development of a cadre of 21st century trained museum professionals. Towards this goal NMAAHC will provide Texas Southern University with $3,000 towards the stipend for Onyeiwu during the spring semester of 2015.

September 2014

Black Heritage Through Visual Rhythms

Presented by

Ohio Historical Society


The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center is participating with the African American Visual Artists Guild of Dayton, Ohio, to host Black Heritage Through Visual Rhythms, a juried national art exhibit that is an annual event, which began in 2013. Held at the Ohio Historical Society's National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, the exhibit allows artists the opportunity to share their talent and art forms with other artists, students and visitors while increasing awareness about artists of African descent.

National Afro American Museum and Cultural Center

The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center (NAAMCC) shares the history, art, and culture of the African American experience and serves as a gathering place for the community.


Kingsley Onyeiwu – senior art student at Texas Southern University major in fine arts, specializes in drawings and paintings was accepted as one of the students for the Black Heritage Through Visual Rhythms juried exhibition on view November 8, 2014 to February 28, 2015.



The following works were submitted:

June 2014

FOR THE SAKE OF ART 2014 - Wearable Art Competion & Gala (Read Press Release)

PLAYING BY DRAGON RULES An Exhibition  (Read the Press Release)

March 2014

The University Museum Made the list!


Check out the Houston Press | Top 10 Museums in Houston. Read the entire article here on the blog Art Attack. Click here.

John T. Biggers Carroll Harris Simms Symposium


“Charting Our Course: Careers in Museums” , is the theme for University Museum's annual Biggers/Simms Symposium. The Biggers/Simms symposium is an annual event commemorating the anniversary of the museum, now in it's 14th year and offers a two day series of presentations and lectures. John Biggers was a prominent visual artist known for his exquisitely detailed murals and is credited with setting the foundations for the art department of Texas Southern University beginning in 1949. Carroll Simms was an outstanding artist, sculptor, author and professor who joined him in 1950 and also served as a key figure in development.


The event opens Thursday, April 10th at 7pm with keynote speaker Valerie Cassell Oliver.

November 2013



The Texas Southern University Confucius Institute, in collaboration with the University Museum, is hosting the exhibition Traces of Confucius, a photographic presentation of the home province of Confucius as well as images of 16th century Ming Dynasty paintings by artist Qiu Shizhou which traces the life of Confucius in its many stages. The exhibition is organized and curated by Dr. Michael Ma, Professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Several years ago, Dr. Ma began a project to document the life of Confucius and the sages who followed his teachings. Working along with Mr. Hou Xinjian, senior journalist and photographer for the Shandon Pictorial Magazine, Dr. Ma was able to produce over one hundred photographic panels depicting the life and legacy of Confucius. The stunning images offer a rare glimpse into the community in which Confucius lived, the temples erected in his honor and the mansion in which his descendants lived over several centuries. The exhibition also presents major documentation of the life of Mencius, a sage who closely followed the teachings of Confucius. Mencius developed a following of his own and his mother is a heroic figure in Chinese culture. Rare photographs of the cemeteries of Mencius and his mother, as well as detailed architectural photographs of the Temple of Mencius are also included. Traditional objects from Chinese culture are included to complement the photographic images.


 Every other year the University Museum pays tribute to the creative individuals who once matriculated at the University. This exhibition showcases a collection of creative works by an active group of 38 dedicated artists; inspired by both imagination and real life. These works offer visual interpretations of life and fantasy presented on a wide range of media; from drawings to paintings, mixed media and sculptures. The varied pieces are a testament to their vision and commitment and a marvelous reflection of the past 55 years of visual art at Texas Southern University.


The Exhibition is on view September 13 – November 3, with a special opening reception at 7pm Friday, September 13th.

September 2013

July 2013

CTGME Curator, Alumni & Artist Robert Pruitt is making waves in the art world.

Pruitt is currently on view at Hooks Epstein Gallery and the Studio Museum in New York.

Coming Through the Gap in the Mountain on an Elephant - Exhibition on view at the University Museum was Robert's brain child. Check out these articles on Pruitts's work and exceptional taste.

November 7th, 2012

Dewey Mosby African American Art Historian dies at age 70.

Dewey F. Mosby was a specialist in 19-20th Century French art. He was the first African American to receive a PhD in art history from Harvard University and also the first curator of European art at a major museum (The Detroit Institute of Art).

