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The art on campus gives passers-by – students, teachers, parents – reasons to stroll and marvel.

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – You can find art just about anywhere in the Houston area, including university and college campuses. Sam Houston State University in Huntsville is no exception.

“The campus itself is beautiful. We have hills, lots of trees,” said Michael Henderson, chair of the SHSU art department.

Mixed with the green of nature and the brick of the buildings, there are pops of color.

“We have a lot of great artwork to look at,” Henderson said. “Shapes and colors and shapes and things to get them thinking about art as they walk around, kind of like an outdoor museum.”

Some of this art surrounds the new Dana G. Hoyt Fine Arts Building, which includes the Ruth Felder and Robert Bush Smither Gallery.

“This area of ​​campus is now sort of the arts quadrant,” Henderson said. “We are across from the performing arts center, theater and right next to the music building.”

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It might be the arts quadrant, but you can find huge sculptures and installations all over campus.

“We have a lot of art that’s been acquired over the last few years because the campus has grown a lot and we’ve been able to buy things with the money from the public art fund,” Henderson said. . “We have focused on buying artwork from artists who have a connection to Texas in most cases.”

Dan Phillips is one such artist. Although Houstonians may know his name from his work at Smither Park, Phillips calls Huntsville home. He has one piece on campus: an intricate mosaic installation in the courtyard of the Lowman Student Center.

Art gives passers-by – students, teachers, parents – reasons to wander and marvel.

“Art is like punctuation marks that give you something to think about and look at,” Henderson said.

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It reminds us that the art scene here has so much more to offer than the iconic Sam Houston statue we all know.

“There’s also a lot of art in the city and there are a lot of artists,” Henderson said.

Learn more about public art at Sam Houston State University by clicking here.

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