Rothko Chapel – Temporarily Closed

summer solstice observance at the university of st. thomas

Friday, Jun. 21, 2019 – Friday, Jun. 21, 2019

07:00 AM

Summer Solstice Observance
Offsite: Labyrinth in the Gueymard Meditation Garden at the University of St. Thomas, Houston (corner of W Alabama & Mt Vernon Streets, next to the Chapel of St. Basil on campus)

Labyrinth Walk by Jay Stailey & Performance by Laura Lucas and John Edward Ross
​Pay What You Can, suggested contribution $10

Join the Rothko Chapel in celebrating the summer solstice with a morning labyrinth walk and music at the labyrinth in the Gueymard Meditation Garden at the University of St. Thomas, Houston. The morning observance begins with opening words from Father Chris Valka, CSB, followed by a labyrinth walk facilitated by Jay Stailey, accompanied by musical performances by Laura Lucas (flute) and John Edward Ross (guitar). Water and light breakfast snacks will be provided, please bring your own bottle to reduce waste.

About the presenters:
Jay Stailey, a Rothko Chapel Guild founding member, and former Houston-area public school administrator discovered the power of the labyrinth as a tool to focus his thoughts, clear his mind, and tune his inner being. His curiosity and interest broadened as he became a Veriditas trained and certified labyrinth facilitator, and leading him to become Houston’s first labyrinth coach. He has emerged as a fixture in the Houston labyrinth community, facilitating monthly labyrinth walks at the Historic Freedmen’s Town Labyrinth, guiding Houstonians on discovery walks and bicycle tours, and facilitating the construction of temporary and permanent labyrinths with Houston-area churches and schools. He has installed labyrinths for Core Dance performances in Atlanta, Georgia, on the Fourviere in historic Lyon, France, and on the equator in the cloud forests of Ecuador. He presented at The Labyrinth Society Fall 2016 Gathering in Houston, on “Building Community through the Labyrinth Experience.” Future labyrinth projects in Ireland, Mexico, Ecuador and Italy (in partnership with the Houston Grand Opera) loom on the horizon.

Laura Lucas earned her Master of Music in flute performance and Performers Certificate from Temple University in Philadelphia. She commenced teaching public school strings in 2000 and received her all-level music teaching certification in 2003. Working for Project GRAD, her responsibilities included the co-direction of Orchestras and instruction of violin, viola, cello, and double bass for students in grades K-5. Since 2013, she works as Orchestra Director & Fine Arts Team Lead at Crockett Elementary Magnet School for the Performing and Visual Arts in HISD. Ms. Lucas is an active freelance musician, private lesson instructor, and co-owner of Sassafras Studio.

John Edward Ross is a composer, producer, guitarist, and educator. He built and owns Studio Sassafras where he writes, records, and engineers music. He has scored documentary and commercial films, composed and performed for modern dance companies, produced and recorded for jazz, country, rock, R&B, gospel, rock, and electronic artists, written and arranged for choirs, scored musicals, and produced music for commercials. He has performed professionally as a guitarist since 1995. He teaches private music lessons and has developed a series of books and recordings for teaching guitar. He is the recipient of several artist grants and residencies.

Ordained in 2009, Fr. Chris Valka, CSB, is a member of the Congregation of St. Basil (the Basilian Fathers). Currently, he is the Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry at UST as well as the Superior of the Basilian Residence on campus (Keon House). In addition, Fr. Chris serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the UST Board; as the President of the Archdiocesan School Council; a member of the Pastor’s Advisory Board at Interfaith Ministries; and a Fellow of Leadership Houston.

This event is one in a series of offsite programs presented by the Rothko Chapel in partnership with Houston-area organizations while the Chapel is closed for restoration. The Rothko Chapel and grounds are closed to the public, to reopen in early 2020. This temporary closure is the first part of the implementation of the Rothko Chapel Opening Spaces master plan, focused on preserving the Chapel as a unique public art site and spiritual space, serving the growing number of visitors and program participants, and setting the stage for programmatic expansion.


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  • Monday-Sunday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Open every day of the year from 10 am - 6 pm.
  • Free Hours: Always free!
    • Rothko Chapel is currently closed for renovations.

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Visitors can use the Menil Collection parking lot located at Mulberry and West Alabama. There is also street parking available on Yupon and Sul Ross. Wheelchair access is located on Sul Ross at the north end of the Chapel.

Events at Rothko Chapel – Temporarily Closed

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