Get to know our fellows and students: Qindeel Butt


Qindeel Butt
2017-18 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Graduate Student Scholarship Recipient
School of Art

Qindeel is a graduate student pursuing an MFA in Painting at the University of Houston School of Art. Many of her works are composed through photographic means and then painted in oils from these sources. Her work is both biographical and universal as she explores human emotions and the peculiarities that entail a modern human existence. Recently, her painting titled Under Flowers was shown at Fort Works Art as part of their 40 Under 40 exhibition showcasing young, emerging talent. Qindeel also received her BFA in Painting from the University of Houston.

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You Can’t Stop Renu Khator

The chancellor and president of the University of Houston has had a very good year.

Read the interview in Texas Monthly this month by Jake Silverstein.

Houston Press Names Mitchell Center Among 15 Best Pieces of the 2012 Texas Contemporary Art Fair

Engaging local musicians and poets to perform and read to native plants, the immersive Mitchell Center booth installation at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair this past weekend played with the framework that positions both audience and performer in the context of contemporary art.

Houston Press ranked the Mitchell Center among the 15 best pieces of the Fair, see the full list here.

“Booth: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Performing Arts at University of Houston 
While this “exhibit” was not technically one of the pieces on display at the Fair, it could and should have been included. A man sat in a chair, surrounded by green foliage — most likely an homage to The Woodlands, the home of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion — and played off-tune notes, some long, and some short. All the while, he seemed to be quite enjoying himself. The message most likely being pushed out, through the scene, as a whole? “Check out the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Performing Arts Center at University of Houston”. Bravo, marketing whiz. Way to get the point across via art.”

RESONATE in 2012

This year, we’re excited to announce several new surprises. A new time of year, a new location, and new ideas to resonate with the world. We’ll explore the relationships between simplicity and complexity; we’ll search within and imagine without; and we’ll once again examine the full spectrum of diverse voices that resonate around us.

Resonance, at its fullest, can dramatically change reality. Fine glass sings at its resonant frequency and if the oscillations breach a threshold, resonance will shatter the vessel. This interplay between what makes us resonate and how we react, is a fascinating metaphor for the exchange of ideas especially in the multi cultural, diverse and exciting environment of our community – with so many different voices, all resonating through their cultural frequencies.

The dichotomies we will be exploring are a crucial part of the language of resonance. Every wave has two peaks which simultaneously oppose and define each other. The dynamic relationship between those two extremes and their merger and compromise, leads to movement, progress and change. The creative friction between opposites, even when they seem mutually exclusive, creates the energy required to move the system forward.

East and West, Foreground and Background, Complexity and Simplicity, Inward and Outward. All of these dualities are the essence of one underlying mechanism. This year, we have summed it up in the metaphor of Resonance.

Please help us determine how we can each contribute to the beautiful melody of our city. How can we resonate within ourselves, so that what we share resonates within others, and as one voice? Once again this year, our community will move forward towards progress and positive change. Will you join us?

Applications close Wednesday, October 10th.  Click here to apply to attend TEDx Houston on November 3rd.

Celebrating the Lawndale Art Center Artist Studio Program

Mitchell Center Fall Season 2012 on Vimeo.

Media Archeology Festival: Real Time 2012 from Aurora Picture Show on Vimeo.

The biannual Artadia Awards gives visual artists cash rewards as well as the opportunity to work side by side with renowned curators.  Houston awardees will travel to New York for a three-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn. In adddition, the Exhibitions Exchange program allows awardees to hold exhibitions in other states currently receiving Artadia awards. Participating cities include San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston and Houston.

The winners of the Artadia Award are split into two categories; two artists will receive $15,000 and five artists receive $3,000.  This year’s winners will exhibit at Texas Contemporary Art Fair.

The Artadia Award application deadline this year:  September 24th.

Click here for the online application or visit

DiverseWorks ArtSpace Moving to Midtown

The 30-year old alternative arts organization announced Wednesday it is relocating to 4102 Fannin Street (at Cleburne), vacating the warehouse north of downtown that it has occupied for 20 years.

The move has been discussed for years but change accelerated across all aspects of the DiverseWorks organization this year with the arrival of director Elizabeth Dunbar. “We knew we needed to shake things up,” she said.

