The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston unveils Glassell School of Art and BBVA Compass Roof Garden
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston today unveiled the newest addition to its Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus, the new Glassell School of Art and BBVA Compass Roof Garden and The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza.
President and CEO of BBVA Compass Onur Genç was on hand to help MFAH Director Gary Tinterow and MFAH Chair Richard D. Kinder announce the completion of the project.
“The vision that we articulated in 2015 at this building’s groundbreaking, for an initiative that would support the arts and education in this city, has come to fruition in the most amazing way, with a remarkable structure that befits that vision and a growing Houston,” said Onur Genç president and CEO of BBVA Compass. “This addition to the MFAH campus allows people of all ages to access and create art in new ways. BBVA Compass is proud to have been a part of creating that opportunity, and helping advance this city in such a meaningful—and lasting—way.”
Genç: This addition to the MFAH campus allows people of all ages to access and create art in new ways.
The BBVA Compass Garden is named in honor of the bank, which was the leading corporate donor of the campaign. According to the MFAH, the completion of The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza and the Glassell School of Art helps create a new public greenspace for Houston, with the 14-acre redevelopment as the largest cultural project under construction in North America. The L-shaped Glassell School of Art includes a sloping roofline that can be walked up to the BBVA Compass Roof Garden at the top of the building. It also includes an amphitheater at the base.
Tinterow said, “As we reveal not only a glorious new building for the Glassell School, but also a public plaza, large fountain, amphitheater, and roof garden, I think Houstonians will quickly grasp that our project intends to create a new destination for the city.”
The Glassell School of Art – the nation’s only museum-affiliated art school serving pre-K through postgraduate students – is a 93,000-square-foot school with dozens of natural light studios, public gallery spaces, a central forum, an auditorium and coffee bar. The school will be home to thousands of students each year and spaces like the coffee bar are meant to bring the public inside the building.
Genç: We believe it’s incumbent upon all of us to help people find ways to connect, independent of political or social lines, so that we keep our cities – in this case Houston – moving forward. Art, and the appreciation for it, does that.
“Being part of this campaign was important to BBVA Compass for many reasons,” Genç said. “Chief among them was our belief that art nurtures connections. We believe it’s incumbent upon all of us to help people find ways to connect, independent of political or social lines, so that we keep our cities – in this case Houston – moving forward. Art, and the appreciation for it, does that.”
When complete the Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus will include two additional structures besides the Glassell School of Art: the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building and the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center for Conservation.
BBVA Compass is a leading corporate donor to the MFAH, with its $8 million gift for this campaign representing the bank’s largest donation ever to any single organization. The bank had previously brought a one-of-a-kind Prado exhibit to Houston in 2013, with the MFAH being the only site in the U.S. where the paintings were displayed. In 2016, the bank was also the lead corporate sponsor for the museum’s Degas:A New Vision exhibition.
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