By Richard Zagrzecki
Suspended from the ceiling of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts is one of the more unique and interesting pieces in the University of Houston Public Art Collection.
Comprising 110,600 clear glass beads hanging from 2,300 monofilament strands, “A Moment in Time” is a quiet, contemplative piece meant to mimic falling rain, frozen in space and time. It is the work of Brooklyn-based artist Alyson Shotz, who was commissioned to create it in 2005.
The artwork is a favorite of Mike Guidry, curator of the UH Public Art Collection.
“The placement is brilliant in that you don’t immediately see it when walking in, instead maybe catching it out of the corner of your eye, then looking up and being surprised by this airy mass that nearly fills the space above you,” Guidry said. “It is a wonderful and unique part of the collection.”
The strands hang from a grid on the ceiling measuring 16 feet by 16 feet. All of the work was done by hand by the artist.
Shotz is a multi-media artist who alternates between photography, sculpture, digital work and painting. Much of her focus is on recreating nature.
“This piece fits right in with her larger body of work, which deals with nature and how its perception changes over time, how we interact with it, and how we see ourselves as being part of or separate from it,” Guidry said.
Shotz’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim, MOMA, Harvard University and Weatherspoon Art Museum.