UHV education professor wins employee art show

Dennis Riedesel, a University of Houston-Victoria associate professor of education, looks at horseshoes, horseshoe nails and washers and starts thinking about how he can turn them into art.


Dennis Riedesel
Dennis Riedesel, an associate professor of education at the University of Houston-Victoria, holds “The Country and Western Band,” his metal artwork that won Best of Show and other awards in the On My Own Time Employee Art Show at UHV. His piece will now advance to the city show.
“What I enjoy is the conceptual work,” he said. “I like to think about how I can use horseshoe nails to make something that looks like a horse, a keyboard or another object.”


Riedesel has created metal artwork for the last six years in his free time as a way to make some extra money and have fun. Now, for the second time, he’s won Best of Show and first place in the metal art category in the On My Own Time Employee Art Show at UHV. This year, he also was given UHV’s People’s Choice Award voted on by university employees.


His piece, “The Country and Western Band,” will advance, along with artwork from four other UHV staff members, to the On My Own Time City Show April 24 through May 5 at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts, 214 N. Main St. The city show will consist of finalists selected from On My Own Time in-house art shows at nine area businesses.


“The Country and Western Band” features three cowgirls playing the bass, banjo and keyboard and a cowboy playing the guitar. The metal figures are positioned on top of two horseshoes. Two years ago, Riedesel’s winning metal sculpture showed a scene with cowboys branding a calf.


If Riedesel places first in the metal art category in the city show this year, he will be eligible to compete in the city’s Best of Show category. The winner will receive an original piece of artwork by a local artist. First- through third-place winners and honorable mention designations in all categories will get ribbons.


Other UHV staff members going on to the city show are:

  • Diana Kallus, senior secretary for the School of Education & Human Development, first place, color photography
  • Della Rampley, senior secretary for special events, first place, digitally enhanced photography
  • Shauna Holder, special events assistant, second place, digitally enhanced photography
  • Debbie Griffiths, senior secretary for athletics, first place, jewelry
Bonnee Riggs, project director for the Cultural Council of Victoria, which sponsors the annual art show, said a team of three area artists judged 178 pieces of artwork this year at in-house shows at Victoria businesses. Sixty-two of those pieces will be exhibited in the city show, which the public can view for free.


Other participating companies are The Victoria College, Victoria Independent School District, Citizens Medical Center, DeTar Healthcare System, Devereux Victoria, Dow Chemical Co., Spherion and Valerus Compression Services.


“This show celebrates the people who still find time on their own to pursue art,” Riggs said.


Holder, who helped coordinate the UHV show, said the university has participated in the art show for years as a way to highlight employee talent.


“There’s a lot of hidden talent here that we really get to see when we do something like this,” she said. “I think it’s great because we get to learn more about who we work with.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler