This weekend offers artful, outdoor activities — see the vibrant Via Colori chalk festival downtown and Art in the Park in Midtown. Speaking of art, an acclaimed tour opens in Houston featuring President Barack Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama — kicking off with a free event this Sunday.
Look for a Top Chef watch party and more art openings, including one that every video gamer should catch.
Game on — here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, March 31
Spring Salon 2022 Open House
Grogan Gallery is celebrating all things spring with an open house featuring artwork from the gallery's international roster of acclaimed artists, curated by its staff. There will also be a chance to win one of three bottles of wine featuring the artwork of René Romero Schuler, signed by the artist. (Must be present to win.) Light bites and wine will be served, so come by so you can sip, stroll and mingle. Through Wednesday, April 12. 4 pm.
All Hands Cocktails Launch Party
All Hands Cocktails is stoked to celebrate their official launch with a free hometown party, complete with some damn fine barbecue, live music and plenty of provisions. An RSVP will get ya such perks as one complimentary can of All Hands (that's two cocktails in one can!) and a discounted plate from Truth BBQ. The first 50 folks to claim their spot will get a swag bag with All Hands gear, extra drink tickets and a signed event poster from the artists. 6 pm.
Top Chef Watch Party at J-Bar-M Barbecue
J-Bar-M Barbecue will host a Top Chef watch party of a special episode filmed on location. The show will be displayed on the big screen, on stage and with sound. Pit boss Willow Villareal is rolling out the whole hog cooker. Arrive early to see the hog come off the pit and enjoy the feature plate: whole heritage hog served with cornbread, black-eyed peas, and collard greens for $18 while supplies last. 6 pm.
Friday, April 1
8th Annual Literacy Now Guild Luncheon: Bee Inspired
Literacy Now, a local non-profit organization dedicated to transforming communities by empowering children and families through literacy, leadership, and life skills, will host its eighth-annual luncheon. The mission of the Guild is to assist with program activities and events, help to raise program funds, and spread awareness. Its goal is to empower students to read by the end of third grade, thereby increasing the likelihood they will remain on track to graduate from high school and be ready to pursue their postsecondary goals. 10:30 pm.
DiverseWorks presents "Overlapping Territories" opening reception
This interdisciplinary, experimental space has six artists engaging, discovering, and reimagining what it means to be in relationship to the land. Ashley DeHoyos begins the project with a Houston-centered approach, while Liyen Chong, Catherine Davila-Martinez, Angel Lartigue, Matt Manalo, Jenah Maravilla, and Monica Villarreal will create multidisciplinary projects that reflect the breadth of the investigations and interrogations into land-centered politics. Through Saturday, April 23. 6 pm.
Press Start: A Video Game Art Show
For the first time in over seven years, Insomnia Gallery will present an art show dedicated to video games. This is to tie in directly with celebrating the gallery's 11th anniversary and giving a nod to its past, where video game tournaments were hosted for years. Join them for this nostalgic and fun journey, as they celebrate gaming from Atari to Zelda and everything in-between with over 30-plus local artists. 7 pm.
Remember When Rock Was Young: The Elton John Tribute
This full-strength stage experience captures the music, costumes, and charisma of Sir Elton John. The performance stars singer/actor/pianist Craig A. Meyer, who has toured internationally and recorded with music legends including Frankie Valli and Barry Manilow. The theatrical experience is a musical journey celebrating the decades of John's chart-topping hits, including “Bennie and the Jets,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and “Candle in the Wind.” 8 pm.
Saturday, April 2
The Puranik Foundation presents “Yoga, Artz and Brunch for Educator’s Empowerment”
The Puranik Foundation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Houston and operating a private residential school in India, will host this event at RISE Rooftop, the first of three mindfulness events this year. (The other two are in August and October.) These events are curated for educators and feature all levels of yoga practice, a three-course, plant-based organic brunch, booths from local artists, mindfulness activities, and live music. 11 am.
Mardi Gras Bead Recycling Drive at Saint Arnold
On Saturday, people who donate at least three pounds of Mardi Gras beads will receive a ticket for a complimentary beer at the Saint Arnold Beer Garden & Restaurant. Attendees of Yaga’s Entertainment’s Mardi Gras! Galveston threw over 3 million beads during the two-weekend festival this past February. Recycled beads will go toward the “Beads for Needs” program, for students in Ball High School’s Entrepreneurial Incubator and Life Skills programs. Noon.
Archway Gallery presents "For the Love of Earth" opening reception
Archway Gallery presents a group exhibition featuring works by all Archway Gallery artists, in celebration of Earth Day 2022. The exhibition supports the work of the Citizens Environmental Coalition, which seeks to foster dialogue, education, and collaboration on environmental issues in the greater Houston region. This exhibition challenges the viewer to consider the fragility of our planet and all living things on it and to take actions which will bring beneficial change. Through Thursday, May 5. 5 pm.
Houston Symphony presents Marvel Studios’ Black Panther in Concert
The long-awaited Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won't drop until November. So, you might as well head over to Jones Hall on Saturday and Sunday and get acquainted/reacquainted with the original, 2018 blockbuster. The Houston Symphony presents this screening, complete with the musical score performed live during the film. The concert is led by Houston Symphony Principal POPS conductor Steven Reineke. 7:30 pm.
Sunday, April 3
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery presents The Obama Portraits Tour
From the moment of their unveiling at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018, the museum’s official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama have become iconic. In addition to the artworks themselves, The Obama Portraits will feature audio-visual elements, Portrait Gallery-led teacher workshops, curatorial presentations, and a richly illustrated book. Through Monday, May 30. 12:15 pm.
93 Does the '90s Party
Break out the Cross Colours gear and Reebok Pump high-tops! 93' Til is hosting a '90s-themed party. Party like it's 1993 and relive the '90s with an all-day party with '90s-themed bites, drinks, music and vibes. Put on your favorite '90s outfits for a chance to win the best outfit contest, and compete in classic games like Four Square and Twister — plus '90s karaoke. There will also be a '90s-themed food menu consisting of corn dogs, steak skewers, brick chicken, etc. 1 pm.
Ukraine Benefit Concert
As war continues to rage in Ukraine, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and the larger community must do all we can to help the people of this war-torn country. St. Luke’s will host a benefit concert supporting relief efforts in Ukraine, with special musical guests Christina Wells and Ken Medema. All proceeds from both ticket sales and donations will go to UMCOR—the United Methodist Committee on Relief — to assist those in Ukraine, as well as Ukrainian refugees who have fled to neighboring countries. 7 pm.