Spirit of Texas Festival
Wolf Pen Creek Park, College Station
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, free
It's the first time around for the Spirit of Texas Festival, but we suspect it won't be the last for this four-day eating extravaganza that includes three Guinness World Record attempts (world's largest Frito pie, pot of chili and Texas two-step). Thursday's highlights include the interactive Idea Village road show, a hot dog lunch sponsored by the K9s4Cops at 12:30 p.m., a Sons of the Republic re-enactment at 5 and live music beginning at 6 with opener Landon Bullard & The Mostly Sober Band and headliner Jerrett Zoch & the OSR Band. The fun continues through March 5.
Kenny Morrison and Chuck Ramirez, "SurREAL"
Octavia Art Gallery
6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, free
Inspired by the "something's not quite right" surrealism found in paintings by John Brosio, New Orleans photographer Kenny Morrison has created compelling photographs that draw on his background as both a director and a cinematographer. The stories he tells – and yes, there are tornadoes – push the boundaries of traditional photography. Through special arrangement with Ruiz-Healy Art, we also get a look at the colorful works by the late Chuck Ramirez, an artist and graphic designer from San Antonio best known for turning advertising techniques into photographs and installations that explored cultural identity, mortality and consumerism.
Winter Street Studios
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 to 6 p.m. Sunday, free
Ooh la la. Art and luxury are at the core of this fifth annual showcase of emerging and established French artists. Check out what's happening across the pond: button paintings by Algerian painter Marie Pierre, controversial and provocative photographs that shine light on societal taboos by artistic duo Rudy Noulé and Antoine Vanoverberghe, and the industrial Born Wild sculptures from Richard Orlinski. The ogling is free during the day and those willing to pony up a C-note can come back Friday night for a special Nuit du Champagne reception for muralist and Houston fave Sebastien "Mr. D" Boileau.
Bill Hailey, "Sumatra Paintings" and "Anti-Fascist Still Lifes"
Gspot Contemporary Art Space
6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, free
Free-spirited Austinite Bill Hailey puts overripe jungle fantasies to canvas in colorful "Sumatra Paintings" that draw from his experiences in Sumatra, Java and Bali. Not content to sit back as our planet takes a turn for the worse, he also will be showing his "Anti-Fascist Still Lifes" that depict floral arrangements from his Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) series, gussied up with symbolic accoutrements. He says he conceived the pieces in response to recent world events and titled the works with a nod to the great Charles Baudelaire. All the cool kids will be at the opener Saturday night, but if you can't make it, Hailey's show is up through April 1.
King Kong vs. Godzilla
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Mason Park, Katy
4:15 p.m. Saturday, $9
Somebody's going to get fired for this one. Pharma head honcho Mr. Tako wants to sell growth berries to the public and figures the perfect mascot would be King Kong, who became gargantuan after eating said berries. Tako's pharmaceutical company sets out to capture King Kong and bring him to Japan as an indentured spokesperson, but the giant ape escapes (of course) and soon finds himself battling Godzilla, who has just been thawed from a glacier. It's fun to poke fun at the bad special effects in this 1962 classic as scientists scurry, fireworks explode and the dueling monsters stomp on miniature tanks.