Family

Grand Opening of Hermann Park's McGovern Centennial Gardens

The latest piece of the $100 million-plus transformation of Hermann Park organized by the Hermann Park Conservancy, the 15-acre McGovern Gardens have been completely reimagined by landscape architect Doug Hoerr, who has added a large mound at one end of the park and planted almost 500 new trees. At the other end of the park is a new pavilion designed by Peter Bohlin, the architect behind the now-iconic glass Apple stores. Bohlin and Hoerr will give talks on Saturday as part of the grand opening celebration, which is free and open to the public. 

Oct 18 from 9:30–5. Free. Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St. hermannpark.org

Classical Music

Rafal Blechacz, Piano

In 2005, Blechacz stunned the classical music world when he swept the prestigious Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition, winning first place in every category. The following year the Polish pianist became an exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon, and has been touring the world ever since, astonishing audiences with his technical virtuosity and passionate musicianship. His Houston program will include works by Bach, Grieg, Beethoven, and—naturally—Chopin. 

Oct 17 at 8. $23–58. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-227-4772. spahouston.org

Film

Rock in My Pockets

Latvian artist and animator Signe Baumane used a combination of hand-drawn animation, papier-mâché sets, and stop-motion figures to create this autobiographical film about her family's struggles with depression. Despite its intense subject matter, the film, which took four years to produce and is making its Houston premiere, is filled with dark humor and wit. In a recent interview, Baumane said that "animation has been overlooked as a powerful means of communication for very complex ideas." 

Oct 19 at 5. $9; students & seniors $7. Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7300. mfah.org/films

Visual Art

Miguel Amat, Untitled, 2010. Collage of inkjet prints on floater. 55 x 62 inches.

Miguel Amat: Dark Pool Knight Vision

Venezuelan-born multimedia artist Miguel Amat, a former MFAH Core Fellow and Rice University artist-in-residence, uses photography, sculpture, collage, and video to explore political repression in his native country and the military-industrial complex in America, drawing special attention to the links between the the arms trade and international financial markets. The exhibition of about 20 works is part of the Blaffer's First Take series showcasing emerging artists and is organized by Blaffer director Claudia Schmuckli. 

Oct 19–Dec 13. Free. Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, 3401 Cullen Blvd. 713-743-2255. blafferartmuseum.org

later in the week

Image: Felix Sanchez

Kerry Howley: Thrown

In Howley's literary debut, a graduate student in philosophy at an Iowa university becomes obsessed with mixed martial arts, dropping out of school to follow two fighters—one an up-and-coming Young Turk, the other a battle-scarred veteran—as they travel from state to state and octagon to octagon. Howley, a former managing editor at Houstonia, deliberately blurs the lines between fiction and journalism; her narrator is a lightly fictionalized version of herself, while the fighters she follows and the stories she tells are real. Time magazine book critic Lev Grossman recently called Thrown "probably the most bizarre and fascinating book I've read this year." 

Oct 20 (Monday) at 7. Free. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet St. 713-523-0701. brazosbookstore.com 

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