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Mark Cervenka

Mark Cervenka

Mark Cervenka

Professor of ArtArts and Communication


Professor Mark Cervenka has held a joint teaching and staff position since coming to The University of Houston-Downtown in 2000. His training includes a B.A. in English in 1983 and B.F.A. in Art in 1985 both from the University of Texas at Austin. He holds an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, received in 1987. Cervenka's early art focused on sculpture and installation with works included in the 1989 exhibition Dialogue Prague/Los Angeles in Prague, Czechoslovakia, the first American work to be shown in the then Soviet bloc country since the 1960s. His work experience includes seven years managing the gallery at First Street Gallery Art Center in Claremont, California, a grand experience exhibiting the art of developmentally disabled artists. His work at the O'Kane Gallery as Director has been his focus for the past nine years. Curated exhibitions include American Civil War Field Notes: Sketches From Cairo to Columbia, 2008, Audrey Buller:A Magic Realist in Retrospect, 2007, Drawing the Line: The Emergence of Editorial Cartoons by African American Artists in the Indianapolis Freeman and The Richmond Planet, 2005. In addition to bringing local and national contemporary art to the gallery, Cervenka has worked with other curators to bring exhibitions including Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge, Paul Cadmus: Human in Form, Frank Reaugh: The Far Distance, and an exhibit of the drawings of outsider artist Bill Traylor. Cervenka's own art since the early 1990s has focused on painting in traditional figural styles. He regularly teaches painting and figure drawing at UHD.

Degrees Earned

Master's degree: Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Art (Claremont Graduate School, 1987)

Courses Taught

ART 1310: Intro. to Visual Arts
HUM 4380: Field Experience in Humanities

Experience Qualifications

Mark Cervenka is Associate Professor of Art at UHD. He has an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University, where his Master’s thesis explored social responsibility and the navigation of individuals within a complex social structure through installation and multi-media approaches. In 1989, Cervenka was invited to exhibit in Dialog Prague/Los Angeles, the first American work in Czechoslovakia in two decades. Since 2012 he has exhibited paintings in five exhibitions in Louisiana, Texas, and California. Cervenka has 22 years of experience curating including loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Library of Congress. As director of the O'Kane Gallery, he has published seven articles and received 12 grants for exhibition programming. In 2010, Cervenka was invited to curate the kick-off exhibit for the United Nations Safe Planet Campaign in New York City. At UHD since 2000, Cervenka has predominantly taught Figure Drawing and Introduction to Visual Art. Mark Cervenka directs student interns enrolled in HUM 4380 Field Experience in his capacity as Director of the O'Kane Gallery.