Celebrate the Summer Solstice at the Rothko Chapel Enjoy a guided labyrinth walk on Chapel grounds and taiko drumming

Looking for a way to celebrate the solstice - and the beginning of summer? The Rothko Chapel has planned a special day to mark the occasion.

Start the day at sunrise - at 6:21 a.m. on Monday, June 20 -- with a guided labyrinth walk on the grounds of the Chapel."Labyrinths provide a space to meditate and reflect," public programs director Michelle Ashton said. "This is the perfect place to set your intentions for the future -- on the longest day of the year."

The Chapel and labyrinth will be available for visitors to continue to explore throughout the day. Jay Stailey, a certified labyrinth facilitator and Rohtko Guild member, explained that walking a labyrinth is a pathway to prayer and meditation.

"Labyrinths are by nature thin places, places that create liminal space," he said. "The change of seasons, solstice and equinox are said to be liminal times, moments in our journeys when the veil between worlds becomes thin. In short, the labyrinth is the perfect space to experience this particular moment on our path."

The solstice celebration at the Chapel will end at sunset at 8:25 p.m. with a performance by Kaminari Taiko of Houston, the premier Japanese drumming group in the Gulf Coast region. "Taiko" is the Japanese word for drum - and the art of taiko carries deep significance in Japanese culture. Samurai warriors used taiko on the battlefield to signal commands and frighten their enemies. Townspeople warned of danger by beating on taiko, and priests used the drumming at religious ceremonies.

"Temples and shrines throughout Japan display taiko as a symbol of purification and to dispel evil spirits," Ashton said. "We think our guests will love this modern display of a centuries-old tradition."

Kaminari Taiko was founded in 1996 by Jay Mochizuki along with a number of talented musicians from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. The members trained under world acclaimed Taiko masters such as: Daihachi Oguchi, Seiichi Tanaka, Kenny Endo and Takemasa Ishikura.

Visitors come to the Rothko Chapel throughout the year to meditate and reflect, as they gaze at the tremendous paintings by Mark Rothko - or when they step outside to view Barnett Newman's powerful sculpture Broken Obelisk, which stands in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Chapel also hosts programs and events in support of important causes concerning human rights, peace, freedom, and social justice. The Rothko Chapel is located at 3900 Yupon. For more information and to view the full calendar of upcoming programs, workshops and events, visit rothkochapel.org or call 713-524-9839.

About the Rothko Chapel

The Rothko Chapel is open to the public every day of the year at no charge and successfully interconnects art, spirituality and compassionate action through a broad array of free public programs. Founded by Houston philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil, the Chapel was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate sanctuary. Today it stands as a monument to art, spirituality and human rights. As an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, the Chapel depends on contributions from foundations and individuals to support its mission of creating a space for contemplation and dialogue on important issues.