Spring Arts

Houston's Art Scene This Spring Is Buzzing With Entertainment

A guide to all things arts and entertainment this spring.

By Amarie Gipson and Chris Gray March 15, 2022 Published in the Spring 2022 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Calder Kamin, “Plastic Planet Stag,” 2018. Plastic bags, steel, foam, wood, glass eyes. On view at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft's Nothing Goes to Waste exhibit through May 7th.

This season, attend a gala featuring comedian Mike Birbiglia or visit an art exhibit made up entirely of discarded materials. Catch a performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Houston Grand Opera or take the kids to a performance of Charlotte’s Web. The city’s music scene is also at the height of what spring in Houston is all about as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo returns with the 90th anniversary of RodeoHouston. Artists joining the celebration are Cody Johnson, Gwen Stefani, Maren Morris, Bun B and more. 


March 24 at 7 pm Root Ball
Chairs Ginnie and Tim McConn and Susannah and Chris Watt invite you to spend “A Night Under the Southern Oaks” at the Bayou Club in support of Trees For Houston, which has planted half a million trees around the city since its beginnings in 1983. Tickets start at $500, tables at $2,500. 8550 Memorial Dr. 

March 26 at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Latin American Experience Gala and Auction
This annual fundraiser for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Latin American art department, and the International Center for Arts of the Americas and its corresponding research institute, focuses on the works displayed in MFAH’s brand-new Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, part of one of the most comprehensive such collections in North America. Tickets start at $500, tables at $10,000. 1001 Bissonnet St.

April 1 at 6 pm Stand Up for Brain Cancer
Mike Birbiglia is known for a trio of Netflix specials, his essays on NPR’s This American Life, and the Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out podcast. Now the versatile Massachusetts-bred comedian yuks it up at the Broach Foundation for Brain Cancer Research’s 10th annual gala, a cause that is no laughing matter. Tickets start at $500. River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Blvd.

April 12 at noon Reflections on Style
At this one-stop luncheon, silent auction and runway show presented by the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, volunteers model gently used high-end fashions and accessories. See something you like? Stop by the pop-up Chic Boutique, which will last for several days, and take it home. River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Blvd.

April 21 at 6:30 pm A Celebration of Reading
For more than 25 years, best-selling authors, including Larry McMurtry, Patricia Cornwell and James Patterson — not to mention several members of the Bush family,  have come to read from their works and mingle with Houston high society at this benefit for the late First Lady Barbara Bush’s Houston Literacy Foundation. Sponsorships start at $5,000. Post Oak Hotel Ballroom, 1600 W. Loop 610 South.


Begins March 3 Star Trek: Picard
Author of recent memoir Fan Fiction, Bellaire High School alum Brent Spiner returns to the Star Trek universe for Season 2 of CBS All Access’ hit sci-fi drama Star Trek: Picard — but not, it should be noted, as his beloved android character, Lt. Cmdr. Data. Fans will have to tune in to see who he’s become.

TBD The Hill
In this upcoming film from the writer of Hoosiers and Rudy, sports-movie royalty Dennis Quaid — another Bellaire High grad — stars as stern Texas pastor James Hill, whose son Rickey is determined to play big-league baseball despite his disability. Scott Glenn of Urban Cowboy fame also stars.

March 19 at 12 pm Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood
Oscar-nominated writer-director Richard Linklater revisits his Texas childhood in this Netflix film about the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission, and the fantasies it inspires, as seen from a child’s point of view. Animated in a style similar to Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly and Waking Life. Jack Black and Zachary Levi star. Saturday, March 19, at 12 pm AFS Cinema, 6259 Middle Fiskville Rd.


Through March 20
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
After losing two years to the pandemic, RodeoHouston roars back for its 90th anniversary with a dizzying array of entertainers, including Texas country powerhouses Cody Johnson and Parker McCollum; pop princesses Gwen Stefani and Maren Morris; Bun B’s H-Town Takeover; classic rock warhorses Journey, and a regal finale featuring King George Strait himself. From $20. NRG Stadium, 1 NRG Park. 832-667-1085.

