Visual artist Robert Hodge won't have far to drive when he attends his first ever solo museum show on Friday. Hodge grew up in and still has his studio in Third Ward, just a few blocks away from the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. The exhibit, "Robert Hodge: Destroy & Rebuild,"is a collection of recent and new work. The pieces, works on paper, are made up several layers of found paper (posters, signs and such) that Hodge collected from around the city. Hodge cut text in the top layer, so the viewer sees bits and pieces of the paper underneath. The text comes from music lyrics. Among them is "There's a war going on outside no man is safe from / You can run but you can't hide forever" from hardcore hip-hop duo Mobb Deep's "Survival of the Fittest." There's also "The Great Electric Show and Dance" (seen above), a nod to Houston blues guitarist Lightnin' Hopkins.
There's an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. on October 3. Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Through January 4. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose. For information, call 713 284 8250 or visit camh.org. Free.
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While there are two generations of comics and actors in his family, Damon Wayans is arguably the best known in this family affair. (He's also one of our picks for Friday.) On TV (In Living Color, My Wife and Kids), film (The Last Boy Scout, Major Payne) and stand-up stages, the 54-year-old is an audience favorite. And that means people coming up to him on the street, all the time. "Sometimes people call you like they know you and get upset if you don't recognize them. And then they want me to entertain them," he said on a Comedy Central special. "They say, 'Do Homey the Clown!' Like I carry the sock and the nose with me everywhere I go!"
Still, it's a more peaceful interaction with fans than he's seen on the professional basketball court. "What are fans doing fighting athletes? What don't they understand about the word 'athlete.' It means they are human machines," he continues. "You don't fight people who are in the gym 24/7 lifting weights. And are seven feet tall. Have you seen Shaquille O'Neal? That's not a special effect. You don't want to fight that!"
Damon Wayans takes the stage at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The Improv Comedy Showcase, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit houston.improv.com. $35 to $45.
There's nothing normal about Zine Fest Houston 2014 at The Printing Museum, another of our choices for Saturday, nor should there be. It is, after all, an event dedicated to promoting all things alternative: Zines, mini-comics, and other forms of small press, alternative, underground and DIY media art are showcased at Zine Fest. Writers, artists and zine machines are offered table space to drum up some local interest in their work.
This year more than 50 zine creators and artists will be staffing the exhibitor tables. They're ready to network or answer your questions about all things creative but watch out. You may come across a wily chicken manning a booth - it's happened before - and while we're sure chickens are cute and all that, fans reported chickens from previous years weren't very chatty. Artists participating in one of the panel discussions, lectures or zine workshops for kids and teens are likely to be more conversational.
It's tween-book-nerd heaven at this fest; kids can take part in a bookbinding and letterpress demos by Lee Steiner and Travis Smith. Festivities continue after dark with a prom-themed after-party, "Under the Zine," where revelers should strap on their prom best and shake their alternative moneymakers to the sounds of The Wiggins and a set by DJ Knife Emoji, among others.
Catch Zine Fest Houston 2014 at 2 to 8 p.m. 1324W. Clay. For information, call 713-522-4652 or visit zinefesthouston.org. Free.
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It's no secret Justin Garcia (seen above in his studio) is one of our favorite artists; he won our Best of Houston® Best Artist award in 2013, was profiled in our 100 Creatives series and most recently was named to our list of Houston's Top 10 Painters. Garcia hasn't done a gallery exhibit for a year now, so when we heard he was holding a retrospective, "7 Unlayered, Justin Garcia," and that the show marks a turning point in his career, we were understandably curious.
"It's a show of the seven series that I've worked on up to now. Each series was a step for me. Now I'm starting something new and I want to explain to people how I got here, what went into those series." The one-night exhibit includes an artist talk (7 p.m.) and the unveiling of his new project. (Garcia has sworn us to secrecy about the new work. All we can say is, "Hell, yeah!")
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Violinist Sarah Chang was eight years old when she stepped on stage for her debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1989. Two years later, she released her first CD. She was ten. In the 15 years since her debut, Chang has continued to impress both critics and fans. During the Houston Symphony concert Sarah Chang Plus Copland, the Korean-American violinist will perform Barber's lyrical Violin Concerto. It's our choice for Sunday.
Guest conductor Cristian Macelaru will be at the podium. Macelaru, winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award and a former member of the Houston Symphony, was resident conductor at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. During his time there, he met and worked with Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand, also a member of the university faculty. Macelaru conducts Al-Zand's three-part City Scenes, which as its title suggests was inspired by urban sounds. City Scenes is part of the Houston Symphony's Sound + Vision concert series, a program that pairs music with visual images. In this case, Houston-based photographer Libbie Masterson contributes a montage created in response to Al-Zand's work. Also on the program is Copland's Symphony No. 3. Look for a resplendent variation of the Fanfare for the Common Man in the fourth movement.
Bob Ruggiero and Angelica Leicht contributed to this post.