About

Only Open to the Public

Established in 1969, Public Art of the University of Houston System (Public Art UHS) is the oldest, most significant and only collecting arts organization within the University of Houston System, the fourth-largest university system in Texas. Public Art UHS’s reach spans the four component universities of the UH System—University of Houston (UH), University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), and University of Houston-Victoria (UHV)—as well as additional campuses in Sugar Land (UH), Pearland (UHCL) and Katy (UH/UHV), making art accessible to millions of Texans.

As the UH System’s premier arts organization, Public Art UHS impacts and enriches the daily lives of the UH System’s more than 70,000 students and nearly 10,000 faculty and staff. Additionally, it serves diverse communities throughout Greater Houston and South East Texas through robust programming, exhibitions, publications, research and one of the most significant university-based public art collections in the United States. Its unique model of blurring the lines between art and public positions Public Art UHS as an exemplary 21st-century museum.

María C. Gaztambide, Ph.D. serves as director and chief curator of Public Art UHS.

Our Mission

Public Art UHS engages academic and global communities in an open forum to promote dialogue about visual arts and its relevance to contemporary life. It enriches the cultural and intellectual character of the University of Houston System, and reflects and connects its uniquely diverse audiences.

Our Vision

Public Art UHS is committed to creating a collaborative ecosystem where publicly accessible art, higher education, and diverse communities converge. It also strives to deepen connectivity with audiences in and beyond Houston and to continue to diversify our artists, artworks, and programming. To that effect, Public Art UHS consciously works with superior artists who—through their unique life experiences, exceptional creativity, or commitment to pushing public art into new and emerging territories—help us advance this vision and critical goals.

Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Houston System embraces diversity and recognizes our responsibility to foster an open, welcoming environment where students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds can collaboratively learn, work and serve. We value the academic, social, and broader community benefits that arise from a diverse campus and are committed to equity, inclusion and accountability. Diversity enriches our university communities and is a driving force instrumental to our institutional success and fulfillment of the System’s mission. We commit to engaging in an ongoing dialogue to thoughtfully respond to the changing realities of our increasingly interconnected world. We will continually strive to work together to address the challenges of the future in a way that removes barriers to success and promotes a culture of inclusivity, compassion and mutual respect. The competencies gained through diverse experiences across campus prepare all of our students, staff and faculty to thrive personally and professionally in a global society.

Public Art UHS reflects the unique diversity characterizing the University of Houston System in its permanent collection, exhibitions, educational offerings, and public programs. A commitment to inclusion and diversity has been integral to Public Art UHS’s existence and success since its founding in 1969. Nonetheless, Public Art UHS capitalizes on opportunities to deepen engagement of all of our stakeholders and communities while broadening the scope of our permanent collection, exhibitions, temporary public art projects, educational offerings, and public programs. Exclusively for Everyone.

The story of Public Art UHS began shortly after the University of Houston entered the state of Texas system of higher education in 1963, 36 years after its 1927 establishment.

We rely on an active community of people with a variety of different talents and interests to make extraordinary public art available and accessible to all audiences.

Access Public Art UHS media coverage and newsletters here.

Public Art UHS relies on individuals, foundations and corporate entities to make extraordinary public art available and accessible to all audiences, supporting education programs and other initiatives for a vibrant growing arts community.