‘Fiesta Jarabe’ installed near Cougar Woods Dining Hall
at the northeast corner of Cullen and Wheeler is the University
of Houston’s newest art addition.
The colorful 10-foot sculpture was made nearly 20 years ago by
the late Luis Jimenez, a former UH faculty member. Named “Fiesta
Jarabe” by Jimenez, but more commonly referred to as “Fiesta
Dancers,” the piece depicts two middle-aged Hispanic dancers
taking part in a hat dance.
The fiberglass sculpture was purchased by the university from a
local estate. It had been on loan to Strake Jesuit High School
in Houston, said Mike Guidry, the curator for the Public Art
Collection for the UH System. After being cleaned up and
restored, the piece was installed in March, not far from Cougar
Woods Dining Hall.
Jimenez, a well-known artist who died in 2006, created works
that sometimes stirred up controversy for the way he depicted
“He was always very sensitive about how his culture was
depicted, but he also wanted to challenge notions about how they
were depicted,” Guidry said. “But at the same time he also
wanted to be very realistic about a certain aspect of Southwest
American culture and he wasn’t interested in making people look
The sculpture was purchased through the Percent for the Art
program, in which 1 percent of the construction budget for every
new building goes toward funding art. The program was
established in 1966. UH now has close to 300 diverse art pieces
on display. System-wide, that number is closer to 450.