UH Moment

UH Moment: “Visiting Scholar of Mexican American Art”

Mexican American art is more than exhibits brought out during Hispanic Heritage Month.  The painters and muralists played an important role in developing modern art.  Learn more in this week’s UH Moment.

Ruben Cordova can weave tales of the Day of the Dead or El Grupo—Con Safo—punctuating his stories with images and art pieces.  Cordova, an art historian, photographer and expert in Mexican American art will be telling his tales to students as a Visiting Scholar in the Center for Mexican American Studies.

“Mexican art, and in particular Mexican muralism, was fundamental to the development of 20th century art.”

The Visiting Scholars Program began in 1986 with goals of generating research about the Mexican American community. It has recruited experts in the fields of history, art, sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science and English.

“In fact, Mexican muralism, the example of it, was the model for the Works Progress Administration programs of the 1930s to support the arts.  There were a lot of murals made in post offices and public buildings.  It was important for the development of public art in the United States.”

Cordova will teach a class in Mexican American art and also complete research for a book on Texas artist Mel Casas, one of the founders of the late 60’s art group, Con Safo, which helped define Mexican or Chicano art.

“I think he’s really one of the most intellectual artists we’ve had in the United States and also, arguably, one of the most underappreciated for his body of work that he has made.” 

Ruben Cordova is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston.  I’m Marisa Ramirez.

Telling the stories of the University of Houston, this UH Moment is brought to you by KUHF, listener supported radio from the University of Houston.

View photos on Flickr