''Gaia: New Installation''

''I am fascinated by the incomprehensible energy, size and scope of Houston, which on the surface may appear to be a bland metropolis,'' says Gaia, the artist behind ''Gaia: New Installation'' at Rice University Art Gallery. ''There is a tremendous sense of interconnectivity in the ways in which people relate to one another and navigate their city.'' Gaia is a street artist whose internationally acclaimed projects with the collective Wall Hunters include humongous portraits of residents and other locals, plastered on their crumbling urban residences. While the ''unsanctioned'' works often result in ire and embarrassment on the part of neglectful landlords, Gaia's point isn't about assigning blame but rather to shine a spotlight on the deteriorating neighborhoods. Now he's turned his focus toward Houston. ''Here, Gaia's installation will be a reflection on his perceptions of the Rice and Houston communities during his site visit and residency,'' explains Rice Gallery Assistant Curator Josh Fischer. ''Houstonians will recognize views of the city including the Fourth Ward, downtown and the Galleria, as well as portraits of individuals with whom Gaia has spoken during his time here.'' Among the standouts in this site-specific installation is a detailed, floor-to-ceiling mural painted on three gallery walls.

There's an opening reception with the artist at 5 p.m. September 26. Regular viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through December 6. Rice Gallery, 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-6069 or visit rice.edu. Free.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 12-5 p.m.; Thursdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Starts: Sept. 27. Continues through Dec. 6, 2013

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Nancy Ford
Contact: Nancy Ford