From ugly sweaters to multimedia concerts, and from nerd-tastic art to stunning jewels, there are plenty of opportunities for getting your art fix this week in Houston.
One dip of a madeleine cookie into tea and French writer Marcel Proust was off to the races in a rush of memories and senses in the longest book ever written, In Search of Lost Time. Inspiration struck again when Da Camera of Houston’s pianist and artistic director, Sarah Rothenberg, realized she had created an actual “Proust tower” in her home and conceived of a way to take her own personal stack of books by and about the author and turn it into a fully-realized multimedia experience. A Proust Sonata made its world premiere last year, channeling the literature, paintings, fashion and music from the belle époque and working with an award-winning team for lighting, set and costume design, brought to life with actors and vocalists. In this reprisal, co-produced with the Moody Center for the Arts, Proust’s world is projected onto moveable scrims in a second-by-second, perfectly timed choreography between the script, images and music (by Fauré, Schumann, Debussy, Chopin, Ravel and Beethoven). 8 p.m. November 16, 17 and 18. Lois Chiles Studio Theater, 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-2787 or visit dacamera.com. $10 to $40.
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Neighborhood Goodwill stores know it's coming. It's that time of year when normally well-dressed hipsters and fashionistas comb the racks for the ugliest, most extreme holiday sweaters knitted with fuzzy tassels and ridiculous messages in a screaming riot of red and green. Tacky never looked so good than during the WHAM "Ugly Sweater" themed Preview Party and Happy Hour, with an open bar (trust us, you'll need it) plus specialty cocktails, light bites and early shopping at the Winter Holiday Art Market. Fresh Arts' annual curated event features dozens of local artists, making this a great time for unique holiday gift-shopping or a personal splurge. The preview party runs from 6 to 10 p.m. November 17. Free to $25. The art market continues all weekend with free entry and tax-free shopping, so booyah. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. November 18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. November 19. For information, call 713-868-1839 or visit fresharts.org/wham.
Hitting a quarter of a century milestone should be a chance for celebration, but this year really sucked for the historic downtown district anchored by MotherDogStudios — the oldest surviving warehouse in Houston — when Hurricane Harvey turned the neighborhood into "Little Venice." But those hard-scrap artists are tough as nails and they're flinging the doors wide open for the 25th annual Art Crawl Houston. It's a great day to put on some walking shoes and see what's new from the more than 150 artists in the triangle north of downtown between San Jacinto, I-10 and McKee. When it's time to refuel, Last Concert Cafe is perfectly positioned with eclectic Tex-Mex fare and craft brewskis. Maps are available online and at each of the artist warehouses: Art Squares, Hardy & Nance Studios, David Adickes Sculpture studio, the Silo, and MotherDog Studios. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. November 18. For information, call 713-229-9760 or visit artcrawlhouston.com. Free.
She had an eye for precious gemstones, and the bigger the better it seems. Carroll Sterling Masterson, along with her husband Harris Masterson III, both philanthropists, had the means and desire to acquire breathtaking jewelry and extravagant decorative objects during their lifetimes. Now we've got a chance to ogle stunners like the emerald and diamond necklace, the sapphire purse fashioned from a seashell or the gemstone-encrusted watch made by the House of Gübelin. These, along with equally bedazzled objects and sculptures, are on view in "Extravagant Objects: Jewelry and Objets d’Art from the Masterson Collection" at Rienzi, the couple's John Staub-designed home on Kirby that now serves as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's house museum for European decorative arts. The four acre River Oaks estate just reopened last month after Hurricane Harvey, and Rienzi only presents exhibits twice a year, so time to get your bling on. Sunglasses optional. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. November 18 through February 4. 1406 Kirby. For information, call 713-639-7800 or visit mfah.org/visit/rienzi. Free to $8.
Forget sitting a roomful of monkeys down at a typewriter; check out what this team of scientists did for art. Houston-based artist (and scientist) Joseph Cohen immersed himself in the Weisman NanoEngineering laboratory of the Department of Chemistry at Rice University, under the guidance of Dr. Bruce Weisman and colleagues, and emerged in a futuristic world where carbon nanotubes produce paintings, photos, prints and even sound. Apparently carbon nanotubes have unique optical and physical properties and you can check it out for yourself in Cohen's solo exhibition, "Looking at a flower." There's an opening reception on November 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the BioScience Research Collaborative, and a panel discussion on January 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lois Chiles Studio Theater. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. November 16 through April 8. 6500 Main. For information, call 713-348-2787 or visit moody.rice.edu. Free.