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DEBRA BARRERA: Asymmetric Seekers

A new permanent art installation in the Brockman Hall for Physics is a large-scale screen-printed work that represents the history and evolution of scientific discovery. Culled from images that scientists and students create and work with in the course of their research, ‘Asymmetric Seekers’ presents colorful images that each correspond to a specific field of study within physics and astronomy.  

Houston-based artist Debra Barrera and master printmaker Carlos Hernandez created the installation after Barrera’s tenure as an Artist in Residence at the School of Physics and Astronomy. Barrera worked closely with students and faculty to obtain relevant imagery that pertains to ongoing research or to the history of science. From high energy astrophysics to nuclear and particle physics, Barrera researched the history and significance behind each image, transforming the imagery in conversation with Brockman Hall constituents.

The final selections were transformed into exquisitely detailed screen-printed images in partnership with Burning Bones Press master printmakers Carlos Hernandez and Patrick Masterson. The images were screen-printed with ink directly on three walls in the main stairwell of the Brockman Hall for Physics.  “My work and residence here at the department of Physics and Astronomy has led to a deeper understanding of what connects artists and scientists.” Barrera said in discussing her work at Rice. “We are ultimately excited by the same idea: making the impossible, possible.”  

For a full press release and video of Barrera's artistic process, click here.

Welcome to Rice Public Art

Art expands our capacity to perceive, understand and represent the world. Rice Public Art seeks to generate encounters with art that advance the culture of inquiry that characterizes our university. By incorporating site specific works into the campus landscape and interior spaces, the program aims to challenge and inspire the community to imagine its work and lives from unconventional and potentially transformative perspectives. Rice Public Art works in collaboration with The Shepherd School of Music, the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts (VADA), the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory (3CT), the BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) and the student organization Art Lab, among others, in an effort to broadly integrate our programming into the academic life at Rice University. 

News and Updates

  • 'Black Ladder' fills Glasscock School's Anderson-Clarke Center with colorful lightHOUSTON (Aug. 12, 2014) "Black Ladder," a 30 foot tall sculpture created by French American artist Stephen Dean, was installed this month in the center's main stairwell window, which is set into the building's front façade. Dean's sculpture employs varied panels of dichroic glass framed within the form of a ladder and fills the entire width and height of the window. It was made possible by a donation from Rice alumnus and former Rice administrator H. Russell Pitman '58. 
  • Inaugural Sandra and Jim Robbins Lecture Series to Kick Off w/ Artist Daniel AnguiluHOUSTON - (Jul. 30, 2014) Rice Public Art is pleased to announce the inauguration of an annual lecture series supported by a generous gift from Sandra Robbins ('59) and her husband Jim Robbins. The series will, each year, illuminate a specific topic within the arts, driven primarily by student interest. The inaugural lecture, Robbins Vol 1: Graffiti, will feature a conversation with Houston artist Daniel Anguilu, Detroit-based writer Nichole Christian, and Houston-based art historian Laura Wellen, on September 17, 2014, 7 pm, Herring Hall 100. The program is free and open to the public.