Free for All: Art Without a Price Tag

Join us later today when we pop into the opening reception for Sandy Ewen's Pop Up Art Show. This is the first solo art show for the woman who many know as an improvisational musician and who we recently named one of our 100 Creatives 2012. The work is a slideshow using vintage projectors that will cycle through some 60 works of original art. "I've made about 100 slides," Ewen told us. "I've got about five working projectors currently. I've been working with projections for over two years now." (To see a short film about Ewen's work, check out the video below).

The opening reception is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m Friday. Regular viewing hours are by appointment through March 7. 14 Pews, 800 Aurora. For information, visit or call 281-888-9677.

Saturday's your chance to give back to Mother Earth at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center's Arbor Day 2012 celebration. Johnny Appleseed will hand out acorns for kids to plant and his friend HANC the Owl will give out pine seedlings. There's a Nature's Playground planned for kids and lots of giveaways, including pine-cone bird feeders. If you're in the mood to take something a little larger home, there's a native shrubs and plants sale all day.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, 4501 Woodway. For information, visit or call 713-681-8433.

On Sunday, we'll be at Murder by the Book getting the bejesus scared out of us as we listen to author Robert Crais read from his new novel, Taken. The thriller is the fifteenth novel by Crais in the series that features private detectives Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike. In this installment, the pair find themselves on the Mexican border, searching for a woman's missing daughter. The woman thinks her daughter has run away with her boyfriend, because "even smart girls do stupid things when they think a boy loves them."

You'll need to learn at least a little Spanish for Taken, such as bajadores (Mexican bandits who rob other bandits). The missing girl and her boyfriend have been taken by a group of bajadores, men who traffic in human lives, guns, drugs, whatever can be bought and sold. People who aren't ransomed quickly are killed (there's no shelf life for live victims, it seems). Cole goes undercover to find the young couple, but ends up being kidnapped himself. Now it's up to Pike to rescue the lot of them, and time is quickly running out.

Robert Crais reads from and signs Taken Sunday at 3 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, visit or call 713-524-8597.

Jef with One F and Cassandra Neace contributed to this post.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez