HOUSTON (Sept. 29, 2014) -Houston has long played host to extraordinary visual and performing art. And with major exhibitions and performances from around the world heading to the city, this art season is no exception. Here are just a handful of events to keep on your radar.

Take Flight
Wings of the City, an exhibition of nine bronze sculptures by famed Mexican artist Jorge Marín, is now on display at Discovery Green. The free art installation offers park patrons a place to gather, reflect and celebrate this acclaimed international collection. For over 25 years, Marín has presented his winged sculptures in more than 200 exhibits worldwide. Wings of the City had been viewed by more than one million people on Mexico's Paseo de la Reforma. The allegorical and fantastic creatures portray perfection of the human body, and spark dialogue around themes of desire, will and determination with the body and mind. Through Feb. 8, 2015.

Give Peace a Chance
A new exhibit explores for the first time the resonance of Mahatma Gandhi’s ethics of nonviolence in the visual arts through both works of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries and masterpieces of classical religious art of the past. Analyzing widely published images of Gandhi’s public persona and the highly symbolic ways in which he manifested his beliefs and lifestyle, Experiments with Truth aims to bring together major works of art from different periods of Eastern and Western culture under the large theme of the art of nonviolence. The exhibition’s themes echo the concerns of Menil Collection founders, John and Dominique de Menil who dedicated themselves to humanitarian causes. Oct. 2, 2014-Feb. 1, 2015.

Strike a Chord
The Jerusalem Quartet returns to Houston, bringing its "powerful sense of drama" [The Oregonian] to Chamber Music Houston's stage. The group will lend their energetic and lyric style to a program combining groundbreaking masterpieces by Beethoven and Bartók with Ravel's striking String Quartet. Oct. 21, 2014.

Appreciate the View monet
"I have painted the Seine throughout my life, at every hour, at every season," Claude Monet once said. "I have never tired of it: for me the Seine is always new." The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River, an exhibition that chronicles Monet's abiding fascination with the iconic French waterway. A selection of 52 paintings by the Impressionist painter will be displayed, beginning with scenes of leisure activities, modern life and cityscapes along the Seine River and culminating in the ethereal works from the famous Mornings on the Seine series (1896-97). Oct. 26, 2014, to Feb. 1, 2015.

Be Risque
Kinky Boots took Broadway by storm and now Theatre Under the Stars is bringing the risqué hit to Houston. The story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, the unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible. Feb. 10-22, 2015.

Fall in (Tragic) Love
It's been 28 years since Houston Ballet staged a new production of Romeo and Juliet but Stanton Welch's interpretation of this most famed love story is worth the wait. Set to Prokofiev's breathtaking score, Welch's classic production weaves the poignant tale of the star-crossed pair exquisitely. With lavish sets and costumes by acclaimed Italian designer Roberta Guidi di Bagno, the production pays tribute to Renaissance Italy. The theme is classic and the choreography fresh. Perhaps even the Bard himself would approve. Feb. 26-March 8, 2015.

Face the Music
The musical Once took home eight Tony Awards in 2012, including best musical. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights... but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance. March 10-15, 2015.

Live the Drama
All My Sons, Arthur Miller's first commercial success, was inspired by a true story about a successful businessman who sold the government defective airplane parts during World War II. The play takes place following World War II, as the Keller family desperately hopes that their son Larry, who was missing in action three years earlier, returns home. As their other son prepares to propose to the woman he loves, who was Larry's girlfriend when he went missing, the Kellers confront realities as family secrets are revealed. Alley Theatre will perform the work at its temporary home at the University of Houston while its Downtown building undergoes a major renovation. April 1-19, 2015.

Absorb Arias
Houston Grand Opera continues Wagner’s The Ring Cycle in 2015 with the second installment Die Walküre. Here the story of the Ring moves from the gods' home, Valhalla, to earth: Having brought Freia's freedom with the ring in Das Rheingold, Wotan sets about regaining the golden band and its unique power. Wotan must sacrifice his son Siegmund, renounce a daughter, Sieglinde, and abandon his favorite child, Brünnhilde, the leader of the Valkyries. Like all the Ring operas, Die Walküre stands on its own as great spectacle, masterful storytelling, and electrifying music. This complicated opera showcases the breadth and depth of HGO’s talented company. April 18-May 3, 2015


A.J. Mistretta