Glass surrounds us, glass encompasses us; glass keeps us safe from the elements, and glass allows those of us with weak vision to see clearly. Many spend huge chunks of their waking hours staring intently into glass screens, both for work and for pleasure. Most of us don't think much of glass; we see right through it. "Glass: An Artist's Medium" is intent on expanding the role of the clear stuff in the artistic lexicon. With Cathy Cunningham's bent neon-tube electric chair and Tracy Hicks's jars filled with amphibian parts, a variety of social and political issues are addressed. Jim Bowman incorporates found objects into his blown-glass sculpture and David Graeve's installation involves six video screens illuminated by filtered light from glass construction blocks. Twelve artists, all nationally known and all with Texas credentials, are lending their talents to this exploration of the latent aesthetic qualities dormant within the glazier's craft. Clearly these people are onto something. The exhibition opens at 7 p.m. Friday, August 20. Through Thursday, September 30. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake, 2000 NASA Parkway. For information, call 281-335-7777 or visit www.taaccl.org. Free. -- Scott Faingold
River Oaks Theatre revives Waking Life
Richard Linklater's Waking Life revolves around a pothead premise: Are we sleepwalking through our waking state or wake-walking through our dreams? But this flick is more than just an excuse to light up a fatty. Traveling through the oneiric world, Wiley Wiggins encounters all kinds of philosophical characters, including professors, professional actors and all-around nutjobs. He listens to them discuss life, death, identity, evolution, film, free will, gun control and -- of course -- dreams. Linklater filmed the whole thing with a digital camera and handed the footage over to animators, who then digitally drew on top of it. All of which makes for a pretty heavy flick -- and, we must say, quite a trippy experience. Light up and tune in at midnight on Friday and Saturday, August 20 and 21. River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. For information, call 713-866-8881 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com. $6. -- Keith Plocek
Slippin’ a Mickey
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Once upon a time, we were kids at Disney World, shaking hands with Mickey Mouse and wondering why he only had four fingers. Now we're older and the venerable mouse is 75. To celebrate his birthday, Disney is dropping six-foot, 700-pound Mickey statues -- decorated by celebrity artists like Tom Hanks and Tony Hawke -- in ten cities nationwide. Houston's statues will be unveiled this weekend in Amreit Plaza in the Park with a ceremony featuring Mickey himself, Mayor Bill White and local artist Kermit Eisenhut, who'll introduce his Lone Star Mickey wearing Texas-flag running shorts. "Everyone loves them," says Eisenhut of Mickey's attire. "Even I had a pair of those back when I jogged." Noon. Saturday, August 21. On view through Wednesday, October 20. 5150 Buffalo Speedway. For information, call 713-552-1590. Free. -- Steven Devadanam
Loved for its Spanish-language hybrid of metal and classic rock, Houston band Chango Jackson is the perfect opener for this weekend's Make Mine Texas Music Festival, a showcase of Texas's bicultural and bilingual music. Watch for Ruben Vela, headliner Kevin Fowler and, possibly, the occasional tamale being tossed from Chango's stage. 11 a.m. Saturday, August 21. 8233 Will Clayton Parkway. For information, call 713-692-1935 or visit www.makeminetexas.info. $5 to $8. -- Steven Devadanam