In his early career he taught at SUNY Buffalo in the Department of Art & Art History, he also taught summer school at Harvard. In 1981 he joined the staff at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY where he  served as director of the Picker Art Gallery, his passion and professionalism transformed the Art Gallery which enhanced and further raised the profile of the arts college at Colgate. Among the numerous exhibitions organized by Mosby some of the most notable include; The Fodor Collection: 19th Century French Drawings and Watercolor from the Amsterdam Historisch Museum, 20th Century Paintings from the Guggenheim Museum and Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Dewey Mosby was an expert on Henry Ossawa Tanner - one of the best known African American painters in America and France at the turn of the 20th century. Mosby's books include; Across Continents and Cultures: The Life and Art of Henry Ossawa Tanner and Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, 1803-1860 (Outstanding dissertations in the fine arts), Volumes I & II.

Mosby was recipient of numerous awards, he received the NEA fellowship for Museum Professionals, was decorated twice by the Order of Arts and Letters of France and is listed in Living Legends in Black among other recognitions. He passed on August 2nd 2012 and is survived by his wife Arts Journalist Rebekah Mosby and two children Christophe and Veronique.

​ February 8th, 2013

October 26th, 2012

University Museum Hosts 6th Annual International Tea

This annual fundraiser presented by the Volunteer Circle of the University Museum is unlike any tea you've ever experienced! Each year the International Tea spotlights four countries through exciting live entertainment, flavorful foods and tasty teas. The countries to be featured this year are Brazil, Finland, Tanzania and Vietnam. The honorary chair for this year's event is attorney and minister, Dr. Gwen Pierre.

The University Museum at Texas Southern University opened in 2000, and corresponding Volunteer Circle was established in 2005. This dedicated group works hard each year to spread the awareness of visual art and culture throughout the community its signature programs such as Lemonade on the Lawn, Tiger Tidings and Black History Month. The International Tea is the major fundraising event for the Volunteer Circle.

Come! Enjoy! The University Museum's International Tea will turn your Sunday afternoon into a global cultural experience as you join in the celebration of Brazil, Finland, Tanzania and Vietnam!

Adult tickets for the tea are $25.00 and $15.00 for students. For further information please call (713) 313 7145 or (713) 313 7120.

Major Sponsors

Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts

Tina Knowles
The Reginald Van Lee Foundation
Atwood Oceanics


Additional support has been provided by Wendy Adair; Julie and Francois Blais; Annette and Arthur Bracey; Angelique and Garnet Coleman; Tanya and James Douglas; High Fashion; I.W. Marks; International Connections of Houston, Anna Taylor James; Sharon Jones and Shayla Jones-Brook; Lemond Catering; Pual Mitchell, The School; Horace Moaning; National Oilwell Varco; Page Parkes Models, Phenon Finley-Smiley; Joy and Darrell Fitzgearld; Apple and John Gidley; Irene and Ronald Johnson; President and Mrs. John Rudley; The Volunteer Circle of the University Museum; Wade Wilson Art; and Toni Whitaker.

​​Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts is Featured at the University Museum

The University Museum at Texas University will present a major multi-media exhibition that focuses on the development of the first black ballet company in the country.  Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts features rare and spectacular costumes, sets, and memorabilia from the illustrious history of the company as well as four videos featuring some of the most famous ballets.  Opening February 9 to the public the exhibition will be on view through April 28th.

Organized initially in 2009 by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center and Dance Theatre of Harlem, the original exhibition presented a comprehensive presentation of 40 years of art and accomplishments through selected visual artifacts.  Following a very successful presentation In New York City, the exhibition was redesigned by the California African American Museum (CAAM) for its west coast premiere in 2010.  Designed by Woodson Schofield, Jr. and
Luis Ortega, the new version, now featured at the University Museum highlights over 20 costumes as works of art and incorporates DTH performance imagery on large banners.  Also featured are four “staged” iconic ballets—Firebird, Dougla, Creole Giselle and A Streetcar Named Desire.  These installations provide a theatrical performance quality complemented by edited versions of these historical ballets shown on videotape.  Patrons can also view a BBC documentary on Arthur Mitchell and Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Prior to being presented in Houston, the exhibition was featured at the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit from June 2011 through January 2012.  The University Museum at Texas Southern University is the first venue in Texas to feature the exhibition and the only HBCU. 

In addition to the costumes and staged ballets, the exhibition highlights also include more than 150 historical photographs and video clips of performances from DTH’s archive, as well as numerous artifacts including original tour programs, letters from choreographers and dignitaries, magazine articles and an overview of Arthur Mitchell’s accomplishments.  This exhibition also includes a unique quilt  which has embroidered and appliquéd images of signature ballets from the DTH repertoire.
Visitors can view more than 20 original tour posters from the company’s New York City and worldwide touring seasons, including the company’s first performance in New York at the Guggenheim Museum and their first international tour.

