Free for All: AFA World Premieres Concert, "Texas Emerging Artists," and Daniel Silva

The stars of tomorrow will be on stage Friday at the AFA World Premieres Concert. Part of the 2012 American Festival for the Arts Summer Concert Series, the performance will feature up-and-coming dancers from Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy working in collaboration with some of the region's best student musicians. This year marks the 15th anniversary of this hallmark event, which will present never-before-seen ballet works along with new chamber music compositions, putting the young dancers and musicians at the forefront of great art-making.

Catch the AFA World Premieres Concert on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Houston Ballet Center for Dance, 601 Preston. For information, visit the organization's website or call 713-522-9699.

Ceramic works of students and instructors from Texas colleges and universities showcase their work in the "Texas Emerging Artists" exhibition, which opens Saturday and is hosted by the Clay Arts Museum. Seventy artists contributed 135 ceramic pieces to the show, which was curated by Rosalind Speed. The show includes both functional pieces, such as Angela Edwards's elegant, black-and-orange vase with double handles, and figurative works, such as Lauren Chapman's playful sculpture The Game, a three-piece work that shows two figures, a table between them.

There's an opening reception at 6 p.m. on Saturday, with many of the artists in attendance. Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The exhibit continues through July 31. 18 Hands, Gallery is at 249 West 19th Street. For information, visit the gallery's website or call 713-869-3099.

On Sunday spymaster Daniel Silva, a New York Times best-selling author who looks every bit as dashing and mysterious as his protagonist, discusses and signs his latest release, The Fallen Angel. The novel features former Israeli agent and assassin Gabriel Allon. (Allon was called "one of the most intriguing heroes of any thriller series" by The Philadelphia Inquirer.) The story starts in Vatican City, where Allon is restoring a Caravaggio masterpiece for the church. But almost as soon as he starts, a woman is found dead inside St. Peter's Basilica, and Allon is tapped to handle the matter. The dead woman was a curator from the Vatican's antiquities department. Was it suicide or murder?

Allon's hunt for the truth takes him back into the world of spies and thieves he thought he had left behind -- and face to face with an old enemy hell-bent on revenge. The Fallen Angel is a thrilling read, with non-stop action that takes Allon all over the world, from the Vatican City, to St. Moritz, Berlin to Vienna. Silva has once again written a captivating, engrossing story, creating a world filled with art, history, action, and most of all, intrigue.

Silva appears at 2 p.m. at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, visit the store's website or call 713-524-8597.

Maryam Geramifar and Adam Castaneda contributed to this post.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Olivia Flores Alvarez