Ryan MS Exhibition Chronicles the History of Third Ward

Exhibit will be open to visitors on school days through May 1

April 06, 2011
James D. Ryan Middle School’s role in the development of education in Houston’s historic Third Ward is the subject of a new temporary exhibition in that campus’s former woodshop.

Entitled “WorkingShop,” the display was designed and built by architecture and graphics students from the University of Houston, and includes a vignette of a neighborhood barbershop, a recreation of the office of prominent Jack Yates Principal William S. Holland, and suggestions for the renovation of nearby Emancipation Park from Ryan students.

Art teacher Anna Bass says that her students have learned much about their school and their neighborhood and it has become a source of renewed pride. “I don’t think the students thought about how much history has happened in this building, how many great people have walked these halls, how Texas Southern University got its start here,” Bass said. “It’s neat that a college started here. It’s neat that it was the second African-American school in the city, and it’s something the kids should take a lot of pride in. I know I take a lot of pride in working here.”

The wood shop was chosen as the location for the exhibition because of the key economic role it played in providing trades for students which could open the doors to business ownership opportunities in the Third Ward.

The exhibition will be open to visitors on school days until May 1.