This season the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts features local and international talent in a variety of mediums.
The events cover various creative outlets including film, interpretive dance, laser graffiti and the spoken word. The exhibits and events focus heavily on community involvement and on bridging the relationship between UH and its surrounding communities.
“We are excited to roll out a 2010-11 season that is timely and relevant, while also being celebratory and fun,” Director of the Mitchell Center Karen Farber said. “The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts has identified some key themes that continue to influence our programming over the past five years and beyond.”
The season kicks off with OIL, a documentary theater piece by Texas-born artist Amy Patton. The exhibition will be at the Blaffer Art Gallery Aug. 28-Nov. 13.
Her inspiration for the work came from the 1927 Upton Sinclair novel “Oil” about the Teapot Dome Scandal during the Harding administration. Patton’s interpretation plays on the “petroleum-based lifestyle” familiar to many Houstonians and the social implications of this way of life.
An event close to the heart of the university is the “Life is Living” Houston festival in November which focuses on urban development and neighborhood sustainability.
“We are deeply committed to working with UH’s local neighborhood, the Third Ward, by partnering with individuals and organizations that share our belief in the transformative power of the arts,” Farber said. “‘The Life Is Living’ Festival with Marc Bamuthi Joseph is a celebration of that neighborhood and its uniqueness.”
The festival will feature local and celebrity artists performing hip-hop, spoken word and various other activities including community service and volunteer projects.
“I think it’s great that UH is involved in an outreach program like this to get people involved in helping the community,” Photography senior and aspiring filmmaker Mike Gault said. “Art is a great medium for expression — it helps you to discover your inner voice and passion, and to use it in such a positive way is phenomenal.”
Farber and the Mitchell Center continuously attempt to explore the intersection between art and sustainability by asking what sustains people and how creativity influences their daily choices.
According to Farber, this is evident in the upcoming projects.
“This year and in the future, the Mitchell Center will continue to present dynamic programs that ignite dialogue about the themes and issues that surround us,” Farber said.