Art and shopping go hand-in-hand, and we've got a trio of cultural events lined up for this week. Shop local at Bourbon & Bowties, check out the vintage wares at Fort Bend County Fairgrounds and put on your ugliest sweater for Winter Street's Winter Holiday Art Market. Mix in a little improv, some free music and dance concerts, and ogle a Pop Art-inspired art opening. We're rounding out the list with a brisk hike through Memorial Park and some eye-popping public art installations over at Discovery Green. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and eight of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
Disegno Holiday Edition: Bourbon & Bowties
The Silos at Sawyer Yards #203
5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Free
Bourbon & Bowties is a local art exhibit featuring about a dozen artists. The event will have boutique bow ties by Trish Motolinia of CrookedTies. Shop and peruse the art as you sip on bourbon or wine, and sample small bites. To top off your enjoyment, there will be a special acoustic performance by Steve Straker. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vintage Market Days
Fort Bend County Fairgrounds
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, $5
The Vintage Market is a three-day juried event featuring upscale vintage inspired wares. Five-dollar admission allows entry for Saturday and Sunday, or $10 gets you in all three days. Vintage Market Days was included in Country Living's "7 Flea Markets and Barn Sales Not To Miss." Vendors will offer art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, home decor and more. Shop to your heart's content while listening to live music and sampling from food trucks on site.
Opening Reception: Pop Presence
Cindy Lisica Gallery
6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Free
The "Pop Presence" exhibit, opening Friday at Cindy Lisica Gallery, is an homage to the legacy of Pop. The exhibit highlights current artists whose works are deliberate progenies of the Pop Art lineage. Cindy Lisica's presentation of Warhol's "Time Capsules" and traveling exhibitions will take place at the opening reception. Lisica has a wealth of knowledge about the collection drawn from serving for ten years at Tate Modern in London and The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The gallery will host a retail gift shop, the perfect place to find a holiday gift for that hip, but hard to buy for, person on your list.
Free Intro to Improv Class
7:30 p.m. Friday, Free
Intro to Improv is an ongoing free event happening every Friday at Station Theater. If you have what it takes, teachers will help you release your improvisational soul as you meet friends and have some fun. Please register online so organizers know how many to expect. Take the class and you get into the subsequent Supernova Armando show for free, and your non-participating friends can get in for $6 if entry is purchased in advance, or $8 at the door. If you think you've learned enough and are extremely brave, you can get onstage for the Station’s Lotería show that night.
Piece by Piece Dance Concert
Houston City Dance Studio
7:30 p.m. Friday, $10
Houston City Dance presents a dance concert on Friday night showcasing dancers from three of its apprentice companies. Dances range from jazz to contemporary to Greek cultural, and the choreography is by three of City Dance’s in-house choreographers: Jaimee Vilela Navarrete, Stephanie Sermas and Corrine Miller. Buy your $10 ticket here; it will be $15 at the door.
Winter Holiday Art Market (WHAM)
Winter Street Studios (2nd Floor)
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Free
Kick off your holiday season with the 11th annual Winter Holiday Art Market. More than 90 local artists bring their art for sale, including paintings, sculptures and photography. Jewelry, clothing and accessories crafted by talented artists will also be in the mix. Sip on drinks from the bar and take in the festive holiday atmosphere as you shop. The organizers tout the event as "one part curated festival, one part holiday party, and all kinds of fun!" If you want to splurge and spend $15, you can purchase a ticket in advance to the preview party, which includes an ugly sweater competition on Friday night.
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Beer And Chips Art Festival
11 Below Brewing Company
Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Free
Beer and Chips is a traveling art show that pops up at local breweries. This kid-friendly event offers cold beer, fresh-cooked chips and an eclectic mix of art from more than 100 artists. Several food trucks are confirmed if you need a little more than just chips to go with your beer.
Bill Champlin of CHICAGO
Cane Island, Katy
6 p.m. Saturday, Free
Grammy award-winning artist Bill Champlin and his singer/songwriter wife, Tamara, will perform a free concert at the Amenity Village of Cane Island in Katy, followed by a concert by the Dave War Trio. A live interview with Bill will precede the concert, and with his rich history of music spanning decades, this should be insightful and entertaining. The Village's pools and landscaped lawns will be decorated with Christmas lights and, for more eye candy, organizer Brett will be displaying several exotic cars. A cash bar will be available. Close parking is sparse but if you park down the street, golf carts will be running to pick up guests and deliver them to and from the event.
BCO - A Walk in the Woods
8:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Free
Meet by the rugby/soccer field parking lot in Memorial Park on Sunday morning for a 90-minute quick-paced hike. The hike will traverse some of the lesser-known trails, described as more "adventuresome." Bring water and your hiking shoes. After the hike the group will go for coffee and breakfast. Houston's 1,466-acre Memorial Park offers much more than you can see by just driving by, so come out and enjoy the weather, the park and the trails. Find the meeting spot on Bayou City Outdoors' site calendar, and RSVP while you are there.
Grand Opening: Firmament and Enchanted Promenade
Dusk to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Free
Discovery Green will light up for the inaugural night of the season on Tuesday at dusk. Prepare to be captivated as you gather under the 21,600 LED lights of the Firmament canopy on Sarofim Picnic Lawn. Artist Christopher Schardt's interactive exhibition is continually changing for a magical, musical experience. Bright LED lights are also illuminating giant peonies along Brown Promenade as the Enchanted Promenade lights up the walkway, inviting guests to sit awhile and enjoy the spectacular bouquets brought to Houston by the French art collective TILT. The grand opening night offers live music, art cars, dance performances and more.