On this week's itinerary are a big art exhibition, a musical marathon (no running required), a winged bike ride, a fiery art auction-cum-raucous dance fete and a dramatic film with Brit sass.
Lawndale Art Center's "The Big Show 2014" Opening
One of my college professors explained that the future trajectory of art, unlike scientific endeavors, cannot be predicted. In art, if you can think of it today, you can accomplish it today. And that's what's exciting about this Lawndale Art Center's annual open-call juried exhibition that offers emerging and under-represented artists a forum through which they can present their work to the public.
What it means for you: This is where tomorrow's ideas are brewing. As this year's juror, Erin Elder, visual art director of Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, was responsible for the collection and for awarding three cash prizes.
Mark your calendars for "The Big Slide Show" (July 30-31), which are brief, casual and intimate artist chats that focus on the works on view.
Houston Symphony's Second Annual "Day of Music" Festival
Think of this melodious bash as a 10-hour marathon that reveals the rich cultural musical traditions that call Houston home. Helmed by the Houston Symphony, the event gathers an ambitious lineup of 20 plus presenters — among them Ars Lyrica, CityWide Grassroots Chorus, Houston Blues Museum, Houston Tidelanders Chorus, Joy of Djembe Drumming, Keyun and the Zydeco Masters, Mariachi 2000, Strictly Street Salsa — for an artsy feast on six stages.
Activities include an instrument petting zoom, harmonica workshops and salsa dancing lessons. The event culminates with a Houston Symphony performance (8 p.m.) that features Ima Hogg Competition winner, clarinetist Lin Ma.
The skinny: Saturday, noon-8 p.m.; Jones Hall; free event.
Bayou City Outdoors hosts "Bikes, Bats, Brews and B-cycles - All On Buffalo Bayou"
Bayou City Outdoors is your go-to resource to learn about and participate in outdoor activities in Southeast Texas. With numerous excursions daily, the group serves as a meeting place for open-air enthusiasts to enjoy Houston's natural surroundings in the company of happy people.
Grab your bike, or rent one from Houston B-cyle onsite at the Sabine Street Bridge, to trot along the meandering Buffalo Bayou Hike Trail — which is looking might pretty these days — en route to the Waugh Street Bridge to watch a spectacle as a colony of bats leaves its home. The adventure continues with a ride to downtown for frosty suds and snacks.
Don't be an idiot: Wear a helmet (required). Organizers also suggest that participants bring lights and reflectors if they have them.
Continuum Performance Art presents The Big Machine
Is change always a good idea? Continuum Performance Art explores issues of gentrification during a late night creative affair of installations, performances, pyrotechnics and music by local bands. The Big Machine (watch a teaser vid here) also includes an unusual art auction with a tragic fate: Any unsold pieces will be burned at the conclusion of the soirée that ends at 2 a.m.
Drumming, strumming, dancing, chanting and glossolalia? That's how the organizers describe the high-decibel party that includes music by Luke Lukas, Whit, Howl and The Rougarou, and Say Girl Say.
Drama in the House film screening: The Remains of the Day
In conjunction with the exhibition Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House (read CultureMap editor Barbara Kuntz's take on the exhibition here), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston film savant Marian Luntz curates a film series that spotlights life in similar remarkable countryside manses across the pond.
Amid the class, elegance, opulence and charming accents of British high society drama unfolds in this series opening screening in which unlikely romances unfold, scandalous alliances are revealed and loyalties are questioned (insert impending doom music here).