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Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University in Houston opens to the public
Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University (Northwest corner, view of the north and west façades). Photo: Nash Baker.

HOUSTON, TX.- Houston’s new, internationally-focused arts institution, the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, built for creating collaborative works of all kinds and presenting innovative, transdisciplinary experiences, will open to the public on Friday, February 24, 2017, with five cutting-edge art exhibitions, one world-premiere dance performance developed on-site and four days of celebratory events for Rice University and local communities. Designed by renowned architect Michael Maltzan, the Moody offers a new meeting place of the arts, humanities and sciences, and of the public and the academic world, with exhibition spaces open and free to all.

During the Moody’s first full day in operation, Saturday, February 25, guides will be present from 10am to 5pm to discuss the artworks in the galleries. From 2 to 3pm, internationally renowned German photographer Thomas Struth will participate in a panel discussion with Douglas Terrier, NASA Chief Technologist, and James Tour, the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering and of Computer Science at Rice University, both of whom design and work in the spaces Struth photographs. The conversation, in the Moody’s Lois Chiles Studio Theater, will focus on the photographs in Struth’s exhibition Nature & Politics, and will cover technology, research and art, and how our experience of visual landscapes shapes our perceptions of the world. At 6pm, at the nearby James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace at the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, the Moody will host the world premiere of Vespertine Awakenings, a dance commissioned from Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre. Conceived on-site in response to Turrell’s artwork, Vespertine Awakenings will be performed with an original musical score by composer Kurt Stallmann of Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, and will enable visitors to experience the wonders of Turrell’s light sequence at sunset, enhanced by dance and music.

Alison Weaver said, “We’ve planned the opening celebrations to introduce everyone to the extraordinary range of creative activity at Rice and the Moody. We look forward to seeing Michael Maltzan’s magnificent building come to life, and for the Rice community, the Houston public and our visitors from around the world to join us in the excitement.”

David Leebron, president of Rice University, said, “This is an exciting milestone for Rice as we continue to elevate the role of the arts on our campus. The Moody Center for the Arts will foster creativity and innovation in our faculty and students, build on our commitment to Houston’s flourishing artistic life and further establish Houston and Rice as arts beacons to the world.”


Olafur Eliasson: Green light – An artistic workshop (through May 6)

The Moody will inaugurate its central gallery with the first installation in the United States of Green light — An artistic workshop, a creative response to the international refugee crisis developed by the renowned Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Initiated by the artist in March 2016 in collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) in Vienna, Green light invites asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants to participate in constructing stackable, modular green lamps designed by Eliasson, made from recycled and sustainable materials. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the lamps will be donated to the Moody’s partner organization in the workshop, Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, to benefit refugees. University students and members of the public are invited to join in the workshop, which also includes language courses, seminars, artist’s interventions, film screenings and other initiatives that respond to the needs of the participating refugees and migrants.

Eliasson will be at the Moody on Monday, March 20, to join in the workshop and hold a conversation with the public and the Rice community. Green light – An artistic workshop will be hosted by the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, as part of the exhibition Viva Arte Viva, beginning in May 2017.

Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics (through May 29)
In its sky-lit Brown Foundation Gallery, the Moody will present Nature & Politics, featuring photographs by Thomas Struth of sites of scientific research and manufactured landscapes. The photographs bear witness to the specialized imaginations of experts whose ideas and designs make it possible to pursue space travel, conduct experiments in plasma physics or build industrial facilities such as offshore oil rigs and blast furnaces. The panel discussion with the artist on the opening weekend will inaugurate interdisciplinary conversations at the Moody about technology and research and how our experience of them shapes our perceptions of the world. This presentation of Nature & Politics is based on an exhibition that was co-organized by the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin and the High Museum in Atlanta.

Diana Thater: The Starry Messenger (through February 1, 2018)
In the Moody’s Reception Gallery, visitors will be greeted by an installation of The Starry Messenger (2014), a nine-monitor video wall by artist Diana Thater. This spectacular and encompassing work presents a changing vista of the Milky Way filmed in the Griffith Observatory Planetarium in Los Angeles, shot from below the massive Zeiss star projector. While exhibited in Houston, the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the work will be at the center of a series of cross-disciplinary discussions featuring scientists, poets, artists and astronauts, in partnership with the Rice Space Institute. Diana Thater will participate in a discussion about the work on April 21, 2017.

teamLab: Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together — A Whole Year per Hour (through August 13)
In the Moody’s Media Arts Gallery, visitors will encounter a large-scale installation by the Tokyo art collective teamLab, Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together — A Whole Year per Hour (2015). This immersive and hypnotic installation consists of computer graphic visuals that change in response to the visitor’s presence, releasing constantly evolving images of natural forms. Through its interplay of digital imagery and the human body, the work raises questions about relationships between art, technology and nature, and the human capacity to mediate between them.

Google - Tilt Brush
In the Moody’s second Media Arts Gallery, the Beth Herlin ’13 Studio, visitors will be invited to experiment with a new 3-D paintbrush developed by Google. Using the gallery as a canvas, the Tilt Brush enables visitors to “paint” in three dimensions using virtual reality and to explore their own creative capacity in the spirit of the hands-on learning that defines the Moody.

Today's News

February 24, 2017

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Historic Chinese ceramics, favorites of Emperors, lead Gianguan Auctions' March 11 Asia Week Sale

Archaeologists discover rare Bronze Age weapon hoard

Artist Profile: Fernando Botero

Meadows Museum acquires Late Medieval altarpiece panel

'Anybody could be a refugee': Ai Weiwei films global crisis

Christie's to offer property from Cleveland Clinic generously donated by Mrs. Sydell Miller

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Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University in Houston opens to the public

Hakes's Americana begins 50th-year celebration with first in series of exceptional pop culture auctions

Rare Georgian barometer at risk of leaving the UK

Ryan Lee opens exhibition of monumental paintings by the pioneering feminist artist May Stevens

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Ski & winter imagery lead Swann Galleries' March 16 Sale of Vintage Posters

Roxana Uskali joins Heritage Auctions Chicago Office as Director of Numismatics

 Margolis Gallery opens exhibition of works by Gina

First 3D painting exhibition in the UK opens at Forman's Smokehouse Gallery

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Perez Art Museum Miami presents John Akomfrah's 2016 film 'Tropikos'

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