21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Pixel Forest and Hot Undies Run

Lighting designer Kaori Kuwabara collaborated with Pipilotti Rist in creating Pixel Forest Transformer, where thousands of hanging LED lights change color in this new exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Lighting designer Kaori Kuwabara collaborated with Pipilotti Rist in creating Pixel Forest Transformer, where thousands of hanging LED lights change color in this new exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Photo by Mancia Bodner, courtesy of Kunsthaus Zürich

Tuesday, June 13

Last year’s Kusama exhibit was the epitome of cool. The Instagrammer’s dream had us clamoring for those highly coveted spots inside the polka-dotted Love Is Calling and the incandescent Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity. So how does the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, top last summer’s blockbuster? “Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanishoffers more temporal experiences, with thousands of hanging LED lights that change color and rhythms and a dream-state video about becoming one with nature. “The camera closes in on the image of a woman sleeping and then you go down the rabbit hole like Alice,” says organizing curator Alison de Lima Greene, the MFAH’s Isabel Brown Wilson curator of modern and contemporary art. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 13. Continuing 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Through September 17. 1001 Bissonnet, 713-639-7300, mfah.org. Free to $18. – Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, June 14

The Underground Railroad was neither underground nor a railroad, yet it holds a distinct place in our country’s past. For one day, the Galveston Historical Foundation will host The Making of the Underground Railroad to highlight the culture that surrounded the American Civil War era. This program will kick off with a performance by Mrs. Sherman Batiste Boyer from Saint Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church and musicians from Market Street Baptist Church, followed by presentations on key Underground Railroad figures, including Menard Thomas, Richard Nelson, Lavenia Bell and Harriet Tubman. Also, be sure to check out the coded-quilts exhibit, which shows how quilt patterns held secret messages about escaping the South. Space is limited, so reservations are required. 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 14. The 1838 Menard House and Grounds, 1605 33rd Street, Galveston. For information, call 409-765-3453 or visit galvestonhistory.org. Free. – Sam Byrd

Upcoming Events

This three-day big Tex battle pitting the super-hot Houston Astros against the Texas Rangers comes to a close this Wednesday, but not before some awesome swag gets handed out. The first 10,000 fans through the gate receive a Lone Star Series T-shirt, presented by The Smile Generation. Our advice is to eat a light lunch because it's also $1 hot-dog night, and we've seen more than a few trying to best their own personal record for downing those Nolan Ryan dogs. The 'Stros are doing an amazing job this season, so come and show some of that H-Town love. 7:10 p.m. June 14. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. For information, call 877-927-8767 or visit astros.com. $14 to $101. – Susie Tommaney

Aye aye, Captain. Get a crash course in what it's like to live the nautical life at this year's Houston Summer Boat Show. Figure out which boat is best for you: fishing boats, bass boats, cabin cruisers, bowriders, sailboats, personal watercrafts or trawlers. Then work backwards to interview reps from area marinas, insurance carriers, tackle shops and the inevitable boat and motor repair guru. This year's attractions include a demo by pro angler Chuck Devereaux as he casts his lure in the let's-hope-the-glass-holds 5,000-gallon Bass Tub aquarium. Junior fisherboys and girls will gravitate towards the Kid's Zone with Royale the Robot Ranger, the fully-stocked Fish-O-Rama and the crash-tastic bumper boats, inflatables and bungee trampoline. Bring $12 cash for parking. 1 to 8 p.m. June 14-16; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 17; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 18. NRG Center, One NRG Park. For information, call 832-667-1400 or visit houstonboatshows.com. Free to $12. – Susie Tommaney

Thursday, June 15

Welcome to the Planet Ridiculon with RiffTrax Live: Summer Shorts Beach Party. Forget being all polite and PC; the RiffTrax regulars (Bridget Nelson and Mary Jo Pehl, the Mads from MST3K Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff) are certified experts in finding the funny in just about everything, and for this summer-themed night of crazy they'll be riffing on educational shorts. Joining them is guest riffer Paul F. Tompkins, plus you won't want to miss Rich “Lowtax” Kyanka's special video segment. Surf's up, so ride this wave all the way home for a special grand finale: the Super Riff-A-Palooza. 7 p.m. June 15 and 7:30 p.m. June 20 (encore). Edwards Houston Marq*E Stadium 23 & IMAX, 7600 Katy Freeway. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for a list of participating venues. $13.53. – Susie Tommaney

