State of The Arts Blog

Proudly Representing Pearland – by Heidi Wiess, PAAC Executive Director

From Left: His Highness Maharaja GajSingh II of Marwar-Jodhpur, Mayor Tom Reid, Heidi Wiess

“……. and we have opened our own “mini museum”, “Visions of India” in Pearland!” I said to His Highness Maharaja GajSingh II of Marwar-Jodhpur

Scene: I was honored to accompany Pearland’s own Mayor, Tom Reid to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Gala for opening the exhibit “Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India.” The “Host Committee” included The Honorable John Cornyn U.S. Senator for Texas; The Honorable Ed Emmett Harris County Judge, Dr. Renu Khator Chancellor and President of the University of Houston, Bonna Kol Executive Director, Asia Society Texas Center, Dr. Anupam Ray Consul General of India in Houston, The Honorable Tom Reid Mayor of Pearland, His Excellency Navtej Sarna Ambassador of India to the United States, The Honorable Sylvester Turner Mayor of Houston, The Honorable Joe R. Zimmerman Mayor of Sugar Land.

The MFAH exhibition will present nearly four centuries of artistic creation from one of the largest former princely states in India, the kingdom of Marwar-Jodhpur in southwestern Rajasthan. The exhibit includes over 250 objects drawn primarily from the collections of the Mehrangarh Fort Museum of Jodhpur and the private collections of the Jodhpur royal family. The project was conceived over 5 years ago. The exhibit will be displayed through August 19th.

Mayor Reid’s lifelong service to Pearland is well known but many might be surprised to know that his advocacy for regional artistic and cultural development is also largely recognized. His contributions were acknowledged during the Gala.
During the evening meeting between Mayor Reid and Highness Maharaja GajSingh, they discussed the import of cultural exchange and education. Mayor proudly expounded upon Pearland’s own efforts to develop the local cultural and artistic community and described our own “Visions of India” Museum. I extended an invitation to His Highness, to visit Pearland and perhaps share a small part of the MFAH exhibit in Pearland.
As I toured the exhibit I saw many similarities to our own “Visions of India” exhibit. Pearland’s exhibit includes items never seen outside India, from the region of Chettinandu, from the private collections of one of India’s most respected families and on display to encourage cultural awareness, education and enjoyment. Our Pearland Museum was created from Mayor Reid’s support for Pearland’s artistic and cultural community and a partnership with Kannappan Art Museums.

As the beautiful evening was concluded, I came away with a feeling of pride, Pearland pride and hope. Having been surrounded by so many supporters of the arts and those respectful of our Mayor, I felt a renewed commitment to our mission.

PAA&C and Me
Together Pearland Proud

Happy New Year! – by Heidi Wiess, PAAC Executive Director

As we closed 2017, plans were well underway for what I expect will be yet another remarkable year for Pearland’s artistic and cultural scene. We are so proud to have been selected by Kannappan Art Museums to deliver Pearland’s first cultural museum, “Visions of India,” while working to support partnerships with business, education, government, artists and the community to showcase Pearland’s rich artistic and cultural community, advance it as a destination city, while bringing the world to you.

We began this year honoring the Pearland Police Department. On Jan. 4, Chief Johnny Spires accepted a unique “spherical photo” of the Public Safety Building, created by Pearland artist David Fraser. It will be on display in the lobby of the PSB through April, along with a series of photographs taken by Mr. Fraser, titled “Visions of Pearland.”

Chief Spires stated, “I am humbled to accept this artwork on behalf of the department. The series of photos were taken when the flags were at half-staff in honor of Officer Endy Ekpana. This will be a reminder for us of how the community and the Pearland Alliance for Arts & Culture came together and supported us in our time of need.”

PAAC is pleased to debut Mr. Fraser’s most recent works, “Spheres of Peace,” which are on exhibit now at the PAAC Gallery along with “Passion of Spain,” created by his wife, Sara Fraser. “Passion of Spain” depicts Mrs. Fraser’s proud relationship with her native country. You will truly delight in the creations of these exquisite and accomplished artists, which come to us by way of Spain and England.

Please visit our website and Facebook for upcoming reception dates. The Gallery and Museum are open Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4:00 p.m. Also you may view the artists’ works at and

Don’t forget – this weekend Pearland will host the TAAF Winter Games. Please see the Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau website for details including competition schedules and locations. Earlier last year Pearland won the bid to host the 2018 and 2019 games.

PAAC and Me – Together Pearland Proud