15:27 PM

UHCL’s Art School for Children collaborates with local artist to create ‘Transcendent Dreams’ mural

Written by: Lauren Sawyer

University of Houston Clear Lake’s Art School for Children has collaborated with Houston artist Jacob Messa to complete the ‘Transcendent Dreams’ mural, located in the Arbor Building on the Art School hallway. The concept of the mural is to bring more contemporary art onto campus, while focusing on the university’s new initiatives of transform, translate and transcend. The hallways of the Art School were recently updated with a new hanging system installed. Clinical Assistant Professor of Art and Design and Director of Art School for Children and Young Adults David Moya, said he wanted to pull the space together with the mural and really draw people into the hallway.

“This idea started when we did the large-scale painting in the Student Services and Classroom Building of Frida Kahlo,” Moya said. “Then I had a summer mural camp where we painted the space scene in the Bayou Building. With this mural, I wanted to work with a local artist to add a professional touch that would reflect our program and the university.”

The mural aims to capture the culture of UH-Clear Lake through the community it serves, the experiences of the art education students, the identity as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, and the campus’s location and wild life. Moya said the collaboration with Messa would positively impact the program and achieve the goal of the mural.

“I’ve known Jake for a while and before he was pursuing a career exclusively as a professional artist,” he explained. “I recently saw a large church building and an additional mural he was working on. I was so impressed that I reached out to see if he would collaborate with our program on creating a mural and he obliged.”

Messa said that Moya has been a big influence on his art career and opened a lot of doors for him. He created stylescapes for the group to be inspired while creating the design for the mural.

“They wanted a lot of elements of UHCL’s nature while incorporating art,” Messa said. “I tried my best to bring those together to create a 3D space to be inspired and get one’s creativity going.”

Messa said he felt very honored and working with the Art School was a big opportunity.

“I’ve been missing the community aspect of an art project and as an artist in general. I’ve been working at home, I have four kids, and I am very much a dad so this is right up my alley,” he said.

 “The next generations of artists are coming here and the idea of being able to influence them in any way in their art career at all is a privilege in itself,” he continued. “I get to leave my mark. I hope to see where all of these students go, and maybe come back one day and hear stories when I’m older.”

Rising UHCL senior Star Gregory was among the students that collaborated with Messa on the mural. She aspires to become an art teacher after she graduates and said the Art School has prepared her for the transition.

“I feel as prepared as anyone could be entering into a new occupation. Without the experience I’ve had, I think I’d find it a lot more difficult to move forward into the education field,” she said. “This was my first time working with a Houston artist although I have participated in other artistic endeavors led by artists from other regions. Working with professionals is amazing because as an art educator, there are twin passions colliding.”

Gregory said that having the ability to explore her passions shows that the Art School is so much more than what it appears to be on the surface.

“This experience allowed me to connect more with my peers, as well as create connections with local artists.”

For more information about UHCL’s Art School for Children, visit //www.uhcl.edu/childrens-art-school/