About Dance Theatre of Harlem
Dance Theatre of Harlem uses the art form of classical ballet to literally change people’s lives.  Through performances by its internationally acclaimed company, training in its world-class school, and participation in multifaceted arts education program, Dance Theatre of Harlem has made a difference in the world for 43 years.
Inspired to bring new opportunity to the lives of the young people in the Harlem neighborhood in which he grew up, Arthur Mitchell and the late Karel Shook founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem in the basement of a church in 1969.  Mitchell, who had found success as a principal dancer with the renowned New York City Ballet, understood the power of training in a classical art form to bring discipline and focus to a challenged community.  Dance Theatre of Harlem’s unprecedented success, as a racially diverse company, school and source of arts education was built on creating innovative and bold new forms of artistic expression.  Through these varied artistic interactions, faculty and alumni of DTH have helped to build character and have provided valuable life skills to countless people in New York City, throughout the country, and around the world.

As Dance Theatre of Harlem enters its fifth decade, the company continues to dedicates itself to reaching new audiences with a message of self-reliance, self-expression and individual responsibility in its re-launch of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company.  Now under the leadership of a second generation of artists inspired by the vision of Arthur Mitchell, Artistic Director Virginia Johnson, founding member and former prima ballerina joins Executive Director Laveen Naidu, former school director and choreographer to achieve the goal of the 21st century to build community and inspire and uplift through the power of art.

About the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The New York Public Library for the performing Arts is the world’s largest archival and circulating collection in music, dance, theater and recorded sound. LPA welcomes over 300,000visitors—performing arts professionals, students, and fans—each year to its Lincoln Center facility.  It houses the collections, over 200public programs and screenings, and a robust exhibition schedule.  The Performing Arts Museum exhibitions have been seen in Asia, Europe, and across North America.

About the California African American Museum
The California African American Museum (CAAM) researches, collects, preserves and interprets for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans.  Chartered by the California State Legislature in 1977, CAAM is a state supported institution and a partner with the 501 © (3) non-profit organization Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.  In addition to its permanent collection of over 3,000 works of art, artifacts and historical documents, CAAM also houses a research library containing more than 20,000 volumes, and trains and employs high school students through its Young Docents program.  The museum organizes original exhibitions curated by CAAM staff as well as hosts traveling exhibitions on a regular basis.  CAAM exhibitions  are presented throughout the state of California and the nation.

About the University Museum at Texas Southern University
The University Museum at Texas Southern University opened in 2000 to serve as a center for the  celebration of the art and history of the African Diaspora and cultures of the world.  As part of the legacy of Dr. John Biggers, founder of the Art Department at Texas Southern, the museum presents works of art from its permanent collection  of more than 4,000 works by TSU art faculty and alumni including John Biggers, Carroll Harris Simms, Leamon Green, Kermit Oliver, and Robert Pruitt, as well as a major collection of African art and historic cultural ephemera from the African American south.  An average of six special exhibitions are held annually with a full complement of programs. Currently, the museum staff is working with art conservators to restore the 128 murals on the campus of Texas Southern University.  Art  majors interested in conservation are assisting the professional conservators in this multi-year conservation process, providing a unique opportunity for students to receive training in the field of museum studies.

Dance Theatre of Harlem was curated by Judy Tyrus and was designed by Woodburn Schofield, Jr.  For further information on the exhibition, featured programs, and tours, please call Chrystal Robinson-Davis at 713-313-7120, or 713-313-7145.

The University Museum is open 10am until 5 pm Tuesday through Friday and 12 pm until 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.  The museum is closed on holidays observed by the university .  Validated parking is available in the West Garage at Blodgett and Ennis for all visitors.  Admission is free.


ROBERT PRUITT @ Station Museum

Robert Pruitt’s work reflects his own cultural duality, his sculptures, such as Headdress with Lugar Pistol (2011), and the series of photographs created during his residency, Untitled Photographs (2011), weave contemporary American culture into a collage of narrative of tradition. Pruitt is known for his large, stark drawings: portraits on kraft paper, poetic odes to individuals simultaneously embracing and resisting the cultural. 


KERMIT OLIVER @ Hooks-Epstein Gallery

Kermit Oliver is an acclaimed painter and the only American designer for the famed French fashion house Hermès. Kermit is known for his elaborate frames, some of which he creates before conceiving the paintings that will go in them.

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