The Creative Process—the role of art in education

WHEN:  September 19, 2014
WHERE:  Junior League of  Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane, Houston 77027

HONORARY CHAIRS:  Lester Marks & Dr. Penelope Gonzalez

SPEAKERS:  Dr. John Lienhard, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and history at the University of Houston and author of “Engines of our Ingenuity,” and Dr. Marcia Brennan, art history professor at Rice University, whose work connects biomedical/biosciences and spirituality, will be engaged in a conversation during the luncheon event moderated by Valerie Cassell, Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston Curator.  Moderated by Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston

HONOREES:  HJ Bott, artist, instructor, inventor
Ann Johnson, professor at Prairie View A&M University, instructor, printmaker with PrintHouston
Joseph Dixon, artist/instructor associated with Young Audiences of Houston and dedicated to working with children with autism and other special needs
Tim Walker, owner of the Neon Gallery
Dr. Reagan Flowers, STEM educator

CHAIRS:  Dr. Mary Holt Ashley and Gayle DeGeurin
EMCEE:  Courtney Gilmore, KPRC-TV reporter
TIME:  11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
TICKETS:  Individual, $75
BENEFITS:  The community outreach programs of  The Collective


HJ “Harvey” Bott,
 represented by Anya Tish Gallery, is a strong advocate of cross disciplinary uses of art, geometry, math and science in education. Beginning at the young age of nine, he spent five summers attending adult life-drawing classes in his native state of Colorado at Greeley State College. At 15 he developed a scale model business working with architectural firms.Thereafter he began a “tri-coastal and European education and exhibition adventure” which included galleries, art centers and museums in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Denver, Köln, Dusseldorf and Mexico City.Bott was the first American sculptor to win the “Premier les plus Sculpture,” Prix de Paris in 1965. He was the only American to win the “Plastik Reisestipedium/Europa,” “Köln Kunstuerein, Plastik Kunste,” 1956.His work includes more than 80 solo exhibitions, 16 solo ROBOTT™ performances, 24 in-situ installations (including 12 deep space/luminescent drawings) and more than 700 group survey exhibitions. More than 70 public (museum, city & university) and 130 corporate collections include the work. He has completed 20 government and more than 160 private and corporate commissions.

The art world has benefited from his invention of Tobinite™, a non-toxic plastic that moulds like clay, forty viscosity/texture formulas.

He is currently concentrating on painting and reliefs investigating the 24 basic marks and scribbles found in all cultures, thereby addressing his on-going concerns with the geometric variables of Phenomena-of-a-Line tiling processes discovered March 7, 1972, with the Displacement-of-Volume (DoV)™ System Concepts used since then in all his work.

Ann ‘Sole Sister’ Johnson is an artist who paints portraits with her feet. Born in London, England, and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Ann received a BS in home economics from Prairie View A&M University in Texas where she now teaches. She has also earned an MA in Humanities from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, as well as an MFA from The Academy of Art University, in San Francisco.In 2010 she received the Teaching Excellence Award at Prairie View A&M and was awarded Art teacher of the year in the School of Architecture. In 2011 she received the distinguished Presidents Faculty of the Year award.Primarily a mixed media artist, Johnson’s passion for exploring issues, particularly in the black community, has led her to create series’ of works that are evocative and engaging including “The Hoop Dreamin Collection,” a series of decorative basketball goals that explores the social issue of a Hoop Dream, and “It Is The Not Knowing That Burns My Soul,” an investigation of exploratory mixed media works that examine the “Black Indian. The latter was included in an exhibition and catalog for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian titled “Indivisible.”She was invited to teach at Tougaloo Art Colony in Jackson, Miss., in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Ann’s work has been exhibited nationally in solo, group and juried exhibitions. She was a prize winner in Houston’s “The Big Show” in 2004, and was the mixed media winner in the “Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition” in 2007. She has exhibited at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and The Museum of Printing History in Houston, African American Museum of Life and Culture in Dallas, The National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture in Montgomery, Ala., The Apex Museum in Atlanta, Ga., and the California African American Art Museum in Los Angeles.

She has published several articles for School Arts magazine (Davis), and has written and designed a number of books: “I’ll Fly Away” (Solefolio Press), B?s(Solefolio Press), “It is the not knowing that burns my soul” (blurb), “Paper & Ink” (blurb), “Solefolio” (blurb), “Roux” (Solefolio Press) “Craft$ For The No Budget Art Teacher” (Solefolio Press), “5 Views From The Hill” (Solefolio Press/blurb) and “STIR” (Solefolio Press). Ann ‘Sole Sister’ Johnson aspires to leave a legacy of challenging and thought provoking work that will entice the viewer and inspire younger artists.

