First of two complementing murals completed in University Center
With varying shades of red, orange, white and yellow, the colorful mural, which he named "Remembering Next Summer," is 77 feet by 10 feet and covers a large portion of a front wall of the first floor of the renovated University Center. It's the latest addition to the University of Houston System's ever-growing art collection, which now numbers close to 500 pieces.
Even with a team of three others pitching in - including artists Susie Rosmarin and Martin Ivy and current UH painting student Qindeel Butt - it took nearly two weeks to complete the geometric abstract painting.
Located just to the right of the new campus bookstore, the mural is meant to capture the eye of everyone who enters the building and can even be seen through the window by motorists and pedestrians from along Entrance 1.
Parazette, known for his precise, geometric paintings, is a professor in the UH School of Art, where he also serves as the assistant director. He's been on the faculty for 17 years, but this is his first piece displayed on the campus. In 2012, he was chosen as the "Texas Artist of the Year" by the Art League Houston. Last year, he and his wife, Sharon Engelstein, were named Houston magazine's "2013 Artists of the Year."
Parazette will be painting another mural for the second and final phase of the UC renovation project later this year. That piece will be identical in its linear composition, but will have a different color palette comprising shades of blue and green. It will be called "Free Dive."
"The idea was that clearly they will echo one another. And if someone happens through their travels through the University Center to pass each of them, you'll have a memory of the other one," Parazette said.
Michael Guidry, curator of the Public Art Collection for the UH System, said Parazette's work is a nice complement to the renovated space.
"The mural is a wonderful addition to the UC and to our art collection," Guidry said. "The entire UH community will be able to enjoy it for years to come."
Measuring longer than a standard-sized city bus, Aaron Parazette's latest painting is hard to miss.