Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts to open to the public Feb. 24

Celebratory weekend will include dedication ceremony, wide range of events

Rice University’s Moody Center for the Arts will open Feb. 24, and a full schedule of events will celebrate this new, internationally focused arts institution, built as a free public platform for creating collaborative works of all kinds and for presenting innovative, transdisciplinary experiences to the public and the university community.

A view of the northwest corner of the Moody Center for the Arts. The 50,000-square-foot building is located on the west side of Rice’s campus at Entrance 8 at Stockton and University Boulevard. Credit: Nash Baker

Rice officials and faculty, led by Alison Weaver, the Suzanne Deal Booth Executive Director of the Moody, will welcome Houston civic officials, leaders of fellow cultural institutions throughout the city, donors, artists, students and the public to a dedication ceremony of the new 50,000-square-foot, $30 million Moody building at 4 p.m. Feb. 24. That evening, from 7 to 10 p.m., the Moody will hold an opening party featuring live music by The Tontons and food trucks. The party is free and open to all.

Festivities continue Feb. 25, when the Moody will open its doors to the public for its first full day and a range of free and ticketed events. Gallery guides will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A panel discussion in the Moody’s Lois Chiles Studio Theater from 2 to 3 p.m. will feature renowned photographer Thomas Struth and focus on the works in his Moody exhibition “Nature & Politics.” At 6 p.m. at the nearby James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace on the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, the Moody will host the world premiere of “Vespertine Awakenings,” a commissioned dance work by New York City’s Dušan Týnek Dance Theater, conceived in response to the Turrell artwork and presented with an original musical score by composer Kurt Stallmann of Rice’s Shepherd School of Music. The Moody will then go into late-night mode with a party open only to Rice students from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

On Feb. 26, from 2 to 3 p.m., the Moody will present a conversation between Dušan Týnek and Stallmann about their collaborative process. The weekend’s special events will conclude with two performances in the Skyspace by Dušan Týnek Dance Theater that evening and the following evening, Feb. 27, at sunset. Tickets are available for all events at http://moody.rice.edu.

New York City’s Dušan Týnek Dance Theater (seen here in “Logbook”) will perform a site-specific work at James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace for the opening of the Moody. Credit: Ian Douglas

“We hope the events of the opening weekend will introduce everyone to the extraordinary range of activity we’ve planned for the Moody, a place where new modes of making can flourish in flexible teaching spaces, and visitors can engage with artists from around the country and the world,” Weaver said. “We can’t wait to see (Moody architect) Michael Maltzan’s magnificent building come to life, and for the Rice community, the Houston public and our visitors from around the world to be part of the excitement.”

“We are grateful to the Moody Foundation, to our other farsighted donors, to Michael Maltzan and to the remarkable team of brilliant artists and collaborators assembled for this inaugural season by Alison Weaver,” Rice President David Leebron said. “This is an exciting moment for our university, in which the arts are receiving heightened emphasis and presence on our campus. The arts are an essential contributor to every education and intellectual endeavor at Rice as we seek to foster creativity and imagination in our faculty and students. The opening of the Moody also reflects our continuing commitment to Houston’s flourishing artistic life, and to establishing Houston and Rice as an arts beacon to the world.”

For information about the Moody’s inaugural season throughout the year, which will feature works and events by artists including Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Struth, Diana Thater, inaugural artist-in-residence Mona Hatoum, the Tokyo-based digital “ultra-technologists” of teamLab, and Dušan Týnek Dance Theater, go to http://moody.rice.edu.

Development of the Moody is made possible by a lead gift from the Texas-based Moody Foundation, a charitable organization with an emphasis on education, social services, children’s needs and community development, with additional generous support from the Brown Foundation, the Elkins Foundation, the Gilder Foundation, Rice alumni Nancy ‘80 and Clint Carlson ’79, and other donors. Additional support for programs and operations supported by major contributions from Rice alumna Suzanne Deal Booth ‘77, alumni Leslie ‘69 and Brad Bucher ‘65, and many others.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.