Arts / Museums

The Healing Arts Get a World Worthy Stage at the University of Houston — a Thoughtful Conference, a Special Exhibition and Auction Beckon

Writing the Future of Art and Health Care

BY // 09.28.22

Autumn brings a global dialogue to Houston — and it’s a conversation that couldn’t be more topical. The Future is Unwritten – Healing Arts Houston: Innovations in Arts and Health aligns with Houston’s prime roles in health care and the visual and performing arts. (You can read more about this extraordinary planetary cultural and wellness initiative here.)

The Houston metropolis joins other worldly cities, including London and New York, as an activation point for a wellness conference under the auspices of the United Nations Decade of Action, in collaboration with the World Health Organization Arts and Health Program and CultuRunners.

Talk about a prescient think tank. The Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston takes the lead, enlisting more than 10 key entities including the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Methodist, Hobby School of Public Affairs, Menninger, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership, Open Mind Project and Blaffer Art Museum.

Thought leaders tapped as featured presenters include five Houstonians: Project Row Houses co-founder and University of Houston professor Rick Lowe; interdisciplinary artist Lisa E. Harris; Houston Methodist’s Todd Frazier; Rice University’s Dr. Kirsten Ostherr; and public-health nonprofit founder Dr. Aisha Siddiqui. They were joined by Geneva-based Christopher Bailey of the World Health Organization.

The Blaffer Art Museum also stepped up to curate “Cared For,” featuring a trio of smart voices who comment on contemporary medicine and healing — Texas-connected Shana Hoehn, Virginia L. Montgomery and Sarah Sudhoff. This special exhibition curated by Blaffer director and chief curator Steven Matijcio runs through October 9.

The centerpiece of The Future is Unwritten is the conference unfolding this Thursday, September 29 through Saturday, October 1 at the University of Houston Student Center South (4455 University Drive). Admission to the conference is $25 for students, $50 for non-students and includes breakfast and lunch.

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Up for acquisition at Healing Arts Houston Auction: Robert Hodge’s”I Guess, Next Lifetime,” 2021. (Courtesy the artist and Healing Arts Houston)

One can wrap up the experience by bidding on important artwork and vying for auction lots curated by iconic Houston gallerist Barbara Davis (through Sunday). Proceeds will benefit The Future is Unwritten Artists Response Fund. Art lovers can preview the lots in person at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston this Wednesday, September 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, and learn the Houston artist selected as the inaugural Healings Arts talent.

Organizing committee leads London-based John Blaffer Royall and New York City-headquartered Stephen Stapleton of CultuRunners collaborated during the past 18 months with the University of Houston’s McGovern College of the Arts dean Andrew Davis to bring Healing Arts here. PaperCity is the exclusive Houston media sponsor.

The public is invited to the Healing Arts Houston opening reception at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston this Wednesday, September 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Admission is free. Find more info here.

Get Healing Arts Houston conference tickets and the full program lineup here. You can preview and bid on auction lots here

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