Pick Five (Plus)
Your weekly guide to Houston: Underground art, rising Opera stars & Bayouadventure
Canceled events humped into last week, giving Houstonians even more choices in what to do. Although our definition of cold weather still claimed a few happenings, the robust spirit of the Southern folk kept people out and about.
As my Dominican Republic tan fades and blends with the sun-devoid pastiness of those less fortunate, my strategy is not to wallow in my sorrows but get out and mingle — it's also a part of my job.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston "Mixing the Medium" opening at Colton & Farb Gallery, an exhibition curated by The Studio co-chairs Philip Beck and Philip Berry, presented a diverse collection of works by up-and-coming artists represented by the gallery. They promised edgy, and they delivered, juxtaposing pop culture with the study of the subconscious.
That's the only way to explain a work combining "worn" doll underwear with a plush stuffed rat (it wasn't real) with strikes of red paint which I interpreted as blood, on canvas.
Caroline Gallay and Marcy de Luna were all over the opening of Wonder Bar, a new venture by Darren Van Delden (Sawyer Park, Red Door and Drake) and friends with an interactive concept. Men can pee in a urinal shaped like the Rolling Stones big red mouth logo, anyone willing can practice fellatio skills on a picture of David (you will be broadcast on a screen) and TubeTinis are paraded around the restaurant in a pressurized tube system, similar to that of a drive-thru bank.
Azur West, the first Shu Uemura salon in Houston and one of three in the U.S., opened in West Ave. Inspired by the rituals of the Japanese tea ceremony, this hair sanctuary piqued my interest. I want to experience one of its acclaimed hair treatments, especially if I get to sip on a refreshing cucumber vodka cocktail. The models were exquisite and their eye lashes defined drama.
Houston Arboretum's "Tapas on the Trails" brought out the romantic in me (very difficult to do) while an installment of the Caroline Sessions at CultureMap's own offices clarified any confusions about Chris Becker and Kris Becker, both incredibly talented musicians, different in their own realm.
What on this week?
Spacetaker's Artist SPEAKeasy with Melanie Schlossberg and Culture Pilot
Spacetaker is infamous for helping anyone involved in the creative community get ahead. The Artists SPEAKeasy events are one of my personal favorites happenings put on by the omniscient duo, K.C. Scharnberg and Jenni Rebecca Stephenson.
An informal talk focusing on new and cutting edge work happening in Houston, Spacetaker gives you an insider's view on the city's underground art scene, beer and munchies included. This month, it features visual artist Melanie Schlossberg and local design studio Culture Pilot. Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Houston Grand Opera Recitals at Rienzi
Set in the stunning European Decorative Arts gallery, Rienzi provides a delicious setting to get to know Houston's rising opera stars. The Houston Grand Opera Studio is a program that helped artists like Joyce DiDonato (Dead Man Walking), Albina Shagimuratova and Scott Hendricks (Lucia di Lammermoor).
Buffalo Bayou Partnership Kayak Tour
No equipment needed. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership gives you everything, including the two-person, sit-on-top kayak, to experience Houston's history and urban wilderness in an active and brand new way. Just dish out $60 per person. Reservations are required. Saturday at 11 a.m.
Houston Ballet Ball "Designed to Dance"
Be a part of Houston's art history by participating in the celebration of the new Center for Dance. A nostalgic '20s and '30s theme courtesy of Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra of Washington, D.C. gives you yet another reason to dress in your black-tie best.
Museum of Fine Arts Houston Film Screening: My Dog Tulip
This film combines two things that I love more than chocolate cake: dogs and animation. This is the first animated feature to be entirely hand drawn and painted utilizing paperless computer technology. The voices of Christopher Plummer, the late Lynn Redgrave and Isabella Rossellini will be heard in this Paul and Sandra Fierlinger film. The last screening, meaning you have to go, is on Sunday at 5 p.m.
My colleagues picks:
Assistant editor and art savant Steven Thomson's pick: University of Houston Symposium "Concrete Utopias"
Steven says: "This symposium offers an opportunity to better understand the concrete architecture that sprouted across America, especially in Houston, during the 1960s. The event is also a rare chance to attend an address by Jean-Louis Cohen, one of today's preeminent architectural historians." Thursday and Friday throughout the day.
Art columnist Nancy Wozny 's pick: Musiqa's Loft Concert at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) "Answers to Questions"
Nancy says: "I am heading off to hear violinist Todd Reynolds multi-media performance along with a world premiere by Bill Ryan, presented in collaboration with University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. It's free too." Thursday at 6:30 p.m.