Karin Broker, Delita Martin, and Charisse Pearlina Weston

New installations join GONZO247's community mural on Rice's campus

August 23, 2021 - May 03, 2022
Provisional Campus Facilities on Loop Road across from Herring Hall
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New, large-scale, temporary public works by Houston artists Karin Broker, Delita Martin, and Charisse Pearlina Weston can be found on the south side of campus, across from Herring Hall on Loop Road. For the second round of commissions for the Provisional Campus Facilities (PCFs), each artist was invited to respond to the current moment and the campus environment with interventions intended to foster conversation and community in the academic year ahead. On display through May 3, 2022, these remarkable works join the  2020 community mural by renowned street artist GONZO247.

Access to the site is free and open to the public.

About the Installations and the Artists

Karin Broker, Domestic Melancholia, 2021
Original drawing on Formica with Conte, 7’ x 9'
Commission, the Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University

A master printmaker and sculptor who taught visual art at Rice for more than four decades, Karin Broker is known for her large-scale Conte Crayon drawings on Formica panels. This presentation of Domestic Melancholia is a digitally enlarged vinyl reproduction of a drawing, enhanced by an electronically rendered table and chairs. Mounted on the north face of the PCF, this layered image represents a personal conversation between the artist and Melancholia, a personification of one of the four historic temperaments, evoking themes important to Broker’s practice, including separation from family, and our relationship to nature and to domestic space.

Karin Broker (b. 1950, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) received a BFA from the University of Iowa in 1972 and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin in 1980. Recently named a lifetime Honorary Member of Southern Graphics Council International, Broker has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was named Art League of Houston’s Texas Artist of the Year (1994). She has had solo exhibitions in Houston, Dallas, Denver, and Portland, as well as group exhibitions abroad in South Korea, Germany, Russia, and Iceland, among others. Collections holding her work include the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress, among others. Broker recently retired after a distinguished 41-year career as professor of printmaking and drawing in the visual art department at Rice University

This installation is made possible by Rice University’s Arts Initiative Fund and the Moody Center for the Arts.

Delita Martin, The Gathering, 2021
Original work: mixed media on paper: acrylic, charcoal, decorative papers, hand stitching, and relief printing
Commission, the Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University

As we adjust to a world that is being permanently altered by a global pandemic, visual artist Delita Martin created her first-ever public artwork, a two-part installation addressing the timely themes of community and self-care. The first part of the installation, an image digitally reproduced from an original work on paper and applied to the surface of the tent, prominently features the coneflower, a symbol of strength and healing in Native American and African-American cultures. The second part of the installation, a platform adjacent to the tent, will be hand-painted by the artist, working together with Rice students, during the first weeks of the fall term. This feature extends the themes of the mural into three dimensions. Complemented by comfortable seating, the area is designed to invite students and visitors to safely congregate outdoors and to spend time in nature.

Delita Martin (b. 1972, Conroe, TX) is an artist and activist based in Huffman, TX, just outside of Houston. Martin received a BFA in drawing from Texas Southern University and an MFA in printmaking from Purdue University, and previously taught drawing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 2020, she launched the Black Box Press Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting artists whose work inspires activism and social change. Martin’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in numerous private and public collections.

This installation is made possible by Rice University’s Arts Initiative Fund and the Moody Center for the Arts.

Charisse Pearlina Weston, Plunge, Cry, 2021
Black-and-white video, with sound, 10 min., 7 sec.
On view from sunset to sunrise
Commission, the Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University

Informed by her experience growing up in Hiram Clarke, a predominantly African American, working-class neighborhood in southwest Houston, Charisse Pearlina Weston (b. 1988, Houston) produces videos, sculptures, installations, photography, and writing that explore what she describes as the “delicate intimacies and reticent poetics underlying Black life.”

Plunge, Cry includes close-up footage of the artist’s feet on a wooden floor from Weston’s 2015 video Plunging into Time. These clips are juxtaposed and blurred with abstracted imagery of recent glass installations made by the artist. Glass, often used by Weston to create layered or curvilinear sculptural compositions, conceptually demarcates the manifest or indiscernible boundaries of Black intimacies in response to —and in spite of— ongoing systemic violence. The inherent transparency of the glass is altered through an infrared filter, creating overlapping, opaque, hard-edged shapes that float in space—a metaphor for Houston’s perpetually changing skyline. The video is accompanied by field recordings and manipulated audio from a 2016 protest in Orlando, Florida in response to the murder of Philando Castile, and the 1960 song “Cry, Cry, Cry” by Bobby “Blue” Bland, an artist recorded by the iconic Duke-Peacock Records, formerly located in Houston’s Fifth Ward. 

Projected onto the temporary structures built on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic, Plunge, Cry serves as a “monument to Blackness and Black people that also acknowledges the risk and danger we face.”

Charisse Pearlina Weston (b. 1988, Houston) is a conceptual artist and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She has had solo exhibitions at Project Row Houses, Houston; Abrons Art Center, New York; and Recess, New York. She has received awards from the Artadia Fund for the Arts, Dallas Museum of Art’s Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund, Puffin Foundation, and Graham Foundation, among others. In 2019 she was a Dedalus Foundation Fellow in Painting and Sculpture. Weston holds an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, and in 2019 participated in the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She is a current Artist Fellow at the Museum of Art and Design, New York.

Charisse Pearlina Weston: Plunge, Cry is curated by Ylinka Barotto, Associate Curator, Moody Center for the Arts.

This installation is made possible by the Leslie and Brad Bucher Artist Residency Endowment, in support of artists who create site-specific works for Rice University.

GONZO247, Rice Community Mural, 2020
Acrylic paint
Commission, the Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University 

On the occasion of Owl Together 2020, the first combined celebration of Homecoming & Reunion and Families Weekend, Rice invited alumni, students, families, and friends to collaborate with Houston street artist GONZO247 to create and install an outdoor mural adjacent to the temporary structures. The Rice community contributed ideas for the imagery of the mural via @RiceAlumni social channels then helped the artist paint the 40-foot mural while following COVID-19 safety protocols. You can see this vibrant collaborative work, which demonstrates the enduring creative spirit at Rice, throughout the 21-22 school year. 

Artist GONZO247, born Mario E. Figueroa, Jr. in 1973 in Houston, is a self-taught mural artist and founder of Aerosol Warfare Studios, the HUE (Houston Urban Experience) Mural Festival, and the Graffiti and Street Art Museum of Texas. Inspired by Hip Hop culture and his local community, Houston’s East End, he has participated in more than 300 exhibitions and projects worldwide, including major murals for Houston’s NRG Stadium, George R. Brown Convention Center, and Saint Arnold’s Brewery. This is his first mural for Rice University.

This project is made possible by Rice University’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations division.