This is the season to open our eyes to what’s happening all around us… in the art world, and beyond. Our artistic arbiter Jonathan Spindel points out some exceptional exhibitions we recommend.


ART’S VORTEX2017MarApr_Events_AUS The Contemporary
The Contemporary Austin museum shows off its bold new exterior remodel, featuring an ongoing installation by Jim Hodges, as well as a selection of new exhibitions opening this spring.  At http://www.TheContemporaryAustin.com

Nina Katchadourian creates intriguing multimedia art that will draw you in and surprise you with thought-provoking concepts. Also, don’t miss the Blanton’s newly overhauled permanent collections. March 12 to June 11. At http://www.BlantonMuseum.org

2017MarApr_Events_AUS Bullock MuseumPRIDE & JOY
The quintessential, one-and-only exhibition on blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan comes to Austin’s Bob Bullock Museum this March. Guest curated by Stevie’s older brother, musician Jimmie Vaughan, this collection showcases the history of “SRV,” the Texan musician who set the blues world on fire. March 10 to July 23. At http://www.TheStoryOfTexas.com


2017MarApr_Events_DAL Polly SmithTRAVERSING TEXAS
In 1936, 27-year old photographer Polly Smith, a 27 year old photographer traveled the entire state of Texas by air, rail and car to illustrate the state for the rest of the world. This exhibit shows off the best of her photos from the Dallas Historical Archives. Until May 27. At http://www.DallasHistory.org

2017MarApr_Events_DAL Rosa RolandaMEXICAN AVANT-GARDE
This sweeping survey explores 50 years of Mexican modern art, showcasing the work of famed artists alongside that of lesser-known pioneers, including a number of rarely seen works by female artists. This remarkable artwork reveals the history and development of modern Mexico and its cultural identity. March 12 to July 16. At http://www.DMA.org

2017MarApr_Events_DAL Gladys Knight alternate imageEMPRESS OF SOUL
The great artists endure, and Gladys Knight has long been one of the greatest. This seven-time Grammy winner has enjoyed #1 hits across genres, as well as triumphs in film, television and live performance. Now on tour for Where My Heart Belongs, her new inspiration gospel album, Knight is once again delighting fans across the country. April 2. At http://www.ATTPAC.org


Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Angel Otero has pushed against traditional art methods, instead digging deep into the artistic, cultural and historical forces that shaped him as an artist. His colorful canvases and dynamic sculptures show his path toward asserting himself in the tangled and complex world of contemporary art. Until March 19. At http://www.CAMH.org

Sharing its bold vision with the world, this distinctive dance company’s pioneering spirit comes from its dual home cities in the Southwestern U.S. Their cutting-edge choreography epitomizes the contemporary-classical genre, and continually influences the direction of modern ballet around the world. April 21. At http://www.SPAHouston.org

View over 100 of the most important works of Cuban art since 1950. Anchored by key moments in 20th- and 21st-century history, Adiós Utopia explores how Cuban artists reflected the hopes, dreams and struggles of the country’s most politically tumultuous period. March 5 to May 21. At http://www.MFAH.org


2017MarApr_Events_SA Paul KleeKEEN ON KLEE
Influenced by many currents of modern art, Paul Klee developed his own unique visual language that influenced decades of artists to come. His most famous images represent the challenges an artist faces in the role of risk taker and challenger of social norms. March 2 to May 7. At http://www.McNayArt.org

This extraordinary collection reveals powerful themes in contemporary Aboriginal art, which have ancient roots dating back 40,000 years. The exhibition presents a diverse range of materials and regional styles—from the intricately painted bark paintings of Arnhem Land, to the pukumani grave poles of the Tiwi Islands, and the boldly colored abstract paintings of the Western Desert. Until May 14. At http://www.SAMuseum.org

2017MarApr_Events_SA Alvin Ailey Dance CompanyABSOLUTLEY AILEY
Don’t miss the nation’s leading modern dance company, Alvin Ailley, which The New York Times calls, “Possibly the most successful modern dance company on the planet.” March 28. At http://www.TobinCenter.org