As people know, most academic buildings are designed by the insane. There is no other logical explanation for the meandering floor plans intended to anger professors and confuse students. Rice University's Sewall Hall is no exception. Is it the worst example of deranged educational architecture? By no means. But the convoluted floor plan made hitting Andrew Zukoski's Friday night reception at Matchbox Gallery (alternative website) an exercise in frustration.
The opening could be heard before being seen, as KTRU DJs blasted music that echoed across campus. Sporadic signs led to a stairwell, but neglected to show which floor to exit on. The tiny, student gallery is a reclaimed space on the second floor. Once found, I walked through the exhibit out to the courtyard, beer and food; not realizing I had passed the exhibit entirety.
Back in the dark gallery, the artworks are visual mash-ups created by a self-selecting program on digital image frames. Opposite the works; a blackboard has rules, diagrams and swearwords explaining the creative process. For additional thoughts on the pieces by a less-cranky person, go here.
Want to see the show? If you're not a Rice staffer or student, you'll have to pay for parking or do it illegally. Enter Sewall on the 3rd floor, go down one floor. Look for the door pictured.
Once found you'll know where to go for future shows (announced on Facebook.) It will be interesting to see what the art students will be making for upcoming shows. Hopefully, it will include more signs to the gallery.