Get Down With The Gourds At FotoFest 2010's Free Opening Party This Friday

One of the best - and least publicized - free parties in town is the FotoFest opening, and this year the organizers are upping the ante by presenting Austin roots-rocking favorites

the Gourds

this Friday night. This year's exhibition is titled

Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs

, and features works by Todd Hido, Jason Lazarus, Craig Mammano, Richard Mosse, Michael Schmelling, RJ Shaughnessy, Tema Stauffer, Will Steacy, Greg Stimac, Jane Tam and Hank Willis Thomas. The exhibition curator is Aaron Schuman. According to FotoFest events coordinator Vera Misteau Mitchell, the biennial event has now become the largest event of its kind in the world.

"The festival keeps getting bigger, and we want the Houston public to be aware of it and feel welcome," MItchell says. "There's so much going on with art in Houston right now and we hope the public will come out and enjoy the art, meet the artists and support this great event." The festival runs Friday through April 25. Details of showings and participants can be found at www.fotofest.org. 8 p.m. Friday, March 12, FotoFest Headquarters Gallery, 1113 Vine, 713-223-5522.

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