art for all
UH draws up big plans for public art program with talented new curator and leader
The University of Houston is taking some big steps to enhance its public art program. The university announced this week that Rachel Mohl, most recently the assistant curator of Latin American and Latino Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is the new executive director and chief curator of art for the University of Houston systems (Public Art UHS).
Beginning this month, Mohl spearhead the development, curation and enhancement of Public Art UHS’ collection and programming across the four UH System universities. She is the second person to hold this position.
“I am delighted to join Public Art UHS as the incoming Executive Director and Chief Curator,” said Mohl in a press release announcing her appointment. “I am deeply impressed with the institution’s growth and development and share its commitment to engaging diverse audiences throughout the campuses and surrounding communities. I look forward to working with the amazing team and leading Public Art UHS into its next chapter.”
Mohl's task is to enhance the public art programming across the UH system's four universities: University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston-Clear Lake, and University of Houston-Victoria. Originally established in 1969, Public Art UHS is the oldest and only arts collecting organization within the UH system.
Among Mohl's initiatives will be growing and enhancing the system's temporary public art program, with an eye to brining thought-provoking works by a diverse roster of regional, national and international artists to the community.
She will also spearhead efforts on signature, site-specific commissions and strategically re-site existing artworks in alignment with UH's centennial master plan. That's in addition to strengthening and expanding educational and outreach programming, promoting art appreciation and cultural enrichment across the UH System universities.
With multiple years of experience in art and art history, Mohl actively publishes research and work on modern and contemporary art.
At the MFAH, she curated several large-scale art exhibitions, site-specific installations and art-related experiences, including Contested Landscapes, Leandro Erlich: Seeing is Not Believing, Carmen Herrera: Structuring Surfaces, and Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America. She played a pivotal role in conceiving and executing the installation and programming of the MFAH’s significant Latin American collection in the newly opened Nancy and Rich Kinder Building.
“We are thrilled to have Rachel Mohl join the University of Houston System,” said Emily Messa, senior associate vice chancellor and associate vice president for administration for the University of Houston System and University of Houston System-wide Public Art committee chair. “Her extensive experience, exceptional curatorial insights and academic dedication will undoubtedly elevate our public art initiatives and contribute significantly to the UH System campus enrichment and to our community’s cultural landscape."
Across its four campuses, the Public Art UHS serves diverse communities throughout greater Houston and Southeast Texas. Its collection is one of the most significant university-based public art collections in the United States.