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Free for All: Art without a Price Tag

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Here's a sure bet for Friday: the "Pan y Circos" group exhibit at PC Contemporary. Ten artists, including Mexico native Jorge Galvan and Bogota-born Santiago Forero, present works that are hyper-realistic and centered on the collision of cultures along the American/Mexican border. Dealing with issues of self-identity and feminism, while exploring space and time, the images and objects in the show are range from startling to whimsical. Forero contributes oversized photographs from his The Olympic Games series, in which a little person poses as an athlete .

In case you're wondering, the title for the show refers to ancient Rome, when rulers put on outrageous public displays and entertainment in an effort to keep citizens' minds off of the harsh economic realities of the time. (Hmm, all of that sounds vaguely familiar for some reason.)

There's an opening reception with several of the artists 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday. Regular viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Through November 5. PG Contemporary Temporary Annex, 3225 Milam. For information, visit www.pgcontemporary.com or call 713-523-7424. Free.

On Saturday, author Michael Varhola comes to town with his book Texas Confidential: Sex, Scandal, Murder and Mayhem. A chronicle of the Lone Star state's most outlandish scandals, which are most often fueled by a foul-smelling mixture of lust, greed, lawlessness and a need to make everything bigger though not necessarily better. Varhola dishes on the dirt on colorful crazy people, politicians on the take, loose women, mean men, and hell, even a couple of UFO landings.

Varhola will sign and discuss Texas Confidential: Sex, Scandal, Murder and Mayhem. at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive. For information, visit www.bluewillowbookshop.com or call 281-497-8675. Free.

We suggest ROCO in Concert: Season Opener Encore Performance for Sunday. The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra will be led by guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen. The program includes Let Us Garlands Bring being sung by baritone Timothy Jones, Toccata e Due Canzoni, and Mozart's Symphony No. 40.

Mei-Ann Chen, a noted young conductor, comes to Houston fresh from her first season as music director for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. And Jones, who perform all around the world, is quickly making a reputation for himself as on of the leading bass-baritones of this generation.

You can see ROCO in Concert: Season Opener Encore Performance at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood, 5520 Kingwood Drive. For information, visit www.rocohouston.org or call 713-665-2700. 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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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.