Upending Education Traditions

Rice University leaps forward with boundary-defying lab for creativity and bold commitment to the arts

Rice University leaps forward with boundary-defying lab for creativity

Moody Center for the Arts
The Moody Center for the Arts, a 50,000 square foot multi-disciplinary lab for creativity. Rendering courtesy of Rice University
Moody Center for the Arts, flexible gallery
The flexible gallery. Rendering courtesy of Rice University
Rice University Moody Center for the Arts
Los Angeles based Michael Maltzan designed the Moody Center for the Arts.  Rendering courtesy of Rice University
Moody Center for the Arts, creative open studio
The Moody Center for the Arts creative open studio. Rendering courtesy of Rice University
Moody Center for the Arts, north facade
The Moody Center for the Arts under construction, set to open in late February. Courtesy of Rice University
Moody Center for the Arts
Moody Center for the Arts, flexible gallery
Rice University Moody Center for the Arts
Moody Center for the Arts, creative open studio
Moody Center for the Arts, north facade

Rice University's stance in the arts and humanities will take a giant leap forward with the new Moody Center for the Arts, a trans-disciplinary lab for creativity. Alison Weaver, the center's executive director, announced that the new $30 million facility, serving as an experimental platform for creating and presenting works in all disciplines, will open in late February.

The trans-disciplinary collaboration will include such diverse areas as the arts, sciences and the humanities.

The 50,000-square-foot Moody has been designed by acclaimed architect Michael Maltzan of Los Angeles and is set to establish a cohesive arts district on the campus as it is located within the reach of the Shepherd School of Music and the James Turrell Twilight Epiphany skyspace.

The contemporary center will include art gallery space, a 150-seat black box theater, a gallery for experimental performance, and a cafe. According to a release on the new facility,  "Its defining feature is the light-flooded, interdisciplinary maker lab at its core: an atrium with immediate access to surrounding resources that include a wood shop, metal shop, paint booth, rapid prototyping areas, studio classrooms, technology lending library and audiovisual editing booths."

The Moody is also announcing its inaugural artist-in-residence — internationally-acclaimed Beirut-born Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum. Her work in sculpture, performance, video, and installation is the subject of a major exhibition currently on view at London's Tate Modern. Her work at the Moody will be devoted in part to developing works for a major exhibition that will be shown at the Menil Collection, October 6, 2017 through February 25, 2018. This will mark her first exhibition in the United States in 20 years.

 "While Rice earned early in its history a strong reputation in the sciences, engineering, and the professions," Rice president David Leebron said in a statement, "we are today equally proud of our dedication to and success in the arts and humanities, which contribute in essential ways to every education and every intellectual endeavor. The Moody Center is a stake in the ground for our continuing arts commitment . . ."

The center will be open and accessible to the public.