Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

Lens-Based Artworks Adorn the Newly Restored City Hall Basement

September 19, 2023 -- The City of Houston’s General Services Department, with the support of The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA), celebrates the acquisition of 18 artworks by lens-based artists for the newly restored basement of City Hall. Artists whose work was acquired for these spaces include Mark Chen, Syd Moen, Nancy Newberry, and David Reinfeld.

“Each of the artist’s works celebrate an aspect of Houston,” stated The Mayor. “It is exciting that city employees and visitors to City Hall will encounter a variety of photographic artworks that show what is quintessentially Houston in the newly renovated basement, and I congratulate the artists whose artworks are joining the City’s Civic Art Collection.”

A little over six years after Hurricane Harvey flooded City Hall, renovation work on the building’s basement has been completed. On September 15, 2023, the restored basement opened to City Hall employees.

Lens-Based Art in City Hall Basement

Newly acquired lens-based works by Nancy Newberry as installed in the newly renovated City Hall Basement

Adorning the walls are the photographic pieces that offer the viewer local flavor and unique perspectives on Houston. Also newly hung in the renovated space is an artwork from the Civic Art Collection by Dorothy Hood. In addition to newly installed collection artworks, and as part of the renovation effort, 49 portraits of former mayors, saved from floodwaters by a dedicated city employee during Harvey, have been conserved, reframed, and rehung.

The photographic artworks were acquired via Houston Arts Alliance. Learn more about each of the artworks and artists.

About The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs guides the City’s cultural investments with policies and initiatives that expand access to arts and cultural programs in the community, attract visitors and leverage private investment. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @HoustonMOCA and on Twitter @Houston_moca.

About the General Services Department
In 2000, the General Services Department (GSD) was established to construct and maintain the City of Houston’s building portfolio. Since that time, GSD has evolved into a full service, client-centered department that provides a comprehensive suite of services to over 300 facilities: representing 7.7 million square feet of occupied space.

About Houston Arts Alliance
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a local arts and culture organization whose principal work is to implement the City of Houston’s vision, values, and goals for its arts grantmaking and civic art investments. HAA also executes privately funded special projects to meet the needs of the arts community, such as disaster preparation, research on the state of the arts in Houston, and temporary public art projects that energize neighborhoods. To learn more about HAA, visit and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @HoustonArtsAlliance and on Twitter @haatx.