Press release from the town hall
Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Selects Two Houston Artists to Commission Photographic Works and Sculptures for New Sunnyside Health and Multi-Service Center
November 29, 2021 – The City of Houston’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) today announced the selection of two local artists whose work will become an integral part of the new Sunnyside Health and Multi-Service Center.
Creative concepts from Houston-based visual artists Jesse Lott and Irene Antonia Diane Reece have been selected from over 92 artists and artist groups for a commission and will debut with the opening of the new installation.
“Our city’s One-Stop Centers provide social services to communities in Houston and meet the needs and well-being of generations, from our elders to our young mothers and their children,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Having works of art that capture the uniqueness of our local communities and the richness of our histories and cultures will make our multi-service centers an extension of home. “
Renowned Houston artist, longtime Fifth Ward resident and recently named Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist for 2022, Jesse Lott, will create The dream catcher, a sculpture to be installed outside the center. The community will participate in choosing the key elements of this work.
“The voices of local residents will help guide the central imagery of the sculpture, whether it is a sun, family, or some other element that encompasses the spirit of Sunnyside,” Lott said. . “The community will also be committed to looking for authentic materials from the neighborhood to integrate into The dream catcher. “
Houston native contemporary artist and visual activist Reece will produce This pride of Sunnyside, a collection of original photographs to be displayed in the interior public entrance of the center. Reece plans to invite the community to be part of the photographic selection process to ensure that Sunnyside’s historical and current attributes are represented.
“It is important that this body of work presents all aspects of [Sunnyside’s] authenticity, ”Reece said. “I want to include and raise the multigenerational voices of the community by showcasing the families, community leaders and the historic sites that make up Sunnyside.
“We are more than excited to see art commissions developed for the city by such accomplished artists and we see this work as a tremendous opportunity to support intergenerational collaboration and encourage community engagement in the service of art. Said MOCA Director Necole Irvin. “The two artists will bring to our collection works of art imbued with qualities and characteristics unique to Sunnyside, born from their close collaboration with neighborhood residents.”
Managed by the Houston Health Department, the center will provide social services, including educational and technological resources, access to healthy food, services for the elderly, and more.
The Sunnyside Health and Multi-Service Center Art Project was made possible through the City of Houston Civic Art Program, run by MOCA, which provides Houstonians and visitors with exciting opportunities to engage in the art in public spaces. Under contract and in partnership with MOCA, the Houston Arts Alliance manages these city-funded public opportunities to acquire, manage and conserve public works of art in the City of Houston.
MOCA congratulates these visionary artists as they embark on their projects and thanks all applicants for their dedication to the arts in Houston.
About the Town Hall of Cultural Affairs
The City of Houston’s Office of Cultural Affairs guides the city’s cultural investments with policies and initiatives that expand access to arts and culture programming in the community, attract visitors, and leverage private investment. Learn more at www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.
About the Houston Arts Alliance
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a local arts and cultural organization whose primary work is to implement the vision, values, and goals of the City of Houston for its arts grants and civic art investments. HAA also runs special, privately funded projects to meet the needs of the arts community, such as disaster preparedness, state of the art research in Houston, and temporary public art projects that energize neighborhoods. To learn more about HAA, visit www.houstonartsalliance.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonArtsAlliance.