Free for All: Art Without a Price Tag

On Friday, we'll be at Brazos Bookstore for the latest edition of the Gulf Coast Reading series.

Sam Amadon (left), Liz Countryman and Thea Lim will be reading from their latest works. The author of Like a Sea, Amadon's most recent effort is The Hartford Book.

Countryman, a PhD candidate at the University of Houston, has had her poetry appear in Black Warrior Review and was a finalist for a manuscript award in last year's Poetry Society of America.

Lim is an MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Houston. She's served as nonfiction editor for Gulf Coast. Her writing has appeared in Bitch, Jezebel and Utne Reader.

On Saturday, we'll be stargazing at the "Beyond Words: Bernie Taupin" exhibit at Off the Wall Gallery. Yes, that Bernie Taupin, Elton John's writing partner. The lyricist is also a painter. Much of his work is abstract, made up of colored blocks against vibrant backgrounds.

Taupin will be in attendance at exhibit previews from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Off the Wall Gallery, 5015 Westheimer. For information, visit www.offthewallgallery.com or call 713-871-0940. RSVP requested.

Sunday, we're off to What's Color Got to Do With It? We know better than to expect a formal, highly structured program at the Voices Breaking Boundaries' What's Color Got to Do With It? That's not VBB's style. Instead, the group presents an idea and then opens the floor for discussion. In this case, they asked five artists and writers to explore the ways in which they cope with a color-conscious society. One artist familiar to local art lovers is Lisa Qualls. Her work often deals with the issue of race and color. As does Gwen Zepeda's; she's a Latina blogger and author who writes about Hispanic characters. After the presentations by the artists, there's an open-mike session for audience members to continue the discussion.

5 p.m. Houston Institute for Culture, 708 Telephone Road. For information, visit www.vbbarts.org or call 713-524-7821.

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