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By Debbie Anderson May 6, 2021 June 25th, 2021 No Comments


One of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants

George W. Bush Presidential Center, 2943 SMU Blvd., Dallas, 214-200-4300, bushcenter.org

The former president may not have as big a passion for politics anymore, but he is channeling lots of creative energy into painting. Bush’s new book, Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants, has drawn considerable buzz. Subjects
of the 43 paintings include Texans such as retired Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki, who was born in Germany; Austinite Gilbert Tuhabonye, who survived genocide in Barundi and went on to become a professional runner; and Cambodian-born Thear Suzuki, an SMU graduate who today works with many community organizations and on the board of directors of the Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. The title of the book and exhibition was inspired by the motto on the great seal of the United States, “E pluribus unum,” which means “out of many, one.” The book, $38, is available for purchase at many online sources and through your favorite shop. On view through Jan. 3, 2022; timed tickets must be purchased in advance; current hours are limited.


Virtual Juneteenth event: Annette Gordon-Reed

Dallas Museum of Art, dma.org/programs/event/virtual-event-annette-gordon-reed

The story of Juneteenth and why it matters is a powerful and spellbinding tale as told by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Texas native Annette Gordon-Reed. Gather the family for her skillfully interwoven recounting of history, a dramatic family chronicle and memoir. Gordon-Reed brings to life the celebrated date’s Texas origin story along with its connection to African American history from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. Speaking as a descendant of slaves brought to Texas as early as the 1820s, Gordon-Reed’s account is both accurate and personal, making it a narrative of unique clarity and power. Learn more about Texas history from the earliest presence of Black people to the day when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger announced the end of legalized slavery in the state on June 19, 1865. Find tickets, along with the option of purchasing a signed book, on the website. June 15 (recording available through June 29)


Grapevine Main Street Fest

Downtown Grapevine, 800-457-6338, grapevinetexasusa.com

Long a favorite outing for sampling local craft brews and tasty bites, this year’s Grapevine Main Street Fest has been reimagined. Breweries from 11 states highlight the Craft Brew Experience, but this year admission is free, and the focus is on family-friendly activities. Enjoy jugglers, acrobats and live music as downtown eateries and shops open their doors and extend their businesses onto Main Street for alfresco dining and shopping. A special area for kids includes chalk art and craft activities. Shop the Main Street Fest Marketplace for everything from beef jerky to jewelry sold by local retailers, as well as one-of-a-kind artworks and handicrafts from artisan vendors. Did we mention fried mac ’n’ cheese balls, snow cones and wood-fired pizza? Go hungry. May 15-16


Jurassic World: The Exhibition

GrandScape, 5752 Grandscape Blvd., The Colony, jurassicworldexhibition.com

It’s not summer until you encounter a dinosaur or two, and where better than an earth-quaking exhibition that promises its meet-and-greet is the next best thing to running with the raptors in real life. An immersion experience for all ages based on the film of the same name, “Jurassic World” brings the cinematic theme park’s land of the giants to life. Goose bump-inducing theatrical music and spine-tingling roaring — plus an up-close experience with baby dino Bumpy from the animated Netflix series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous — are guaranteed to get the whole family squealing. Wear comfortable shoes; it’s a 20,000-square-foot walking exhibit. Get a sneak peek at the experience on the website, where you can buy tickets, too. June 18-Sept. 5

Encounter the fearsome T. rex at “Jurassic World: The Exhibition,” a touring show opening in June. Photo courtesy of Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment


Elephant Springs, part of the Fort Worth Zoo’s Wilder Vision project, opened mid-April. The $32 million habitat is a definite crowd-pleaser. And the new tenants seem to enjoy themselves, too. Photos by Jeremy Enlow

Elephant Springs at the Fort Worth Zoo

1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, fortworthzoo.org

The Fort Worth Zoo’s Asian elephant herd, which includes a three-generation family, officially made the move into Elephant Springs this spring. The new habitat almost triples the amount of roaming room that was in the previous exhibit. Multiple, expanded yards, as well as the varied habitat, are designed to inspire even more success in what already is a heralded breeding program. A better quality of life for Cowtown’s magnificent gray herd? That’s the plan, thanks to multiple pools for splashing, spraying and lolling about, as well as more space to stretch around the water features. Noted worldwide for being a thought leader in elephant conservation and herd management, the zoo has also created new digs for the greater one-horned rhino just upstream, in a semblance of the geographic relationship the creatures would enjoy in the natural world. And because rhinos face extinction in the wild — possibly in as few as 25 to 30 years — the zoo is striving to further the survival of the species in another of its successful breeding programs. In 2012, the zoo celebrated a major conservation success with the birth of the greater one-horned rhino calf Asha — the first ever in Texas.

Here’s to more good news to trumpet about as both elephants and rhinos add to their families. Reservations for admission to the Fort Worth Zoo are currently required for all guests. See the website for more information and to buy tickets.


Nature Connects

Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-463-4160, fwbg.org

It would be hard to find someone who has never had the pleasure of snapping together something from Lego bricks. To understand the scale at which such constructions become sculptural works of art, make plans to visit Sean Kenney’s award-winning exhibition. The New York-based artist and children’s author utilizes the unique art form as an intriguing way to introduce topics he holds dear. From giant hovering hummingbirds and floating bees, to bonsai, koi fish and a fox on the hunt, millions of Lego bricks inspire conversation about protecting natural habitats, ecosystems and the beauty of the natural world. It promises to be equally entertaining and inspirational to adults and children. Through Aug. 1

Sean Kenney’s Lego sculptures spark a joyful sense of wonder: Works on exhibit at Fort Worth’s Botanic Garden include a hummingbird sipping nectar from a flower. Photo courtesy of BRIT  

ZimSculpt is a collection of Zimbabwean stone sculptures. Photo courtesy of Dallas Arboretum

Summer of Sculpture, ZimSculpt

Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, 214-515-6615, dallasarboretum.org

An encore exhibit with worldwide cred, “ZimSculpt” features more than 100 modern stone sculptures from contemporary Zimbabwean artists. Displayed with a sublime synchronicity within the arboretum, some of the pieces created by the Shona people of serpentine and semiprecious stone weigh tons and stand up to 7 feet tall. On select days, sculptors Passmore Mupindiko and Brighton Layson demonstrate their artistry with chisels, hammers, files and sandpaper. Find more info and buy tickets on the website. Through Aug. 8