The new site, which housed Cleburne’s Cafeteria from 1941 to 1969 and more recently was used as a small manufacturing facility, is 5,500 square feet — is about half the size of DiverseWorks’ current location at 1117 East Freeway.

The new location opens to the public September 7.

Read the full press release here.

Aurora Picture Show Seeks New Executive Director

After six fantastic years at Aurora Picture Show, Delicia Harvey will be leaving Aurora Picture Show to join Carrithers Studio, a film and video production business.

During her tenure, the organization has grown in budget and staff size, expanded collaborations, improved and expanded educational programming which now serves over 1500 Houston youth a year with mobile media workshops and four weeks of summer camps, and undergone an intense strategic planning process.

We wish Delicia all the best, and congratulate her on this next adventure!

Read the full job description here.

A Place Where Art Happens: BAM’s New Cultural District

The neighborhood surrounding the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) buzzed last Tuesday as moderate-sized crowds mingled on Fulton Street in front of three newly unveiled public art installations. It was precisely the intended effect of BAMart:Public, an initiative to enliven underutilized public spaces with visual art (a fourth project is on view inside BAM’s Peter J. Sharp building). David Harper, the program’s curator, walked website Art Fag City’s Alana Chloe Esposito through the installations and explained the project’s genesis along the way. Read more about it here.



Thursday, June 28, 2012 | 7:30PM

Join CAMH for a free, live audio-visual performance by video design team Be Johnny that reworks and combines film material from the early history of cinema. Cinematic depictions of buildings, streets, and city life from early movie “realities” and “city symphony” films will be transformed into a dreamlike meditation on our designed environments. Be Johnny (Bree Edwards and Johnny DeKam) has created innovative moving images for music concerts, theater presentations, dance performances, and live cinema projects around the globe. This program is held in conjunction with Perspectives 178: CINEPLEX.

*Please note that seating is limited so early arrival is recommended (no late seating). Refreshments will be available inside the gallery.

Glam L.A. architects tapped for Menil Drawing Institute

Johnston Marklee, a young Los Angeles firm led by husband-and-wife team Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, has been chosen to design the new Menil Drawing Institute and Study Center for the Menil Collection campus. Read the full article by Lisa Gray posted by the Houston Chronicle on

The Drawing Institute will follow the impressive lineage of architects and buildings that have helped develop the Menil Collection into one of the worlds preeminent and visionary private art institutions over the last 25 years.

After an international search followed by presentations in Houston in May, JML was selected as the architect from the four finalists of SANAA of Japan, Tatiana Bilbao of Mexico, and David Chipperfield from England.

The MDI will be the first new art building to be constructed at the campus the since the Cy Twombly Pavilion in 1996 and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel in 1997, and will be the first individual building of it\’s kind devoted specifically to the study, conservation, and exhibition of drawings as art.


Meet the Minds of Metalab

Seven years ago, former UH Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture Dean Joe Mashburn introduced Joe Meppelink and Andrew Vrana, and it wasn’t long before their shared interests in civic art, product design and architecture inspired the creation of their company, Metalab.

Read about their innovative projects designed to enhance urban landscapes aesthetically and environmentally in the Houston Chronicle here.

Congratulations Sima!

WGSS Postdoc Heads to Wellesley

These past two years we’ve been happy to have among us the most recent in a long line of great postdoctoral fellows, Sima Shakhsari. The postdocs, supported by the University of Houston Friends of Women’s Studies and a dynamic set of individual donors dedicated to expanding the work of feminist scholars to grow new visions for a better world, bring new insight and energy to the WGSS Program and the Houston community.

Sima arrived in Fall 2010 with a new PhD in Anthropology from Stanford. Her dissertation, on gender and cybergovernmentality in the Iranian blogosphere, is the source of her recent featured article in Feminist Review and on its way to becoming a book. Her next project explores the dynamics of the policing and “rightful killing” of transgender subjects in the “war on terror.” While in Houston, Sima has taught courses on Women in the Muslim and Arab Worlds and Transgender Migration, along with two sections of our Intro to Women’s Studies course. She’s been an invited speaker at conferences around the country, in Canada and in the UK. Along with her scholarship and teaching, Sima played key roles in our 2010-2012 speakers series and in organizing our Spring 2011 Feminist Pedagogy symposium. She’s been a terrific colleague and we know she’ll do great things in her new position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.