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HIDDEN GEM: Sam Houston State University public art

The art on campus gives passersby – students, teachers, parents – reason to wander and wonder.

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

"The campus itself is beautiful. We have rolling hills, lots of trees," Michael Henderson, chair of the SHSU Department of Art, said.

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

"We have a lot of beautiful art for people to look at," Henderson said. "Forms and colors and shapes and things to make them think about art while they’re walking around, sort of like an outdoor museum."

Some of that 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’re across the street from the performing arts center, the theater, and just near the music building."

Credit: KHOU 11

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That may 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 in the past few years as campus has grown a lot and we’ve been able to purchase things with public art fund money," Henderson said. "We’ve focused on purchasing art by artists who have a Texas connection in most cases."

Dan Phillips is one of those artists. Though Houstonians may know his name from his work at Smither Park, Phillips called Huntsville home. He has a piece on campus: an intricate mosaic installation in the courtyard of the Lowman Student Center.

Credit: KHOU 11

The art gives passersby – students, teachers, parents – reason to wander and wonder.

"The art is like punctuation marks that give you something to think about and look at it," Henderson said.

RELATED: HIDDEN GEM: Public art collection at the University of Houston

It’s a reminder that the art scene here has much more to offer than just the iconic Sam Houston statue we all know.

"There’s a lot of art in the town also and there’s a lot of artists," Henderson said.

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

Brandi Smith on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Do you have a hidden gem we should check out? Let us know by emailing Brandi Smith at bsmith@khou.com!

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