Rice University exhibit is 'warped, whimsical'

Visitors to the new exhibit at the Rice University Media Center Gallery might think they're dreaming, but what they're really doing is taking in the work of Pennsylvania artist Patricia Bellan-Gillen.

As described by the university’s Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts, “Willful Wondering” can be considered a “journey through the mysterious, the warped and the whimsical,” as it invites viewers “to explore a dreamland while being fully awake."

Established in 1969 by arts patrons Jean and Dominique de Menil, with guidance from scholar Gerald O'Grady, the Rice University Media Center has a history of working closely with the school’s art and art history departments as well as its dramatic arts and cinema programs.

Rice has welcomed its share of artists over the years. In 1970 Andy Warhol visited and planted a tree with founder Dominique de Menil, and actress Isabella Rossellini took part in a show of work by her father, Roberto, in 1987.

“Willful Wondering” will be on display through Feb. 17.

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