SUMMER’S SPECTACULAR

The temperature is heating up, and so is the Texas art scene. Our cultural correspondent Jonathan Spindel points out some of the season’s hottest exhibitions and events for you to explore

AUSTIN

Ballet Folklorico at The Long Center
For six decades this dazzling ensemble has brought the best of Mexican music and dance to a global audience. The colorful repertoire includes traditional songs, thrilling dances, and exquisite costumes. September 13. At Thelongcenter.org

American Landscapes at the Ransom Center
One of the Southwest’s most distinguished artists, Frank Reaugh traveled the immense unsettled regions of the United States before the turn of the 20th century. His masterful landscapes capture a unique moment in American history, all painted in bright pastels. August 4 – November 29. At Hrc.utexas.org

New Work by Tom Friedman at Laguna Gloria
The conceptualist Tom Friedman has transformed the familiar landscape of The Contemporary Jones Center’s Laguna Gloria with his new installation, Looking Up, Charming, magnificent, fragile yet powerful; the figure looks toward the clouds and sky, inviting spectators to do the same. At Thecontemporaryaustin.org

DALLAS – FORT WORTH

Dallas Arboretum Summer Days
This summer, the Dallas Arboretum hosts exciting events and activities on their festively floral grounds. Enjoy concerts, crafts, and hands-on activities for the whole family. May 16 – July 31. At Dallasarboretum.org

Visions of Europe by Michael Kenna
Photographer Michael Kenna captures images of Paris, New York, and other worldly destinations with his evocative photography. His striking work is reminiscent of a romantic dream, or a poignant memory. May 16 – August 1. At Pdnbgallery.com

Exotic Acquisitions at the Kimbell
The Kimbell Art Museum’s collection has added new acquisitions recently, including this monumental supernatural sculpture from the Maya culture. See this impressive artifact in the permanent collection, as well as an exciting rotation of special exhibitions. At Kimbellart.org

HOUSTON

The Rat Pack’s Back
What happens in Vegas… started with the Rat Pack. This spirited recreation of the famous swinging, ring-a-ding group starring Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin and Joey Bishop features classic songs, humor, and a hot 12-piece orchestra that will send you back to the coolest time in history. September 18. At Spahouston.org

Innovative Immersion at the MFAH
Shadow Monsters, an interactive installation invites visitors to take part in a fully immersive art experience. Create your own shadow plays as your silhouette is recast in fantastic forms. This digital version of a shadow-puppet theater turns imagination into incredible reality. May 23 – September 20. At Mfah.org

Motown the Musical at The Hobby Center
It began as one man’s story… the true American dream of Motown founder Berry Gordy, the music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and more. The music shaped America and made us all move to the same beat. Experience it live on stage as part of Broadway Across America. July 21-26. At Broadway.houston.com

SAN ANTONIO

Culture and Caricature at the SAMA
Miguel Covarrubias’s cover art for Vanity Fair captured the imagination during the early 20th century. Now, see an in-depth retrospective of his work, which includes colorful, whimsical and cultural odes to the century’s greatest moments, people and places. July 18 – October 18. At Samuseum.org

Artpace After Hours
Spice up your Thursday night with a perfect blend of art encounters and informal education. Artpace After Hours takes audiences behind the scenes to reveal the mysteries of contemporary art through conversation and gallery interactions. First Thursdays. At Artpace.org

Merida’s Mexico at the McNay
Like so many modernists in 20th century Mexico, Carlos Mérida celebrated indigenous cultures and traditions through his art. This show of colorful lithographs features vibrant dance, ancient cultures, and festivals during the peak of the Republic of Mexico. June 3 – September 6. At Mcnayart.org