ON FEB. 24, RICE celebrated the opening of the Moody Center for the Arts, a 50,000-square-foot space designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration through the arts. “The Moody is an experimental space for both fabrication and exhibition, with an equal emphasis on process and presentation,” said Alison Weaver, the Suzanne Deal Booth Executive Director of the Moody, who welcomed Houston civic officials, leaders of fellow cultural institutions, donors, artists, students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public to the ceremony. “It’s an extraordinarily flexible teaching space to encourage new modes of making, learning and presenting. And it’s a forum for creative partnerships with visiting national and international artists, as well as the Houston arts community,” she said. Indeed, the Moody’s inaugural season features exhibitions and artists’ talks, dramatic and dance performances, and an artist-in-residence program and provides space for campus classes and collaborations.

“The Moody Foundation realized that the center for the arts fills a need that existed at Rice,” said Ross Moody, chairman of the Moody Foundation. Designed by architect Michael Maltzan, the distinctive gray brick and glass-walled structure located on the west side of Rice’s campus has already been recognized by Architectural Digest as one of the best new university buildings in the world.

Videographer Brandon Martin captured the spirit of the Moody’s opening weekend in this three-minute video, here.

The Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University was designed by renowned Los Angeles-based architect Michael Maltzan. The architect’s striking contemporary design, with its bold geometric shapes and inviting transparency, will create a beacon on Rice’s campus while affirming the Moody’s mission to foster connections across disciplines. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

teamLab: Flowers & People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – A Whole Year per Hour (2015) Through August 13, 2017. teamLab is a Tokyo-based collective operating at the frontier of art and technology. In this interactive installation, sensors respond to visitors’ movements, causing flowers to sprout, bloom and wilt in an ever-changing cycle. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

Nature & Politics is an exhibition of color photographs depicting scientific research and manufactured landscapes by the Berlin-based artist Thomas Struth (b. 1954). The images bear witness to specialized imaginations. Whether it is the technological developments that make space travel possible or experiments in plasma physics, all owe their existence to the ideas and designs of experts and raise questions about the ramifications of scientific progress. “Nature & Politics” by Thomas Struth runs through May 29. © Thomas Struth

Olafur Eliasson, Green light — An artistic workshop was open through May 6. The Moody is proud to feature the first installation in the United States of Olafur Eliasson’s Green light — An artistic workshop. Initiated by the Danish-Icelandic artist in collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) in Vienna, Austria, in 2016, this project addresses the international refugee crisis and the current geopolitical issues surrounding global migration. It gives the green “go-ahead” light to asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants by inviting them to participate in a multi-faceted program of creativity and shared learning. This includes a workshop for the construction of stackable, modular green lamps, designed by Eliasson (b. 1967), as well as language courses, seminars, artist’s interventions and film screenings. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

From the Green light project. The lamps are available for purchase for $350. Proceeds will be donated to the Moody’s partner organization, Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

“There is a very strong tendency to see refugees as resourceless,” said Eliasson. “One of the strategies of the Green Light project is to promote the idea that refugees are also resourceful; they’re full of potential.” Refugees from Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq and Syria gathered at the Moody three times a week to create lantern-like green lamps, a metaphorical symbol of welcome, which are designed by Eliasson and made of sustainable and recycled materials. Proceeds from lamp sales support the Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, which assists refugees and migrants. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

Mona Hatoum, the Leslie and Brad Bucher Artist-in-Residence Program, March – April, 2017. Photo by Andri Pol

Several Rice classes met in the Moody Arts Center this spring. Classroom teaching will take place throughout the Moody each semester. Here, a class called, “Monster – Conceiving and Misconceiving the Monstrous in Fiction and the Biosciences in Medicine and Art” meets. The course was taught by Rice professors Deborah Harter, Mike Gustin and Paul Hester. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

The Moody hosted the Houston premier of An Iliad, a reimagining of Homer’s classic for the modern world. Leon Ingulsrud of NYC’s SITI Company played The Poet, an ageless wanderer who is doomed to retell the story of Achilles’ rage again and again, until the world finally understands. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

The Moody invites students to visit its light-filled spaces, study or have a coffee. Photo by Jeff Fitlow