10 Artsy/Cultural Houston-Only Summer To-Dos

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Photo by sozavac
Summer in Houston is, well let's just say the obvious, really freaking hot. Unlike our coasts to the east and the west, the Gulf Coast dampness makes a person want to hibernate indoors from May through September. But even at 99 degrees and 100 percent humidity, we Houstonians persevere. It could always be worse and we are used to it.

In terms of art and culture, Houston's summer months may slow down a bit, but there is still plenty going on - outdoors and indoors - and being a Houstonian means taking it all in.

10. Take a picture at Soto's Houston Penetrable at MFAH

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Jesús Rafael Soto, Houston Penetrable, 2004-14, lacquered aluminum structure, PVC tubes, and water-based silkscreen ink, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © Estate of Jesús Rafael Soto. Used by permission. Photograph © The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Thomas R. DuBrock, photographer.
There are plenty of places to take selfies in Houston; why we could even compile a list of them if we so desired. However, only in the Houston summer can you swim through the newly constructed Houston Penetrable at the MFAH, which is a part of Jesús Rafael Soto's signature Penetrables series. On view through September in the mezzanine of the Caroline Weiss Law Building, the Soto piece is a dangling, "kinetic" experience of clear and yellow plastic tentacles hanging from the ceiling. The museum hopes this will be an annual summer exhibit, but for now, you only have until September 1 to immerse yourself.

9. Take in a performance of the Houston Shakespeare Festival

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Miller Outdoor Theatre
Every summer the Bard storms the stage at Miller Outdoor Theatre for UH's Annual Shakespeare Fest. This year the company will present The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Henry IV, I. Get there early for a free seat up front or slum it up on the lawn with your picnic basket and most of Houston. The drama unfolds August 1 through August 10.

8. Meditate at the Rothko

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Rothko Chapel
True that you can meditate any time of the year at the Rothko, but the summer months are the best time to get your spirituality on for one good reason: air conditioning. It's always free to visit, which is a cool bonus.

7. Discover a new artist at Lawndale's The Big Show
Since 1984, The Big Show (formerly "East End Show") has been sprouting up every summer at Lawndale Art Center to promote emerging and under-the-radar artists through a juried exhibition. Take bets on which artist will win the grand prize of $3,000 from July 11 through August 9.


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