By Mimi Amaral

Since the early 1900s the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) has been devoted to the procurement of arts, sciences and cultural amenities displayed within historical architectural galleries, cultural centers and community organizations.

The original building, designed in 1924 by William Ward Watkin, was the first art museum to be built in the state of Texas. Furthermore, on February 2, 2012 it was announced that Steven Holl Architects will be developing an expansion to enlarge the museum’s ability to display exhibitions, collections and educational programs. A few exhibitions currently on display are: Egyptomania open until August 5; Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London showcases 48 masterpieces from the collection known as the Iveagh Bequest open until Sep 3, 2012; Modern and Contemporary Masterworks from Malba – Fundación Costantini open until August 5; and Jennifer Steinkamp’s “Mike Kelley” open until September 3.

“Mike Kelley” is an exhibit by Jennifer Steinkamp that brings a huge draw because of its 3D digital animation and the way her work embraces light. “Mike Kelley,” an animated tree, evolves through four seasons by cycling from a warm spring day with pink flowers into a bright, warm, summer’s day with the illumination of delicate green leaves while moving toward the incandescence of autumn before it enters a winter’s storm leaving the tree bare and baron. Alison de Lima Greene, Curator of Contemporary Art & Special Projects at MFAH, expressed that, “As we live in an ever more fragile environment, Steinkamp’s testament to the power and grace of the world around us speaks urgently, eloquently and with unforgettable passion.”

Steinkamp was born in Colorado and grew up in Edina, Minnesota. While in Minnesota she visited her grandmother’s farm frequently, which allowed her to experience the evolution of the four seasons within a natural setting. She is a highly sought after artist who studied experiential animation at the California Institute of the Arts, and attended the Art Center College of Design where she completed a BFA in 1989 and an MFA in 1991. Steinkamp fully emerged on the national scene in the 1990s, has had exhibits displayed in Houston in 2001 and at UCLA in 2007, was featured at the Sundance Festival and also represented the United States in the 11th Cairo International Biennale in 2008 and was recently featured in Prospect 2, New Orleans.

To learn more and keep up with the many amazing exhibitions, collections and educational programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston go to: http://www.mfah.org/ and to follow Jennifer Steinkamp’s work visit her site at: http://jsteinkamp.com/.