March 26 at 6:30 pm Yola
The British-born singer and songwriter with the astoundingly Southern sound broke through with 2019 LP Walk Through Fire — an inspiring mash-up of rock, soul, Americana and gospel — and broadens her palate even further on Grammy-nominated followup Stand For Myself, which delivers relentless positivity and dynamic vocal range on single “Diamond Studded Shoes” and beyond. $28. Heights Theater, 339 W. 19th St. 214-272-8346.

April 29-May 1 Andrés’s Farewell: Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony
In the final days of his eight-year tenure, the Houston Symphony’s beloved Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada will lead more than 200 chorus and orchestra members in this must-see event. From $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-224-7575.

Visual Arts

Shahzia Sikander, Web, 2002. Ink, gouache, gravure, and inkjet outlines, on tea-stained wasli paper.

March 20-June 5 Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities
This mid-career survey exhibition explores 15 years of work by Pakistani American artist Shahzia Sikander. Through painting, video animations and drawings, her work explores such contemporary issues as sexuality, gender, class and history. The exhibition features nearly 60 works and showcases her unique approach to the traditional manuscript painting method. From $19 (non-members). Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7300.

Meret Oppenheim, Six Clouds on a Bridge (Sechs Wolken auf einer Brücke), 1975. Bronze,18 7/16 x 24 x 6 1/8 in. (46.8 x 61 x 15.5 cm). Kunstmuseum Bern. Meret Oppenheim Bequest.

March 25-Sept. 18 Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition
Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim (1913-1985) is having her first major, multinational retrospective. Famous for her fur-lined teacup and other surrealist objects, Oppenheim came to prominence through a number of postwar art movements in the 20th century. Free. Menil, 1533 Sul Ross St. 713-525-9400.

April 3-May 30 The Obama Portrait Tour
Since their 2018 unveiling in Washington, D.C., at the National Portrait Gallery, the Obamas’ historic portraits have taken the world by storm. Houston is the last stop in the multi city tour that has traveled to Chicago, Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Atlanta. From $19 (non-members). Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7300. 

Through May 7 Nothing Goes to Waste
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. This survey exhibition explores the ways that artists repurpose discarded materials. From the reuse of paper scraps to ceramic fragments, Nothing Goes to Waste is inspired by artists reclaiming materials during the pandemic. Free. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St. 713-529-4848.

Through May 14 Soundwaves: Experimental Strategies in Art + Music
In honor of its fifth anniversary, the Moody Center is celebrating the deep intersections between art and music in this group exhibition. Soundwaves features works in multiple mediums by more than 10 artists, including Jennie C. Jones, Christine Sun Kim, Jason Moran and Jamal Cyrus. Free. Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University, 6100 Main St., MS-480. 713-348-ARTS.

Through May 14 2021/22 Artist Studio Program Exhibition
Since 2006, this annual exhibition has presented interdisciplinary Texas artists in Lawndale’s Artist Studio Program, a nine-week intensive that grants a monthly stipend, studio access, materials and more. The 2021-22 artists in residence — Ryan Crowley, Jamire Williams and Loc Huynh — will be exhibiting new work. Free. Lawndale, 4912 Main St. 713-528-5858.

May 27-October 2 Amoako Boafo: Souls of Black Folks
Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo is known for his vivid and attentive portraits of Black figures. In his first museum solo exhibition organized by the CAMH and MoAD in San Francisco, Boafo meditates on a key text by sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois. Free. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose Blvd. 713-284-8250.


April 22-May 6
Director Robert Wilson, known for collaborations with Phillip Glass (Einstein on the Beach) and Tom Waits (The Black Rider), applies his singular vision to Houston Grand Opera’s production of Giacomo Puccini’s final opera, source of eternal aria “Nessun Dorma.” HGO Studio alum Tamara Wilson stars as the titular princess, dead-set against marriage. From $25. Houston Grand Opera, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713- 228-6737.

