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.


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[Video] Houston Celebrates a Very Exciting Pride 2014

Categories: Festivals

Pride is more than just a parade and it's more than a festival. It's a celebration to be sure, a technicolor party that often features Houston at its wildest, but it's more than that too.

Pride is a statement, this year maybe more than ever. After all the controversy about bathrooms trying to distract from the HERO ordinance, the city council did finally pass it, the latest in a long line of moments in Houston history that shows while we may live in a very red Texas, we're not a city of close-minded hillbillies who wish it 1914 rather than 2014.

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15 Fourth of July Fashion & Beauty Inspirations via Tumblr

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Photo via madjennsy.tumblr.com
Are you still on the hunt for a Fourth of July ensemble worthy of Lady Liberty? Well I'm not sure you will upstage the lady in green, but I think a few of the looks below will get your mind a racing.

Happy Birthday America and happy shopping to you all!

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Our 25 Favorite Outfits From the 2014 Houston Pride Parade

Categories: Fashion, Festivals

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Photos by Julian Bajsel
There is so much to look at when it comes to the Houston Pride Parade you can experience visual overload if you're not careful. Those who have been know that if you stand in one place long enough, you'll see everything (sometimes literally everything, for better or worse). When it comes to people watching, it is an event not to be missed.

You also get to see some of the best outfits you're likely to see all year. When it comes to what to wear, some people keep it simple, some folks wear next to nothing and some people go big. Here are the 25 outfits that caught our eye in 2014, unranked because when it comes to Pride everyone is a winner.

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Texas Ren Fest Brings Back Pocket Dragons Creator Real Musgrave for Its 40th Anniversary Poster

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Photo courtesy of Texas Renaissance Festival
In honor of the 40th anniversary, a Texas Ren Fest poster by Real Musgrave, creator of Pocket Dragons
In order to specially commemorate its 40th anniversary, the Texas Renaissance Festival asked retired artist Real Musgrave, the creator of Pocket Dragons, to draw its poster this year.

Longtime followers of Ren Fest may notice the poster's similarities to the design used in 1982. A retired wizard and a princess sit astride a giant armadillo with the Pocket Dragons walking by their side.

Musgrave, who now lives in Flower Mound, TX, also did the designs for this year's program cover, T-shirts and other collectables that will be on sale during the October/November weekend event in Todd Mission, TX near Pleasantville. And he'll make an appearance during opening weekend, October 11-12 to sign posters and other Renaissance Festival and Pocket Dragon memorabilia that will be on sale inside the festival.

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An Early Look at the Costumes of Comicpalooza 2014

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Photos by Chuck Cook Photography
Judging by the turn out for day one of Comicpalooza, you would never have guessed that Friday was a work day for most folks. Fans of all sorts were out and about, and there are some pretty impressive costumes on display. We've been roaming the convention ourselves, camera in hand of course. We'll have more photos to show off after things are all said and done, so if you see us, smile... unless that goes against your costume. We understand.

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Your Last-Minute Costuming Guide for Comicpalooza

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Phaedra Cook
It's not too late to get your Who on. Bedrock City has plenty of pop culture gear, even for the ladies.

Comicpalooza, Houston's biggest comic and pop culture convention, starts at 10 am on Friday. The six-year old convention keeps growing in size and popularity. This year, it spans four days instead of three. (Hopefully, you already have Memorial Day off and don't have to call in "sick.")

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Chuck Cook Photography
It's OK to be normal. Dark Phoenix still loves you.
So, what if you want to go to Comicpalooza but didn't plan on wearing a costume?

Option 1: Don't Sweat It

First off, it's absolutely fine to not wear a costume or cosplay. Speaking from experience, costumes can be hot, uncomfortable and--if you make your own--require hours, days or even months of work to achieve a high level of quality and authenticity. Based on my own observations at cons, a third or fewer attendees actually cosplay (although it is growing in popularity every year and more and more people are picking it up as a serious hobby). In fact, I strongly recommend to first-time con attendees to NOT cosplay. Just come see what it's all about first and then decide if you want to cosplay for the next one.

Option 2: Nerd Couture

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Phaedra Cook
Bedrock City and other local comic book stores have a wide variety of apparel.

The easiest way to dress in the spirit of the event is to visit your local comic book store and check out the assortment of branded T-shirts. You can probably find one that sports a character that you love. At larger comic book shops, like the Bedrock City Comics on Washington Avenue, there's a lot more than just T-shirts to choose from. These days, the fashionable geek can choose from hoodies, jackets hats and wallets. Gussy up your jeans and jackets with iron-on patches. There are even some extremely cute Doctor Who dresses for the ladies.

If your heart is absolutely set on wearing a costume (or you have a child who is going to be heartbroken to not have one) you still have some options--if you hurry.

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Deadline Approaches for Fringe Festival Applications

Categories: Festivals

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The Fringe Festival is always one of the highlights of the Houston art calendar, and definitely a place for the more "out there" visual artists to show off their creations. The actual festival isn't until September, but interested applicants need to submit by May 27 if they wish to be considered.

The Visual Art Coordinators this year are Bret and Rachel Harmeyer, themselves artists who have exhibited their distinctly macabre wares at Fringe over the last several years. Bret Harmeyer is an accomplished painter and sculpture known for his gothic imaginings of human/insect hybrids. His wife Rachel specializes in more anatomical workers, everything from drawings to needlepoint exploring the human skeleton. It's hard to imagine a more unique and qualified pair to select visual art for the festival.

The application process is free and easy. Interested artists need only submit contact information, an artists CV, an artist's statement, and up to five images to be considered to fringeart@freneticore.net.

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Fashion Truck Fest Finds & I Think I Am in Love

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Photos by Cherise Luter
The fourth installment of Fashion Truck Fest was this weekend hosted by Liberty Station restaurant on Washington. The quarterly gathering of mobile boutiques has become the place for fashion truck enthusiasts to browse their favorites. I wasn't sure what to expect, being that this would be my first fashion truck experience, but I think I am in love.

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8 Obnoxious People to Avoid at I-Fest

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Photo by festivalculturalbr via flickr

Sometimes you feel like a faux-Aussie accent, sometimes you don't. At I-Fest, we don't.

The theme for this year's International Festival is Australia, which means that although you may be tempted to throw on your best Croc Dundee costume and head on up, you still shouldn't come anywhere near us, especially while a while shirtless and sporting a leather vest.

No one needs to see that, ever.

And no one should be doing any of the things below, either. So if you are even close to fitting into one of these obnoxious categories at this year's I-Fest, please be aware that we will be doing our best to avoid you by any means necessary


8. Double Stroller Dude
Oh, double stroller dude. You have the best of intentions, we're sure, but we're where you got the idea that any of this double stroller business was kosher for a festival. Did you not, at any point, look at that enormous baby-lugger and reconsider? Probably not, since you packed up two kids in that thing -- two kids who aren't mobile, by the way -- and then dragged the entire enormous, sticky package down to a festival, where you're now trying to push your entitled way through a massive crowd of people.

We know you heart your kids, and that's great, but they're bored and you're running over someone else's kid in the interim, since you can't see over the giant vehicle you're pushing. Not to mention that thing is like a screeching, barfing wagon of awful to anyone around you who may want to just sit there and check out the music.



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