Menil Community Festival – April 14, 2012 – 11:00-5:00 – Free Community Event

The Menil Collection museum and a group of surrounding non-profit arts organizations come together to host a free afternoon of art and entertainment that will extend across the Menil “campus” from West Alabama to Richmond Avenue.  Highlighting the diversity of the Menil neighborhood arts community the festival will include films and performances, from chamber music to literary readings, performances and workshops.

Many arts organizations are tenants of the  gray bungalows around the Menil campus.  Many will be open to the community for this festival, including:
Aurora Picture Show

The Catastrophic Theater
Da Camera of Houston
Friends of Mandell Park
Houston Center for Photography
Houston Indie Book Festival
Southwest Alternate Media Project
Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts
The Menil Collection and Bookstore
Rothko Chapel
Watercolor Art Society-Houston
Writers in the Schools

Be sure to stop by the free event between 11:00 and 5:00 on Saturday, April 14.  Details are HERE.

The Byzantine Fresco Foundation Farewell Ceremonies – March 3, 2012

On Saturday, March 3, 2012, The Byzantine Fresco Foundation and the Menil foundation will have their farewell ceremony for the Frescos that will return to They Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus.

The Final Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel begins at 8:30am.

Saturday, March 3, 2012
8:30 Matins
9:00 Divine Liturgy
Reception to follow at the Menil Collection
Byzantine Fresco Chapel
4011 Yupon Street
Houston, Texas

Seating is first come, first serve

The final day to see the Frescos is Sunday, March 4, 2012.

See our last post on The Byzantine Fresco Chapel HERE.

Byzantine Fresco Chapel – Farewell to the Frescoes – After 15 Years in the United States, March 4, 2012 is Closing Day

On the Menil Campus is the Byzantine Fresco Chapel. Like the rest of the collection, admission is free to everyone. The Chapel was built to house the Byzantine frescoes from Lysi, Cyprus and opened in 1997. In the 1980s, looters took them from a chapel in Cyprus and smuggled the fragments off the island. Dominique de Menil rescued the frescoes and funded a two year restoration.

The agreement between the Menil and the Orthodox Church of Cyprus was to allow the frescoes to be in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel for 15 years. One March 4, 2012, the chapel will close the the frescos will return to Cyprus.

To celebrate the frescoes, the Menil invites the public to programs on February 12th and 19th, 2012.

Chant •Sonata •Duet
Music for The Byzantine Fresco Chapel
Sunday, February 12, 2012
5:30 p.m. Prelude (Optional). Walk from the Menil Collection to the Byzantine Fresco Chapel
6:00 p.m. Musical performance inside the Byzantine Fresco Chapel

Constructions of Art & Faith
The Byzantine Fresco Chapel and the Menil Collection
Sunday, February 19, 2012, 7:00 p.m.

The Byzantine Chapel is located at 4011 Yupon Street at Branard Street. It is open 11 a.m.– 6 p.m., Wednesday–Sunday. It is small, quiet and free. You can bring kids, and if they make noise, you can quickly get them outside. February is the last chance to enjoy these frescoes before they return to Cypress, so go check them out.

The Menil Collection

Address: 1515 Sul Ross Street, Houston, TX 77006

11:00 a.m – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday – Sunday
The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Cost: Always free.

Appropriate Age:   Ahh, well, hmm.  You should decide based on what you want to do.

Our Review:  The Menil Campus is located next to St. Thomas University.  It includes The Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, Cy Twombly Gallery, Menil Bookstore, Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum and Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall.  The campus is anchored by Renzo Piano’s first American building where ever-changing exhibitions, ranging from antiquities to modern and contemporary art, are displayed.

Also in the campus are several green areas, benches, and one red tree swing.  When the weather is nice, the spaces are filled with people  enjoying this piece of urban Houston.  Regardless of the weather, people are walking dogs, pushing strollers or reading in the shade.

My kids and I have spent a lot of time on the Menil campus.   Mostly outside.   That said, since the museum is always free, it is worth checking out, even with kids. When I have visited The Menil Collection with my 2 and 4 year old, my strategy has been to go into the main building, sit on a bench and look at one collection (and enjoy the air conditioning) and then head out to the bookstore.  (If I took only one child, and only had to run in one direction, I could definitely spend more time in the museum.)

At the bookstore we can get the old fashioned glass bottles of Coke and enjoy them on the bench outside.  (The Cokes are $2 each… but remember, the museum is free.)  I usually bring some paper and crayons along in case my young artists are feeling inspired.

After our drink break, my kids run around in the grass until they are hot and tired and have burned off all their Coke energy. At this point we call it a day and head home to more air conditioning.

I really enjoy the Menil campus and recommend you check it out. Be sure to check out The Menil Collection, and the other buildings. Just be flexible with your day!