Thursday, August 30, 2007


That cake looks good...

As Diverseworks watches themselves grow up into venerable institution land, enjoy this history of the space by Kendall Curlee. Former director Michael Peranteau, who helmed the organization from 1984 until 1995 was integral in pulling Diverseworks up by its bootstraps to become a nationally recognized space, fighting back floods and fires and surviving through two moves to bring the space to its current location on the Docks where it has gathered a community including Vine Street Studios, O'Kane Gallery, and Artcrawl among others.

At the head of a protest to save the University of Houston Sculpture Department back in 1992, check out Peranreau and artist Dean Ruck in this early 90s article from the Daily Cougar:

by Annette Baird (Daily Cougar Staff)

"Don't GAG the Arts" is the message the Houston arts community wants to convey to the administration of UH. About 40 people, including current students, former students and concerned people, met Tuesday evening at DiverseWorks to discuss ways in which they could defend the programs and make their protests seen and heard.

Michael Peranteau, co-director of DiverseWorks and organizer of the protest, said they wanted to be positive and supportive. "This is a community response separate from the UH Art Department, but with members from the department in it," said Anne Katrosh, a prospective MFA student in sculpture. If UH closes the 3-D programs as is proposed, the impact will still be felt 10 years from now, said Dean Ruck, an affiliate artist and art instructor at UH.
"UH fosters a good arts community by bringing in new people. We need to keep watering the roots," Ruck said. GAG is a political action group that was formed during the Republican National Convention in Houston last summer. Their slogan is "Don't GAG the Arts".

"We come out of the woodwork when something needs to be done in the arts community," he said. A parade of art cars decorated with everything from fruit to books will drive from the Lawndale Arts Center to UH at noon, Aug. 5. Speakers will be at UH to defend the programs and protest the cuts. Peranteau said one of the reasons for starting the protest campaign was because he does not want to live in the fourth largest city in America with only one small accredited sculpture program left (at Rice University). "People coming out of high school are going to leave Houston if there is no comprehensive art program," Peranteau added.
A letter writing campaign has already been started by David Jacobs, dean of the Art Department, Peranteau said. Katrosh said she has written a letter to Alexander Schilt, chancellor of the UH system. "There is an increasing tendency for students to have a broader background. A university serves not just technological needs, but mankind at large."