Islamic Arts Society honors City Hall employees
IAS honors heroes who saved precious artwork during Hurricane Harvey.
By: Islamic Arts Society
About this time last year, the Islamic Arts Society in collaboration with the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs curated a cultural display featuring Arts of the Islamic World at Houston City Hall. The art display provided an enriching cultural experience for everyone who visited City Hall. Twenty-four Houston area artists displayed 63 artworks all throughout the public areas of the building.
When Hurricane Harvey dropped over 50" of rain over the city, Houstonians came together and helped each other like only Houstonians can do. Of course, our main concern during those days was the safety of our fellow Houstonians and how we help them.
But our local artists also knew that the City Hall where our exhibits were displayed was flooded and deep down we could not help but feel the pain of losing our beloved art pieces. All art is sacred to an artist. And when it comes to losing art that is representative of our faith and traditions, the pain was devastating.
So, when a few days later we heard that some of the City Hall employees have saved our art from certain destruction, one can only imagine how overjoyed we were. These City Hall employees rolled up their sleeves and went to work to save art. They had many other things to attend to, but they came to rescue art that is a common connection between humanity.
They did not have to save those art pieces and they did not even know the art belonged to. But they did what every conscientious Houstonian would do. They salvaged our art in face of rising waters, they stored it in a safe place, transported it out of City Hall and later delivered it to us. Through their brave action they not only preserved the artworks but also the important symbolic accomplishment of the City's first Islamic art show.
It is only befitting that we acknowledge and honor our benefactors. It speaks volumes about these courageous individuals and also about the culture of respect and service that is prevalent in the City Hall
The actions of Radu Barbuceanu, Al Byers, Pablo Cantu, Wilbert Taylor, Martin Contreras, Neal Nunez, Walter Ellis and Paul Marro are symbolic of the spirit of resilience demonstrated throughout the entire city during a time of disaster.
Islamic Arts Society