HCC Fine Arts professor displays legacy through art
Jul 11, 2016
Visitors at the Houston Community College (HCC) West Loop Campus Art Gallery recently took a walk down memory lane to see nearly two decades of artwork by HCC Fine Arts professor Michael Golden. Golden is retiring from HCC after 25 years.
The exhibition included art pieces from his printmaking classes from 1987 to 2005 and a few pieces that he created as an undergraduate student at the University of Texas – Austin. Golden has fond memories of some of his students and the powerful impact art has on their lives.
“There was a student in a life drawing class of mine years ago. She was a veteran,” Golden said. “This student had never drawn before and took the class for fun. She never drew heads or hands or feet on the bodies. One day during a critique, she got very quiet and shared that in Afghanistan in the army, she had seen so many dead bodies missing heads, hands, and feet that she couldn't draw them. Everyone in the class cried except her. The next time she came to class she drew a head connected to a body. Art had healed something inside her and her drawings had an emotional impact on everyone in that room.”
The work of Golden and his students is seen all over Houston, including a ribbon cutting event that tied several generations of mentor’s together in one collection.
“Methodist Hospital opened a new Patient Care Building on Fannin and they bought one of my paintings for the building,” he said. “I fell in love with the painting near my piece of art work. I read the tag to see who painted the work and it turned out to be one of my former [HCC] painting students from 15 years earlier. He had gone on to become well known in the Houston Arts scene. Around the corner, there hung a painting by a woman named Winifred Godfrey, from Chicago, with whom I had met as a young teenager and who inspired me to paint.”
As Golden moves forward into retirement, he reflects on his time at HCC and notes that the studio art classes at HCC are some of the best facilities.Several faculty members are nationally known practicing artists and students get to participate in exhibitions. This gives them a start on their portfolio to land a job.