Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Inaugurates Glassell School of Art May 20

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On May 20, join the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from noon to 4 p.m. for its Celebrating Community: Opening Day event. The celebration marks the completion of the Glassell School of Art, Brown Foundation Inc. Plaza and BBVA Compass Roof Garden, part of the museum’s $450 million renovation project. The inaugural event includes entertainment for all ages including art-making activities, wearable flower brooches, a story booth, a storybook picnic, lemonade stand, a performance by the Texas Southern University Jazz Ensemble and a performance with METdance. For a full list of events throughout the day, click here. Guests will also be able to tour the Glassell School of Art, Brown Foundation Inc. Plaza and BBVA Compass Roof Garden. 

The Glassell School of Art is the nation’s only museum-affiliated art school and includes a pre-K through postgraduate curriculum. Classes at the Glassell School begin on June 4 with summer sessions for children. Visitors to the space are sure to appreciate the architectural detail and intricacies executed by Steven Holl Architects. The modern L-shaped building includes a sloped and walkable roofline that runs the length of the building and connects the on-site amphitheater and BBVA Compass Roof Garden. Boasting 93,000 sq. ft. of interior space, there is plenty of room for students including studio space, exhibition space, gallery space, auditorium and a coffee bar that is open to the public. 

The Brown Foundation Plaza, along with the Glassell School of Art will serve as a public gateway to the Susan and Fayez Sarofim Campus, creating a new public greenspace in Houston. The completion of the plaza, also part of the first phase of renovation, will be celebrated at the opening day event. Visitors to the plaza will enjoy a beautiful fountain, shaded seating area and two new public sculptures. The first, a 32-foot-high stainless steel form by Anish Kapoor called Cloud Column. The second, a stacked-granite sculpture called Song of Strength by Eduardo Chillida. 

The BBVA Compass Roof Garden, also executed by Steven Holl Architects, serves as a green roof and a welcoming space. Surrounded by jasmine and other natural elements. There is seating for the amphitheater at the base of the roof’s slope where spectators can enjoy one of the many events that will be held there. There is a pergola for shaded seating, along with a glass-and-steel skylight. The views from the Roof Garden include panoramas of Downtown and the Texas Medical Center. 

Now that the first phase of the massive MFAH renovation is complete, fundraising and construction continues on phases two and three. The next addition, the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Center, will be completed in late 2018. This center will bring MFAH’s conservation team together under one roof for the first time in the museum’s history. Further, the space will house state-of-the art conservation labs and studios. The last component to be constructed is The Nancy and Rick Kinder Building to be completed in 2020. This building, also by Steven Holl Architects, will be largely translucent and transparent, dedicated to art after 1900 and will stand in complementary contrast to the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed Caroline Wiess Law Building and stone façade of Rafael Moneo’s Audrey Jones Beck Building.

For more information on the MFAH’s Campus Redevelopment and project updates, click here.

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