Designed by award-winning architect Gunnar Birkerts, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston's stainless steel building safeguards a multitude of work designed to intellectual engage viewers and invoke complex reactions. The museum's two galleries, the Brown Foundation Gallery and the Zilkha Gallery, collectively host 8–10 free exhibitions every year.
The Brown Foundation spotlights work by internationally renowned artists and pieces organized around themes; past exhibits include a Kiki Smith survey and a showcase of performance art by black artists. The Zilkha, meanwhile, hosts the museum's Perspective Series, which gathers the work of emerging artists. The museum's Teen Council curates a biyearly edition of Perspectives, unveiling work by young, Houston-area artists that mine for deeper feelings than the normal teenage angst toward parents, teachers, and singing animatronic bears. The Teen Council also contributes to the museum's numerous programs, which include lectures and discussions for each show, as well as Musiqa concerts based on each Brown Foundation Gallery exhibition.
The family that plays together stays together—an old adage that couldn’t be more true for owners Mike and Julie, now married more than 30 years. They took the courageous steps to change their unhealthy lifestyles by losing more than 20 pounds, a paradigm shift that inspired the couple to part ways with the corporate world and establish Beach Town Tours, their outdoor adventure company. Now the pair, known to their customers as Mimi and Pops, encourage people to stay active with six kayaking tours and three bicycling tours. Knowledgeable guides take kayakers around Galveston Island, paddling along wetlands, islands, and waterfront homes while pointing out unique wildlife such as redfish and those flounder that sing and dispense sage advice to young merfolk.
Guests also can jump on a bike and follow tour guides in small groups to the Bolivar Ferry or through sections of Hurricane Ike–damaged trees that were revived by local artists armed with carving knives.
Galveston residents have something in common with notorious French pirate Jean Lafitte: he also called the island his home. Today, they get to climb aboard the full-size deck of a pirate ship to get a glimpse of their dangerous former neighbor's life. While traversing the rest of the interactive exhibits, they may even meet Lafitte himself—as conjured by a skilled actor—along with his brother Pierre and their gritty pirate cronies who downloaded thousands of songs onto their steam-powered laptops. Professionally applied glitter tattoos and a well-stocked gift shop bring guests back to modern-day Texas. Pirate hosts emcee private events and guide birthday tours through the whole museum, and parties can even include a trip through the nearby Haunted Mayfield Manor.
Pictures propped against walls, crammed in closets, or framed with picture-thieving magpies can't be beheld. Today’s Groupon increases your art's visibility with $50 for $100 worth of custom framing or any product or service at The Great Frame Up in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. The Great Frame Up's quality frames take the art of hanging art beyond such jejune measures as tacky industrial-strength sticky tack, staple-tape taple staping, and hiring long-armed men to hold your art against the wall.
Jutting above the street, the modernist lines of Rafael Moneo's Audrey Jones Beck Building echo the eclectic collection found within. Under sky openings that let in natural light and the bitter gazes of pigeons who can’t seem to get their work shown, visitors meander through galleries that span the breadth of human artistry, from ancient sculpture to modern painting. Noteworthy works from the more than 64,000 pieces include Pablo Picasso's colorful cubist Two Women in Front of a Window, Edgar Degas's achingly expressionistic Woman Drying Herself, and an untitled sketch by Jackson Pollock that shows his wild, abstract genius evolving toward his celebrated drip paintings. A treasure trove of cultural artifacts from Africa, Asia, and the Americas expands the museum’s scope and transports visitors back in time as they gaze on a palpably pensive ceramic ballplayer from Mexico's Classic Veracruz culture or a life-size royal head forged from copper for a Nigerian royal court.
Groupon Celebrates Pride Month
Over the last 50 years, the gay-rights movement in America has overcome tremendous obstacles to become a powerful voice for inclusion and diversity. Even as it has grown, the movement—like Groupon—is local at heart, and we applaud the commitment to real change that improves everyday lives.
At Groupon, we are happy to add our voices to those celebrating PRIDE, their achievements as a social movement and a continued march to equality for the LGBT community. Plus, we love a chance to dig that rainbow wig out of storage.
This month—and throughout the year—we salute our merchants and customers who support PRIDE and all efforts that promote dignity, respect, and equal opportunity. We're highlighting these merchants' deals with a special badge to show Groupon's pride in working with people who share our values.
In Houston, September beats out July and August for the hottest month of the year—it has nothing to do with the weather, however. The culprit behind the elevated heat level is the Houston Hot Sauce Festival. This annual event brings together exhibitors from across the country to sell and hand out samples of their signature hot sauces, salsas, jams, dips, and other spicy foods. Luckily, vendors also supply plenty of cool beverages, thus eliminating the need for bite-size fire extinguishers.
Live entertainment complements the spicy goods. Blues artists, jazz bands, and other musician play throughout the festival, and each day brings special events, such as salsa eating competitions or fire eating performances.