For those of us who cannot be found roaming Anderson Hall at night, the celebration of architecture is epitomized by two campus events: Architectronica and Archi-Arts, which is Architectronica minus the big party. If it is difficult to pin down what to expect from Archi-Arts, it is probably because people are picturing Architectronica Act II. However, Archi-Arts should really be considered a beast of its own. Curators Sam Ding and Hannah Wang explained how they are designing the experience to diverge entirely from Architectronica.
Run by the Architecture Society of Rice, Archi-Arts showcases the works of Anderson Hall and the Shepherd School of Music, with additional contributions this year from the visual and dramatic arts department and Rice Dance Theater. The broad theme of “Nimble” is intended to encompass many eclectic forms of expression. Wang, a Hanszen College sophomore, mentioned how Archi-Arts can introduce students to a glimpse of how an entire portion of the student population experiences Rice.
“A lot of people don’t know what architecture students do, what MUSIs are doing, or what VADA majors are doing unless they go to these specific events,” Wang said. “So this is an opportunity to get them to come in and experience all of those.”
Archi-Arts offers many quirks that cannot be found in Architectronica. For one, the event calls for semi-formal attire to create an air of sophistication. On the culinary side, wine and cheese will be offered for more refined taste buds. One of the exhibits will even feature a public piece created by the frequenters of Coffeehouse. Ding, a Baker College sophomore, talked about how all this falls into place within the environment they envision.
“It’s almost like a gallery opening and you can socialize with professors that’ll be there,” Ding said. “It’s a good chance for people across Rice to interact and talk about things that are not common to public parties.”
A highlight of Archi-Arts is the performances that will be spotlighted in parallel with the exhibition. Those who attended last year will recognize solo percussionist Lucas Sanchez. An enthusiast of new music, Sanchez will feature the experimental pieces of Casey Cangelosi (Master of Music ’09). He shared how Archi-Arts offers a unique venue to highlight music that even Shepherd students might not be exposed to.
“When I see an opportunity like this, it’s pretty cool to expand everyone’s repertoire,” Sanchez, a graduate student, said. “I don’t get a lot of opportunities to play this kind of music at Shepherd.”
This year is the also the first time VADA and RDT will be contributing to Archi-Arts. Will Rice College junior Edna Otuomagie, who is on the film track, manipulates light and color in her series of color photograms. She addressed the significance of Archi-Arts expanding to include other artistic creations.
“It’s a display of the future of art at Rice,” Otuomagie said. “That is definitely something I am looking forward to.”
Archi-Arts will take place on March 25 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sam Ding is the Thresher A&E designer.