Don your bonnets and parasols for protection from the hot June sun and make your way to Brazos Bookstore’s Summer of Austen Ball. Though the three-month-long “Summer of Austen” events coincide with the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, “[the ball] has no pretension of seriousness whatsoever, or of somberness,” says Sara Balabanlilar, the shop’s marketing director. “We’re going to push all of our furniture out of the way and create a perfect Regency-era ball, but Brazos-style.” Balabanlilar says that style is a little bit quirky, a little bit weird and silly, and the bookstore has “combined [it] with a real sense of wanting to honor the works of [Austen].” Dance lessons and refreshments will be provided, and anyone who wears his or her finest Regency dress to any Austen event will get 10 percent off the purchase. 7 p.m. June 15. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free. – Natalie de la Garza

It’s sort of a smorgasbord for dance lovers. With ballet, modern, contemporary and even a touch of Indian classical (Kathak and Bharatanatyam), this year’s Barnstorm Dance Fest delivers three completely different programs over its two-week run. Program A kicks off the fest on Thursday with local dance makers (6 Degrees, Open Dance Project) and a Dallas import by way of Danielle Georgiou Dance Group. “They have not been part of the festival before,” says Mollie Haven Miller, executive director of presenter Dance Source Houston. “It’s a solo called Chatter, about crosstalk and mind chatter and the cluttering of the minds.” Attending all three programs provides a nice overview from established and emerging artists, and Miller tells us that the fest also includes workshops and a master class. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. June 15 through June 24. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-672-2091 or visit dancesourcehouston.org. $20 to $50. – Susie Tommaney

A little Spring, deep in the heart of summer. While best known for theater and comedy, Rec Room is offering a little something different in a modern adaption of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. “Our version is certainly not a ballet!” says Stephanie Wittels, Rec Room’s executive director, adding it definitely could be categorized as “avant-garde.” “Choreographer Laura Gutierrez has adapted this very much in the spirit of who we are at Rec Room, and [director] Matt [Hune] is staging it in our back room, a 600-square-foot gallery. Rarely will audiences have the chance to experience a show like this in such an intimate space.” One of the show’s perks? Audience members are encouraged to bench-hop during the show, in order to get different perspectives! 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. June 15 through July 8. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit recroomhtx.com. $10 to $25. – Vic Shuttee

The National Gallery in London did all the work — assembling the largest-ever collection of Leonardo da Vinci paintings — and now it's our turn to reap the rewards. The filmmakers from Armchair Travel: Exhibition on Screen were there for the opening night excitement at "Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan," adding to the cinematic experience with snippets from art historian/broadcaster Tim Marlow and behind-the-scenes preparations. The folks over at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, have supersized the screening of Leonardo from the National Gallery London with a free post-film concert of Renaissance music by Carlos Lopez Consort in Gallery 214. Consort will perform using both Renaissance-era and modern instruments. 2 to 3:30 p.m. June 15 and June 18. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org/films. $7 to $9. – Susie Tommaney

There's nothing more exciting than being a daub away from getting five in a row, unless it's actually hearing that final number-letter-combo and being able to jump up and down and yell "BINGO!" Winning is great – there are cash prizes, gift certificates and other giveaways – but really everybody wins with the hip and trendy Blanket Bingo event at Historic Market Square Park. Come early (they start selling tickets at 6 p.m. and sometimes sell out within 30 minutes), spread out your blanket or lawn chair, and grab a cold one from Niko Niko's. Feeling extroverted? They’re always looking for volunteers to hold up letters and numbers. A sawbuck gets you one bingo packet (usually nine games), and they begin calling out numbers and letters at 7 p.m. Street parking is free after 6 p.m., so no more excuses. 6 to 9 p.m. June 15. 301 Milam. For information, call 713-650-3022 or visit marketsquarepark.com. $10. – Susie Tommaney



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