Joseph Dixon is an arts instructor for Avondale House where he manages the Creative Hands, a fine arts program that provides interventional music activities and visual art projects designed for students with autism and disabilities. The art activities allow kids with autism to exercise creativity and social skills, develop their fine and gross motor development and improve their communication and life skills.He also serves as a teaching artist with Young Audiences of Houston offering to schools his Music 4 Everyone program, an interventional music curriculum designed to support attention, motor and verbal development for special education students through unique music activities. He also provides professional development training for the classroom teachers and their assistants.Since Dixon and roster artist and music therapist Catherine Taylor designed and implemented the customized program Music 4 Everyone in 2008 start in 2008, it has been implemented at six local schools in Houston and Pasadena, provided more than 920 service sessions and has worked directly with an estimated 200 students and more than135 teachers, teaching aids, school administrators and parents. The program also provides ongoing professional development trainings to classroom teachers and families. During the 2012-13 school year YAH collaborated with the Methodist Hospital Center for Performing Arts Medicine and the National Center for Human Performance to complete a six-month evaluation to collect data that can be compared to existing data on other school interventions that have measured increased “Active Engagement” as a measure of the program’s success. A final publication is pending.As program Manager for Young Audiences of Houston’s Community Services from 2008-12, he saw that art programming was provided for three unique populations—at- risk youth in detention and residential treatment facilities, children with disabilities and youth cancer patients at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.

Dixon’s body of work includes countless numbers of workshops, exhibitions, and performances. He has played percussions with groups such as Kuumba House Dance Theater, MEDIA, Second Generation Dance Company, the South African formed group SECHABA that performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and several seasons in the Ensemble Theater’s production of Black Nativity. As a visual artist, he has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He has served on the Artist Advisory Board for DiverseWorks and grant review committees for the Houston Arts Alliance, United Way and the Texas Commission on the Arts-Arts Respond Grant review committee for since 2010.

Dixon has conducted thousands of workshops, residencies and performances in the Houston, Dallas, Beaumont and San Antonio areas through the collaborative partnerships with schools and organizations, such as Young Audiences of Houston, Port Arthur Library, Kujawa Elementary and Avondale House.

Dr. Reagan Flowers is a leading authority on STEM education. Her efforts recognize that economic development in STEM is the key to future innovations, and her approach provides solutions aimed at securing a bright future for underserved, un-empowered and underrepresented children in communities across the United States. Dr. Flowers’ work has been widely acknowledged in education. She was recognized by a global committee of scholars as a WISE-Qatar finalist in 2011 and was recently named one of the nation’s top 100 Women Leaders in STEM by STEMConnector. She holds a Ph.D. from the Union Institute & University, a Masters in Arts from Prairie View A & M University of Texas, and a Bachelor of Science from Texas Southern University.In 2002, Dr. Flowers created CSTEM (Communication-Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) Teacher & Student Support Services, Inc, the first integrated Pre K through twelfth grade STEM enrichment program in the nation. Her years of practice as an educator—classroom science teacher, guidance counselor, dean of students and school improvement facilitator—coupled with her personal experiences as an academically challenged adolescent, led to the development of a theory she put into action through her doctoral research.The distinguishing factors of Dr. Flowers’ research model include: (1) integration of communication (literacy) in STEM as a factor to ensuring student success in math and science; (2) curriculum influenced by STEM industry professionals; (3) unique framework of creating collaborative P-12 pipelines; (4) built-in supports with STEM teacher training and supplemental workshops; (5) innovative STEM instructional tools and resources provided to schools, and (6) competitive environments that support high performance and accountability for both teachers and students. Utilizing this model, Dr. Flowers has led the organization through unprecedented expansion of services and revenue growth. Since founding C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services in 2002, the organization has grown from 20 students working out of a janitor’s closet to impacting nearly 60,000 students and generating nearly $5 million for its programs.Dr. Flowers’ mantra is, “The world is my Platform….Empowering Teachers and Students through STEM is my Mission.”

Tim Walker, a native Texas, is a self-taught neon artist. Lights, technology, design and electricity fascinated the young Walker, and in his late teens he designed light boxes for family members as gifts. This sparked his interest in neon. He first took his designs to neon plants, where glassblowers fabricated the neon for him. During this time, Walker watched glassblowers and read all that he could about neon and neon fabrication. He purchased a used neon plant from a friend. With ”Neon Techniques and Handling” in hand, he taught himself how to blow glass and fabricate neon. On his 21st birthday, March 17, 1983, Walker opened The Neon Gallery in Houston. From 1984 to 1987 he also owned and operated Texas Neon Workshop in Houston’s warehouse district where he taught students the art of neon fabrication.Walker uses rare gases and imported glasses to achieve unique effects in his sculpture, which have been featured in music videos, magazines, television programs and represented in numerous private collections around the world. One of his favorite commissions was the neon oil refinery in the Houston Museum of Natural Science.