April 29-May 11 Romeo and Juliet
In collaboration with the Atlanta Opera and the Dallas Opera, Romeo and Juliet takes Houston this spring and marks HGO performance debuts for conductor Speranza Scappucci and soprano Adriana Gonzalez. An age-old classic about star-crossed lovers and family collisions, the production is filled with drama. From $20. Houston Grand Opera, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-228-6737.


March 10-20
Stanton Welch’s Sylvia is a mythical romance that follows the journey of a heroine and her mortal shepherd. An expertly choreographed ballet set to a score by Léo Delibes, the story is told in three acts and is a unique spin on a Greek classic. Sylvia had a joint premiere to great acclaim in Houston and Australia in 2019. From $25. Houston Ballet, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-227-2787.

Pictured, Members of Semperoper Ballett Dresden.

April 14-16 Dance Salad Festival
Houston’s premier festival returns this spring to showcase the diversity of professional dance. As an extension of the Houston International Dance Coalition, Dance Salad is a destination for collaboration and movement-based experimentation. This year’s presentation will feature dancers from London, Germany, France, Copenhagen and more.  From $27. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 832-487-7041.


April 1-May 22
You Are Cordially Invited to Sit In at Stages Houston
Set in the Civil Rights era, this jukebox musical chronicles the lives of four Black college students navigating love, success and segregation in the Third Ward. Written by ShaWanna Renee Rivon, the play is inspired by Houston’s first sit-in that catalyzed desegregation in the city. From $25. Stages Theatre, 800 Rosine St. 713-527-0123. 

April 15-May 7 Charlotte’s Web at Main Street Theater
Families will love this fresh take on an old classic. Based on the 1950s’ book by E.B. White and adapted by Joseph Robinette, Charlotte’s Web tells a story of friendship between a spider and her friend, Wilbur the pig. The play is perfect for children third grade and older. From $18. MATCH, 3400 Main St. 713-524-6706.


Kanan Gill at Hobby Center April 10.

April 10 Kanan Gill: Is This It
From his YouTube series, Pretentious Movie Reviews, to forging a career in stand-up, Kanan Gill has been transforming the Indian comedy scene since 2014. Following two acclaimed comedy specials on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, he’s bringing his sharp wit to Houston for one night only. $69.35. The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby Street, Ste. 300. 713-315-2525.


One Thing Well: 22 Years of Installation Art by Rice Gallery
This recently released book chronicles two decades of site-specific installations commissioned by Rice Gallery. One Thing Well breaks down the history of one of the nation’s first art spaces devoted to installation work, and includes work by artists like El Anatsui, Tara Donovan, Yayoi Kusama and more. $50.

Monster in the Middle 
by Tiphanie Yanique
In this critically acclaimed novel by former Houstonian and award-winning writer Tiphanie Yanique, a new couple’s budding love story is mapped across generations and geographies. Monster in the Middle is an electric exploration of emotional inheritances, desire and identity. $27.

Afro-Atlantic Histories
Named one of the best art books of 2021 by Art News, this catalog is a beautifully designed record of the historic Afro-Atlantic Histories exhibition that took place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Building on a project that originated at Museu de Arte de São Paulo in Brazil, the exhibition and its accompanying catalog explore the geographic and cultural intersections between Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. $65.

May 9 at 7:30 PM Hernan Diaz and Alejandro Zambra Reading at Inprint Houston
The Margarett Root Brown Reading Series remains one of the nation’s leading literary showcases for poets, essayists and more. For the conclusion of the showcase’s 41st season, Argentinian fiction writer Hernan Diaz and Chilean poet Alejandro Zambra will read from their new novels. $5. Brockman Hall for Opera, Rice University, 6100 Main St.

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