Free for All: Art Without a Price Tag

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Keep your money in your pocket this weekend, even while you see some of the best performing and visual arts the city has to offer. For Friday, we suggest "Sketchy Neighbors: Saddest Love Story Almost Never Told: Based on a True Idea" The group putting on the art exhibit is known for its unorthodox approach; members pull ideas for materials and concepts literally out of a hat.

One idea for "Love Song" was "Texas is on fire as a snow globe." Artist Chris Thompson's response? A snow globe constructed from a motorized one-gallon fish bowl. "It doesn't actually contain any water; when you push the button, a fan blows torn bits of plastic trash bags around a small copper Alamo." The design includes some air holes to facilitate the circulation; as an unintended consequence, bits of plastic bag fly out of it, sort of artistic litter. "It's an environmental piece," Thompson deadpans.

See "Saddest Love Story Almost Never Told: Based on a True Idea" by appointment at Spacetaker Artist Resource Center, 2010 Winter Street Studios, Studio 11. For information, visit sketchyneighbors.com or call 713-868-1839. Free.

On Saturday, you can practice your Portuguese as you watch 2 Filhos de Francisco (The Two Sons of Francisco), a Brazilian film based on a true story. It follows Francisco, a poor father who dreams of siring a successful sertaneja duo (Brazilian country music). Amazingly, despite economic and social hurdles, he succeeds - Zezé di Camargo and Luciano.

See his Francisco's dream come true at 8 p.m. Brazilian Arts Foundation Cultural Center, 1133 East 11th Street. For information, visit www.brazilianarts.org or call 713-862-3300. Free.

On Sunday, we suggest the whimsical exhibit "Lauren McAdams, Going Up." Susie J. Silbert, curatorial fellow for the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, where the exhibit is on display, has a reminder for visitors to the exhibit. "Yes, [the pieces] are very active; yes, it's different than a show where things are up on pedestals. But no, you're not supposed to touch them!"

McAdams's exhibit is made up of pieces from two of her bodies of work, including The Flying Rings. The Flying Rings are finger rings shaped like people, set on high-tension cables installed in the gallery. McAdams has given them names such as Tedd, Jeff and Shauna. "She's a traditionally trained metalsmith," says Silbert, "which means that she makes a range of things, including different kinds of jewelry. For these pieces she's...animated them, given them a lot of character. The jewelry that we wear to adorn ourselves tells the world what we want them to think about who we are and what we are. In this case, she's reversed that, and put all the personality into these little figures that zip and fly all over the place."

See Lauren McAdams' work rip and zip across the gallery 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through January 29. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main. For information, visit www.crafthouston.org or call 713-529-4848. Free.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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