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© LoneStarMike/WikiCommons

Texas' 10 Unmissable Art and Culture Events Summer 2014

Picture of Graziano Scaldaferri
Updated: 31 August 2016
In summer 2014 Texas beckons art lovers, film aficionados, music buffs and culinary enthusiasts with its array of exciting cultural events. We have selected the top ten events across the cities of Austin, Dallas and Houston in this guide to Texas’ best summer festivities.


Orly Genger at The Contemporary Austin

04 May – 24 August

In the works of New York born contemporary sculptor Orly Genger, the line between art and craftsmanship is a particularly thin one. A widely-acclaimed artist, with some of her pieces in the collections of galleries such as the Museum of Modern Art in both New York and San Francisco, Genger painstakingly knits and weaves incredible numbers of painted ropes to transform them into large-scale, at times monumental, objects featuring wavy, organic forms. For her exhibition at The Contemporary Austin, Genger created her sculptures with the ropes of fishing nets bought from local fishermen in an unbelievably intricate body of work which took her months complete.

The Contemporary Austin, 3809 W 35th St, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 453 5312


Fantastic Fest

18-25 September

The week-long Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the United States, bringing a terrific programme of horror, fantasy and sci-fi films to the public every year. Here, huge successes such as There Will Be Blood, Apocalypto and Zombieland premiered, while top actors and directors who have participated in previous editions include Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Paul Thomas Anderson, George Romero and Darren Aronofsky. The festival is held across Austin’s several Alamo Drafthouse Cinema theatres, a chain of movie theatres counted among the best cinemas in the entire United States, most notably for the strict adherence to cinema etiquette required of its spectators.

Fantastic Fest will be held in various locations across Austin, TX, USA.


Austin City Limits

03-05 and 10-12 October

Give a proper farewell to Texas’ long, hot summer with one last, explosive blast of fun and energy at Austin City Limits. Split over the first two weekends in October, Austin City Limits is listed among the US’ top music festivals alongside Coachella, Lollapalooza and direct competitor South by Southwest (also held in Austin). The festival was inaugurated in 1977 as a platform to celebrate regional music, but now welcomes top international artists of every musical genre, from hip hop to rock’n’roll, and pop to folk. This year’s line-up brings Pearl Jam, Eminem, Outkast, Skrillex and Lana Del Rey to the stage, alongside dozens of other exceptional artists for an all out dance party in Austin’s Zilker Metropolitan Park.

Zilker Metropolitan Park, 2100 Barton Springs, Road Austin, TX, USA



Bettina Pousttchi at the Nasher Sculpture Center

12 April – 13 July

Contemporary artist Bettina Pousttchi transforms one of the galleries in Dallas’ Nasher Sculpture Center into an indoor urban streetscape, displaying pieces from the museum’s collection alongside some of her own works. Pousttchi’s idea for this show came about whilst considering the Nasher Sculpture Center’s past: the centre’s venue was built in an area in Dallas, at one time known as ‘Automobile Row’, which was once the site of a number of gas stations and parking lots. For Pousttchi, an internationally acclaimed artist of German-Iranian origins, this is her first exhibition in an American museum.

Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora, St Dallas, TX, USA, +1 214-242-5100


Mind’s Eye at the Dallas Museum of Art

29 June – 26 October

French art from the second half of the 19th century is the protagonist of Mind’s Eye, a summer exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. The show will present to the public a selection of over 100 works on paper, culled from both the museum’s holdings and privately held collections, by celebrated painters such as Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Edouard Manet and Eugène Delacroix. Paintings by these artists will be accompanied by a rare group of preparatory sketches — the drawings provide surprising insight into the painters’ creative process, but also stand as exquisite, finished works of art on their own.

Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N Harwood St Dallas, TX, USA, +1 214 922 1200


Taste of Dallas

11 – 13 July

Dallas Gourmets await the annual Taste of Dallas as the city’s best culinary event. The festival is a joyous gastronomic feast that brings together Dallas’ best restaurants and eateries so that visitors can sample the most exciting contributions to the United States dining scene for as low as $1 – $3. In 2014 Taste of Dallas celebrates its 28th edition, and features a selection of 50 restaurants in its outdoor space and an additional 20 in an air conditioned indoor area. In addition to restaurant stalls, Taste of Dallas comprises other special sections such as the Culinary Marketplace, where visitors can purchase local, organic ingredients or kitchen utensils, the Taste Curbside, a celebration of the rising popularity of the food truck, and the Sweet Factory, the sugar-coated dream of every child.

Fair Park, 1300 Robert B Cullum Blvd Dallas, TX, USA, +1 214 670 8400


State Fair of Texas
Market, Park
The State Fair of Texas is known for creative foods, entertainment, and its cowboy greeter, Big Tex

The State Fair of Texas is known for creative foods, entertainment, and its cowboy greeter, Big Tex | Courtesy of VisitDallas

State Fair of Texas

26 September – 19 October

The State Fair of Texas is the event of the year in Dallas, a major festivity with a long tradition that goes as far back as 1886. The fair is held in Fair Park, a larger-than-life venue featuring an impressive number of entertainment venues, amusement rides, museums, gardens, landmarks and more. For about three weeks every year, Fair Park is swept over with visitors enjoying the most diverse forms of entertainment, from food tastings to art exhibitions, and live music shows to livestock competitions. Unique highlights are a grand, full-fledged car show, and the so-called Red River Shootout, a football game played by the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas. All of this is overseen by Big Tex, the event’s 55 feet tall iconic mascot installed in the park.

Fair Park, 1300 Robert B Cullum Blvd Dallas, TX, USA, +1 214 670 8400



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Bulgari Exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

Opened 02 May

The Houston Museum of Natural Science pays tribute to Bulgari’s excellence in jewellery making with a display entitled Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces. The exhibition brings together the most beautiful and luxurious highlights to have come out of the talent and skills of the Italian company’s master designers. Considering the importance and the trend-setting role that Bulgari has long had in the jewellery industry, this show — which includes unique pieces from iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor’s collection — looks back at the early days of the company and its development of the grand reputation that it maintains today.

Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 639 4629


Soto: The Houston Penetrable

08 May – 01 September

Few individual works of art are so unique and powerful to merit a trip to the museum for their sole inspection, yet contemporary artist Jesus Rafael Soto’s Penetrables belong to this elite category. Soto’s Penetrables are an array of truly fascinating sculptures consisting of thousands of thin, dangling plastic strands, hand-painted one by one, which the visitor can touch, run their fingers along or even walk through. Far from being discouraged, the spectator’s interaction is welcomed as an integral and unique characteristic of the work. This summer, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts will show the Houston Penetrable, Soto’s last and most ambitious work completed before his death, and one of the few he specifically created for semi-permanent and indoor exhibition.

Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 639 7300


Free Press Summer Festival

31 May – 1 June

Hit Houston during the last weekend in May and join an audience of 80,000 concert-goers for a music festival that won’t soon be forgotten. The Free Press Summer Festival — which takes its name from Free Press Houston, the local newspaper behind the event’s organisation — reaches its sixth edition in 2014. Indie music lovers are forewarned: reading through the lengthy line-up of artists will leave them with tears of joy in their eyes. Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Lauryn Hill, Die Antwoord, Chvrches and Washed Out are only a few of the almost 80 amazing artists that will take turns on stage for a non-stop weekend of glorious musical celebration. The Free Press Summer Festival takes places in the beautiful setting of Houston’s Eleanor Tinsley Park.

Eleanor Tinsley Park, Houston, TX, USA