Lubbock and the Law

It was great to finally be back in our great state of Texas, and the lure of home was great.  But so, too, was the lure of Texas Tech Law, which several of the LEAP Ambassadors–particularly Karla Rosales–aspire to attend.

Before heading to Texas Tech Law, we made a quick stop by Prairie Dog Town…

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Prairie Dog Town

…where we got to see a lot of cute prairie dogs!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The weather was rainy, but that did not stop us or them from having a great time.

We then headed to our next stop, Texas Tech School of Law. This was particularly the best part for me, as Texas Tech Law is my top-choice law school and it was my first time to be able to visit the school.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech

Even though it was a Sunday morning, we were able to go inside the building and explore. As we walked in, we were welcomed by the West Texas Legal Legends wall where there are plaques for distinguished Texas Tech Alumni. We continued by taking a quick tour of the building…

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech

… and the Mark and Becky Lanier Professional Development Center where the auditorium and the Donald Hunt Courtroom are located.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech

We continued our exploration of Texas Tech and learned that Texas Tech actually has a lot of public art and beauty throughout their campus.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Karla Rosales

We saw a couple of Jesus Moroles sculptures, which are always nice to see as we can make that connection to Huntsville.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Jesus Moroles

We also saw an art piece by one of my favorite artists, Deborah Butterfield. The piece was titled “Water River” and depicts a life-size horse.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Deborah Butterfield

The material used looks just like twisted tree branches, but is actually bronze! Her art is so fascinating to see. Another one of our favorite was called “The Read Reader” also known as “The Bookman,” by Terry Allen…

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech

…which we have learned so much about at the Moody Gallery in Houston.

One of the other artists we have learned about on this trip is Glenna Goodacre, who does representational sculptures, and is from Lubbock, TX.  We had seen her art in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Denver, and, just off Glenna Goodacre Blvd in Lubbock, we were able to see her on Texas Tech’s campus.  In fact, we were able to pose as her figures!

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Glenna Goodacre


It’s always nice to see famous artists around the country and find a local connection. Texas Tech definitely is full of wonderful art pieces all over campus…

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Agave Dreams


…and it is fascinating to see how it enriches the cultural life on campus through diverse public art by many famous artists. ​

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech, Robert Bruno

And with that last glimpse, we headed back to our home in Huntsville.

SHSU, LEAP AMbassadors, LEAP Center, Lubbock, Texas Tech


Far Out with the Far East

The mission of the LEAP Center is to provide unique learning opportunities and implicit in this mission is the idea of learning about new cultures and disciplines.  Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary learning were certainly central to our Houston “Arts and Parks” tour.

We began our 2nd day of the trip with a visit to the Herrman Park Japanese Garden.

LEAP Ambassadors, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, LEAP Center, Hermann Park

We also marveled at an Isamu Noguchi residing in Ms. Moody’s guest room. Perhaps this recurring motif lead us to choose Azuma Sushi and Robata Grill for dinner.

We found this as a great opportunity for some of the students to try new things. For some of the LEAPsters, this was their first time to try sushi. We ordered an array of sushi rolls, noodles, and other traditional Japanese plates so that everyone would have a chance to fulfill their culinary curiosity.

More curiously, it was Makayla Mason’s first time to try ribs.  We all ignored the fact that this Texas life-long resident had never had one of the state’s most iconic meals and recognized her adventurous accomplishment.

Empowered by this adventurous spirt, we took a drive down Houston’s still-roaring roads to visit the Houston Police Officer’s Memorial. Designed by Jesus Moroles, the memorial resembles a Mezo-American pyramid with its geometric outline and elevating levels. Rising in the middle the field, the structure commemorates the lives of fallen Houston police officers. Under the twinkling skyline of the city, we climbed the memorial to get a better view of the mesmerizing vista.

Jesus Moroles, Police Memorial, Houston, LEAP Center, SHSU

Such added adventures made for a late night, but with rain in the forecast, we were promised a late morning start, allowing us to get ready for a continuation of our multi-cultural adventure.


Continuing a Cultural Adventure, Kaitlyn Tyra

Well rested and eager to leap into the day’s adventures, LEAP Ambassadors embarked on the final leg of our Houston Arts and Parks Tour. To begin our day, we drove to the Asia Society Texas Center. Established in Houston with the help of former First Lady Barbara Bush, the center provides community engagement for Houston residents of Asian heritage and those wanting to learn more about the culture.

Before entering the art gallery, we admired the architecture of Yoshio Taniguchi, a Japanese architect, and learned about the design.

The Asia Society, Houston, LEAP Center, SHSU

Both inside and outside, Professor Yawn emphasized the horizontal lines traditional to that of Asian architecture while the building’s vertical lines incorporated American design into the structure. This was designed by Taniguchi to bind the American and Asian cultures together.

The first floor of the Asia Society houses a café, theatre, and art gallery. The gallery included numerous paintings by . Born in India, he earned his Masters in Fine Arts from Indiana University and now teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Majumdar created works of abstraction. But unlike other artists specialized in this discipline, Majumdar depicts the convergence of cultures through his art work.


The Asia Society, Houston, LEAP Center, SHSU, Sangram MajumdarA prevalent motif is also theatre, as he has experience in this profession and uses it as inspiration. His paintings allude to this trade, and depict images of performers getting ready for a play or the proscenium of a theater.

Craving a more realistic representation of theatre, we entered the Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater, adjacent to Majumdar’s art work. With walls lined with cherry wood panels and seats designed by Poltrona Frau, leather seat maker for Maserati and Ferrari, the acoustically rich theatre was spared no expense in order to achieve an excellent viewing experience. We had a chance to play around on the front stage and bounce on its Appalachian white oak floors.

SHSU, Asia Society, Houston, LEAP Center, SHSU

And even though the ever present use of wood in the building’s walls and floors is an aesthetic pleasure, nothing compares to the beauty of the artwork we were about to see.

Upstairs in the Sarofirm Gallery, we had the opportunity to learn about modern Japanese bamboo art. A new form of art for many of the LEAP Ambassadors, we were amazed by the craftsmanship in every piece.

Asia Society, Houston, LEAP Center, SHSU, Bamboo Art

These artists, some of which come from families dedicated to this craft for generations, have mastered the technique to shape bamboo into whatever form they please.

The process requires a developed taste for perfection and a precision to delicately weave one of nature’s strongest natural substances.


Interestingly, many of these pieces had a functional purpose. For example, one of the artists made his piece so that it could function as a fruit bowl, while another crafted the bamboo to use it as a vase.

Asia Society, Houston, LEAP Center, SHSU, Bamboo Art

It left us with much to ponder.

Asia Society, Houston, LEAP Center, SHSU, Bamboo Art

It also capped off the Asian theme of our trip.  Having seen work by Naguchi, visited the Japanese Gardens, eaten at an Asian restaurant, we now had an extensive exploration of Asian art and architecture. It wouldn’t be our last exploration of the trip, but it was one of our most fulfilling!

Asia Society, Houston, LEAP Center, SHSU, Bamboo Art