Houston suffers from no shortage of museums, but I’ve always thought of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as the grande dame of them all. It was here that I first marveled at the splendor of European masters. As a mother, I’ve found that my appreciation for art is magnified when I experience it through the eyes of my children. So on a recent sunny day, I set out with my three young children for an afternoon at the MFAH and its companion sculpture garden to see what this Houston art institution has to offer for a family visit.
We Texans love to celebrate our heritage in creative ways, and we go so far as to designate special routes that commemorate important events in our state’s past. Among them, the Independence Trail follows our struggle to statehood, leading us from the Brazos River bottomlands to the Alamo in San Antonio, and the Forts Trail traces historic settlements on the edge of the Texas frontier. Our trails also celebrate the progress of early influential personalities like Comanche Chief Quanah Parker and statesman Sam Houston, who—along with other notable figures including lawmen, pioneer women, Buffalo Soldiers, and vaqueros—deserve recognition for their unique contributions to Texas and what it is, as well as what it represents, today.
In Austin, artists and musicians are finalizing prepwork for this weekend's Art City Austin Festival (April 13-14), which transforms the streets surrounding City Hall and the 2nd Street entertainment district into an outdoor art fair. Among the reasons to go: Hundreds of artists will display their works throughout the festival grounds, more than 150 pieces of art enliven the galleries inside City Hall, local food trailers offer sustenance and libations, musicians perform non-stop, and perhaps best of all-the weather promises to be spectacular! Tickets cost $8; free admission for kids age 12 and younger. It's also free if you ride your bike!
Interactive kids' activities at Art City Austin
First produced in 1951 as the Texas Fine Arts Association's Spring Juried Art Fair, the event, renamed "Art City Austin,” moved downtown in 2008. It's organized by Art Alliance Austin, which works to advance the city "by integrating art, culture, and creativity into public life."
I have had some memorable museum experiences in my life: a foggy night encounter with a Rembrandt in East Berlin, a red wine and squid-fueled afternoon cooing over Degas at the Prado. But recently I was gifted with perhaps the single most perfect day I have ever spent in the company of great art: a balmy afternoon wiled away at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.
El Pasoans celebrate their famous native son every October with a month of art, literature, and history events.
Driving northbound on I-35 through downtown San Antonio affords a clear view of the city’s Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, where a nine-story, tiled mural called Spirit of Healing features an image of a young boy holding a dove while an angel watches over him. For San Antonio artist Jesse Treviño, who completed the mural in 1997, the intricately tiled artwork expresses a simple and enduring sentiment.
Summer's here, and here are sure clues: Long shadows and fireflies. Smokin’ barbecue grills and tinkling ice cubes in tall glasses. The ding-ding-ding of ice-cream trucks and the buzzing of cicadas. Yellow-and-orange lantana spilling over sidewalks. Late-night conversations about sparkling constellations. Butterflies and bees fussing over bodacious blooms. If you need some fresh ideas for staying cool and getting outdoors, keep reading. It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy.