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Editor’s Note: This is a guest opinion that has been submitted by a member of the Rice community. The views expressed in this opinion are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Thresher or its editorial board. All guest opinions are fact-checked and edited for clarity and conciseness by Thresher editors.
The Moody Project Wall, a new initiative that sets aside a large interior wall in the Moody Center for the Arts for muralists, recently welcomed its first tenant: Houston artist Gerardo Rosales’s “¡Displaced Mundo!,” an original mural meant to call attention to the struggle of Venezuelans displaced by the nation’s current economic crisis.
Recently, Noah Fons wrote an opinion saying that sometimes he doesn’t want to be a Republican. We get it — we don’t want to be Republicans either.
The Menil Collection’s “Photography and the Surreal Imagination” is a work of profound audacity, and is better for it. The exhibition, held in a single, large room bisected by a central wall, sets out to form a retrospective of surreal photography over a time period spanning from 1920 to today. The result is cramped and creative, displayed in a manner that seeks to draw big-picture linkages between eras and holds only lightly to chronology. A series of collages from the 1930s is broken up by a time traveler from 2015; a line of modern photographs on the back wall is interrupted by “The Demonic Tree,” a disconcerting 1950 work by Clarence John Laughlin.
Nina Katchadourian’s Please, Please, Pleased to Meet’cha, a temporary art exhibition occurring under the auspices of Rice Public Art, is a tad more unconventional than other site-specific art pieces. It consists, in a literal sense, of a handful of speakers tied up high in the trees of a grove outside Brochstein Pavilion.
This Friday, will Rice President David Leebron pose for a photo with the vice president of the United States, or will he stand outside with his students? Leebron has articulated a broad set of Rice’s values, but Mike Pence’s record contrasts sharply with that set of values. To be clear, Pence has the right to speak on campus. However, in this event, Pence will be speaking unopposed to a by-invitation crowd and may pose for photo-ops with donors and administrators afterwards. Pence should have the opportunity to speak, but the structure of this event comes close to an endorsement — an endorsement that goes against the values of diversity and inclusion for which Rice has so long and rightfully advocated. Rhetoric not backed by action is meaningless. To quote Leebron in a February email to the student body:
Across the Sewall courtyard, “Inside,” a piece by architecture student Belle Carroll, appears deeply surreal, interrupting the brick and metal grating of the exterior wall with an emanation of pink light. Stepping past the threshold of the Inferno Gallery and through a gaping opening that runs almost ceiling to floor places the viewer in a softly lit, organically shaped chamber of gauze. A speaker continuously plays poems and selections from “Bridges,” a musical composition by Carroll herself.
In 1904, before the dawn of their fame, Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein meet in a crowded Paris bar and start arguing. Thus begins Picasso at the Lapin Agile, an absurdist comedy being put on by the Rice Theatre Department.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R, TX-2) won’t pay his interns — and it’s because he thinks they are unworthy of pay. Members of Rice Young Democrats attended Crenshaw’s event in Midtown on Sat., Feb. 2. Crenshaw, the Republican representing Rice in the House of Representatives, held his event at a venue limited to those 21 and older, but he graciously spoke to us outside the venue after he learned that we could not enter.
The last six panels of the comic are painted large on the walls of the side-gallery. In the center of the room is a small chamber, the entrance (or, as Hancock has playfully scrawled, “In Trent’s”) of which faces away from the gallery’s door; a sort of inner sanctum, it contains the comic’s other thirty-nine panels. Trenton Doyle Hancock’s new “Contemporary Focus” exhibit at the Menil, “Epidemic! Presents: Step and Screw!” consists entirely of a single 45-panel comic; all at once an exhibition, a story and a single piece.
Cheryl Donegan’s first American painting exhibition, “GRLZ + VEILS,” is currently showing at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, and you don’t want to miss it.
The Jung Center, nestled next to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, is a Museum District gallery founded to promote the ideas of Freud disciple and psychotherapeutic giant Carl Jung. “The Jung Center,” its website reads, “provides pathways to find a deeper meaning in everyday life.” Its past exhibitions include lectures on feng shui, laughter yoga, the therapeutic effects of LSD, “strengthening your resilience muscles” and suchlike. So it certainly came as a surprise to me to learn that the center’s latest exhibition, “Celebrate Doilies: Connecting Families Across Time and Space,” centers entirely on doilies.
Frankenstein’s monster stumbles into a cabin in the remote Alaskan woods. The cabin’s occupant, an old woman who lives alone, invites him in for a meal. So begins the action of Martel College junior Matt Pittard’s “Yukon Breakfast,” directed by Hanszen College senior Nonie Hilliard. The play, produced by, directed by and starring Rice students, gained a full production after winning the Rice Players’ first-ever Playwriting Competition. (The Rice Players gave stage readings of two runner-ups, Kevin Mullin’s “Have You Seen My Cactus?” and Elsa Schieffelin’s “The History of Flight,” during the Rice Playfest from Nov. 9 to 10.)
The performance art show “Dimensions Variable” was held Oct. 27 in Matthew Ritchie's “The Demon in the Diagram,” a sprawling exhibition currently occupying the entirety of two galleries in the Moody Center for the Arts. The 40-minute piece, produced by the Hope Mohr Dance troupe and composer Evan Ziporyn, was intended to use dance to elaborate on the message of Ritchie's piece.
In the Oct. 3 issue of The Rice Thresher, the Rice University College Republicans claimed to support increasing voter turnout. RUCR President Juliette Turner claimed in her interview with the Thresher that her group has not been invited to participate in campus events to increase voter registration.
The 2018 Texas Contemporary Art Fair, held from Oct. 4 to Oct. 7 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, debuted to great fanfare. It had outlasted both of its natural enemies, Hurricane Harvey and the now-defunct Houston Fine Art Fair. What’s more, it featured pieces from more than 70 galleries, the most in the history of the event. The fair, condensed almost entirely on a single, open floor, featured a dizzying array of subjects and styles; portraits inspired by West African Ankara wax prints competed for air against what I can only describe as a conclave of Jaeger-drinking teddy bears.
In Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, Republicans dodged a bullet when Rep. Martha Roby beat back a far-right challenger in the Republican primary. The race’s competitiveness plunged. FiveThirtyEight, the gold standard in election modeling, now gives Roby just over a 98 percent chance of victory in the general election. Meanwhile, a shockingly close special election result in Ohio’s 12th District gave Democrats a great deal of hope for taking the seat in November. FiveThirtyEight's models show the race to be a coin flip.