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Art picks: A new way to look at Blanton's art, more

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Art

"Overture: New Ways of Seeing the Blanton Collection." How we consider a work of art when we look at it is as important as anything we might consider. Offering a delightful challenge to our ways of seeing, an exhibit at the Blanton Museum offers several dozen works from the permanent collection - many of the museum's best-known pieces - and arranges them in a way that encourages visitors to consider the art anew.

Works by James Surls, Albrecht Dürer, José Guadalupe Posada, Kathe Kollwitz, Radcliffe Bailey, Ando Hiroshige, Bill Lundberg, Joan Mitchell and Thomas Moran, among others, are organized within concepts such as color, material and genre. "Overture" asks you to look, and then look again.

Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Exhibit continues through Aug. 21. Blanton Museum of Art, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Congress Avenue. $5-$9 (free on Thursdays). www.blantonmuseum.org .

"Serie Print Project." Founded by Mexic-Arte Museum co-founder and artist Sam Coronado in 1993, the Serie Print Project each year commissions artists to create hand-pulled seriograph, or silkscreen, prints.

Over the years, the project has emerged as an important document of the work of many Latino artists. Mexic-Arte Museum serves the official archive of the Serie Print Project and holds works from its past 17 series in its permanent collection.

The annual survey of the project's latest prints is now on view. Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Exhibit continues through Sept. 25. Mexic-Arte Museum, 419 Congress Ave. $1-$5 (free on Sundays). www.mexic-artemuseum.org .

Music

"Classical Cactus." The Cactus Cafe is simply one of the best listening rooms in Austin. And that makes it a perfect place to hear a casual concert of classical guitar. Started in the spring, the Austin Classical Guitar Society's "Classical Cactus" series starts again with Thales Smith playing at 8 p.m. followed by Jonathan Dotson of the Texas Guitar Quartet at 9 p.m. 8 p.m. Thursday. Cactus Cafe, UT campus. $5. www.austinclassicalguitar.org .

"Kaleidoscope." A free, hour-long chamber concert featuring Austin musicians Sandy Yamamoto (formerly of the Miró Quartet), violist Leah Nelson, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Findlen and guitarist Thales Smith, among others. On the program is music by Massenet, Turina, Mozart and Dvorák. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 3201 Windsor Road. Free. www.kaleidoscopeaustin.com .

Theater

"Down the Drain." Last year, John Boulanger won the Austin Critics' Table Award for Outstanding Original Play for "House of Several Stories," his whip-smart dark absurdist comedy. Now, Boulanger has penned a new dark comedy, this time crafting characters specifically for two Austin favorite local actors: Martin Burke and Meredith McCall. "Down the Drain" finds the neurotic Teddy (Burke) curled up on the bathroom floor in a panic thinking his life can't sink any lower. But then it does. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 28. Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd St. $15-$20. www.it-productions.org .