Houston will come alive this May with a number of art exhibits, events and performances. // © Michelle Samour
The first-ever Houston Arts Month will take place this May. The month-long celebration of the arts kicks off with the Latin Wave film festival and will also include major exhibitions and one-of-a-kind events throughout the area. Houston is home to one of the largest concentrated collections of museums in the world and is also one of only a few cities in the country that has resident professional companies in ballet, symphony, drama and opera — all of which are represented in the month-long arts extravaganza.
“The arts contribute mightily to Houston,” said Emily Todd, deputy director of the Menil Collection and former cultural affairs advisor to Houston City Hall. “Art brings fun, it brings jobs, it’s educational — and it’s everywhere in the city. What I find so amazing is that a visitor could spend just 48 hours in Houston and experience a vast spectrum of art — from the serenity of the Rothko Chapel to an edgy, alternative performance at Poison Girl just blocks away.”
The lineup of events includes a number of exhibits and productions that represent Houston’s unique culture and commitment to the arts. In May, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will act as the temporary home for the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.’s collection of French impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, one of the most impressive collections of this body of work found anywhere in the world.
An exhibition of civil rights-era photographs, showcasing images that deal with the changes taking place in the 1960s in regard to race and politics will also be on display during the Houston Arts Month. The “Whole World Was Watching” exhibit includes a wide variety of photographs, from the marches on the road from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., to the cotton workers in the Mississippi Delta.
Additionally, Houston’s contemporary opera company, Opera Vista, will present Daron Hagen’s “Vera of Las Vegas.” This unconventional opera includes an eclectic score that mixes the typical atonality with jazz and Broadway.