Art patrons in Houston and beyond are well aware of the Blaffer Art Museum’s reputation for spotlighting new and innovative works, and for its community outreach initiatives. Thanks to the efforts of a University student group, the acclaimed museum is gaining even more visibility.
The Blaffer Student Association (BSA) was founded in 2005 with the goal of promoting the museum and helping inspire creativity on campus. On April 10, the group hosts its signature event, the Red Block Bash. The free afternoon festival runs from 4 – 7 p.m. in the courtyard outside of the museum and UH’s Fine Arts Building (Entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard).
Red Block Bash activities include:
- Paint Pong (Think beer pong, but with colored water and with the goal of creating art.)
- Mural wall drawing
- Speed drawing contest
- Blaffer Art Museum tours
- Food from Pinky’s Pizza
- Music (featuring a DJ and band Grey Matters)
This spring’s Bash marks the 18th festival hosted by the BSA. Each fall and spring, the association hosts this event that helps connect the museum to the campus community.
“Some students are either new to campus or are busy studying, so they don’t make it to the museum,” said BSA President Javier Pulido, senior art major. “This event helps bring students to the Blaffer and can expand their views on art.”
In addition to hosting the bi-annual Bash, the BSA also engages with students though Arts in Residency. Through this program, BSA members visit UH’s residence halls to host art-making activities and discuss goings on at the Blaffer.
Katherine Veneman, Blaffer Art Museum’s Curator of Education, is the BSA’s staff adviser and has overseen the group since its inception. She said the group offers students from all majors an opportunity to apply their talents to Blaffer events.
“Students are an important part of our community, and we’d like to get them more involved with the museum,” she said. “The Blaffer Student Association also provides students with an opportunity to plan events and activities aimed at their peers. So, this is really a group that is run by students for the students.”
For more details on the Blaffer Student Association, visit the group’s website.
Blaffer Art Museum opened to the public in 1973. Named for Houston arts patron and collector, Sarah Campbell Blaffer, the museum quickly earned fame as a space for innovative, cutting-edge exhibitions. In addition to hosting artists’ works, the museum commissions work and organizes exhibitions that tour nationally. In 2012, the museum underwent an expansion that included the addition of a lounge, new second level spaces (studio, media gallery), front entrance, new signage and redesigned staircase. To learn about Blaffer Art Museum, visit its website.