Lamar University Public Art Committee

The Texas State University System adopted a Percent for Art program in 2010, allowing 1% of the budget for any new construction to be used for the purchase of art. When Lamar obtained funding to build the Reaud Administration Building and Honors College, First lady Nancy Evans was asked in the fall of 2014 to form a committee to make art purchases. Mrs. Evans invited Kim Steinhagen and Donna Meeks to join her in this endeavor.

The small committee's first art trip was to Houston in September of 2014 to tour Michael Kennaugh’s studio and see his newest painting, “Me and My Arrow,” at Moody Gallery. The group negotiated a purchase just 12 days later. With the excitement of the first acquisition, the trio ventured further afield and travelled to Rockport to meet with sculptor Jesus Moroles and see his studio.

Evans had met Moroles at one of his shows in Oklahoma and hoped to make one of his sculptures a key purchase for Lamar. LU sculpture professor, Kurt Dyrhaug, knew Moroles personally and was able to arrange the visit. In October of 2014 Evans, Steinhagen, Meeks and Dyrhaug ventured to Rockport. After spending an entire day with Moroles, Nancy Evans negotiated the deal for the sculpture commission that became “Spirit Columns.”

As interest in the committee’s work began to grow, the group realized a need for more structure. They toured the University of Houston’s art collection, and spoke with other universities with public art programs. In 2015 they adopted the title of Public Art Committee and established a core group of five members. They wrote a vision and mission statement, along with a set of Policies and Procedures. An advisory committee was added in 2017 to broaden university and community participation in the artist selection process.

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Public Art Committee is to acquire a collection of art for the buildings, public areas and green spaces of the Lamar University campus to enrich the University’s cultural life, inspire critical dialogue, and illuminate the role of art in the lives of students, faculty, alumni and friends of Lamar University.

  

Vision Statement

Artwork purchased for the Lamar University campus should be made by a committee of individuals who are knowledgeable about art from aesthetic, technical and art historical points of view. Local and regional art collectors, art museum curators and the Lamar University community may be consulted for additional input. The art selected may be abstract or representational, but should be accessible to a large, diverse audience. The artist should have a strong exhibition history of shows with regionally- or nationally-recognized art galleries or art museums, as well as representation in significant art museum collections. Art purchases should have an emphasis on, but not be limited to, work by Texas artists. Artwork purchased for a specific college should relate to that college’s emphasis when possible. Documentation of all art purchases should be shared with the Dishman Art Museum as the central registrar of campus art.

In Memory of Nancy Evans (1949 - 2018)

Committee Members

Public Art Committee

Keith Carter (Co-Chair): Photographer, Endowed Walles Chair of Art at LU

Kim Steinhagen (Co-Chair): LU Development Officer

Katherine Fouts: Community Representative

Dennis Kiel: Director/Curator Dishman Art Museum

Donna Meeks: Chairman of LU Art Department, Professor

Public Art Advisory Committee

Judy Black: Community Representative

Lynn P. Castle: Director, Art Museum of Southeast Texas

J. Rob Clark: Principle Architect, Architectural Alliance

Bianca Easterly: LU Assistant Professor of Political Science

Rotating Student Representative

For more information about the Lamar Public Art Collection, please contact: kim.steinhagen@lamar.edu