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'Mirror' figures on campus soon

By Jennifer Ding     1/25/12 6:00pm

Students walking past the Brochstein Pavilion in February will notice a new artistic addition to the university. A permanent art installation by Jaume Plensa called "Mirror" will be arriving on campus next month.

The piece features two 148-by-96-inch stainless-steel figures facing each other, appearing to be engaged in conversation. They will also be elevated on a platform illuminated by lights, University Art Director Molly Hubbard said.

Plensa said that during a visit to campus, he was inspired by the image of students convening and speaking under the oak trees between Herring Hall and the Pavilion and will locate the installation there.

The face area on each figure will be left open so that people can step inside them, Public Arts Committee member Judy Nyquist said.

"They are really interactive, which makes it perfect for the campus," Nyquist said. "It speaks to our audience on many levels."

"Mirror" will join a series of projects by the Rice Public Arts Program including "Lift" at the Gibbs Recreation Center and the upcoming James Turrell Skyspace. The Public Arts Program is part of President David Leebron's effort to increase arts awareness around campus.

The dedication of the piece will be open to all students, will take place on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. and will include a talk from the artist. Plensa is an internationally renowned artist from Spain with works on display in countries including South Korea, Brazil and Sweden. His piece "Tolerance" is similar to "Mirror" and was installed at Houston's Buffalo Bayou last February.

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