Rice Gallery; Arts Programs Tighten Budgets

Hot on the heels of the news that the University of Houston's KUHF will purchase Rice University's KTRU radio station and change its format to classical-music-only, comes more bad news that Rice Gallery will most likely have to scale back its annual number of exhibitions due to further tightening of arts budgets since the university's endowment decreased by $60 million in 2008.

Art Attack talked with Rice Gallery outreach coordinator Anna Foret.

Everybody's budget on campus has been cut. I think it's public knowledge that the endowment dropped a significant amount this past year. It's not just us, but yes, we were included in that. So far we're not having to let go of anything--we could've lost a person. One of our staff members took another position, so that spot is vacant, but we're planning on filling it. We did ask our patrons to step up if they can, but that's tough too, because everybody's hurting these days.

So far we're OK; we're trying to apply for more grants. But we are moving forward with our exhibitions. Sarah Oppenheimer is actually here installing. That show is going to extend the whole semester. That's one solution. I don't know if we'll be able to keep doing the five shows a semester like we have been doing. But so far were not concerned. But yeah, we all got those bad-news letters. We're just trying to be responsible with what we're spending money on. The president said we have to cut this amount of money, and then it was basically up to all the deans of the different colleges to kind of divvy it up.

Silver lining? Rice's first student-run gallery.

There's a student-run art gallery now, Matchbox Gallery. It's really cool little space. And the name is perfect because it's about the size of an oversized closet. The students wanted an art space that they had complete control over, so they just made it happen.

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