Many of us have only a vague idea of what Mexico looks like, images gleaned from television and film, or maybe an all-night drinking binge in a border-town dive. We've never seen the other side of Mexico, a country rich in tradition and extremely poor in many other ways. The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University provides an intriguing look at how two artists--one Mexican, the other Texan--view Mexico's unseen side, with its exhibition Mexico Through Two Lenses: Photographs by Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Geoff Winningham. While the photographers' work is separated by many years (Alvarez Bravo's shots span six decades, from 1920 to 1977; Winningham's photos were snapped only a few years ago), both capture the simple beauty of Mexican life. The exhibit opens Friday and continues through May 31 at the Meadows Museum, located on the corner of Bishop Boulevard and Binkley Avenue on the SMU campus. Call (214) 768-2516.
Granted, gnawing on a turkey leg and watching grown men prance around in tights isn't for everyone, but for almost two decades people from all over the state have flocked to Scarborough Faire to relive the Renaissance. We suspect that part of the festival's attraction may be that it gives men carte blanche to call women "wenches," but that's beside the point. Scarborough Faire features authentic 16th-century entertainment and food and drink, as well as more than 200 artisans displaying and demonstrating their crafts. One tip: Stay away from the mead, because the only thing worse than a 16th century hangover is the stupid crap you bought while getting it. Scarborough Faire's 18th season opens Saturday and continues every weekend through June 14, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under. The festival is located in Waxahachie, 30 minutes south of Dallas. Take I-35E south to exit 399A. Call (972) 938-FAIR.
Before Billy Bob Thornton won an Oscar for his independent surprise Sling Blade, he was an unknown television actor. Now he's a name. Not a big enough name to "open" a blockbuster at the local cineplex (even if he wanted to), but big enough to attract a line at the art house. At least, that's what independent filmmakers Stefani Ames and Tom Epperson are hoping. Ames and Epperson are the creative team behind A Gun, A Car, A Blonde, a noirish fantasy starring Thornton, John Ritter, and Jim Metzler. Thornton plays the kind of shifty, oppressive character that he wrote for buddy Dwight Yoakam in Sling Blade. Already a success on the festival circuit (Slamdance, South by Southwest), the film--which was shot half in black and white--has its North Texas premiere at the SMU Student Filmmakers Association Film Festival. Both Ames and Epperson are scheduled to attend the screening, which happens at 7:30 p.m. at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theatre, located on the SMU campus. The film festival starts on Saturday at 6 p.m. Call (214) 824-5831.
Bulgaria doesn't exactly carry the same amount of weight in archaeological circles as, say, Egypt. Egypt is an archaeologist's field of dreams; the land of the pyramids, King Tut, and the Sphinx. Bulgaria is the land of the Thracians, who are known (only to students of Greek literature) as the opponents of the Greeks in the Trojan War. The Kimbell Art Museum sheds some needed light on the Thracian past with Ancient Gold: The Wealth of the Thracians, Treasures from the Republic of Bulgaria. The exhibit includes more than 200 gold and silver objects, obtained in recent digs at royal Thracian sites. It's not groundbreaking, but it is an interesting look at a previously little-known culture. The exhibit continues at the Kimbell Art Museum, located at 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth, through July 19. Admission is $4-$8. Call (817) 332-8451.
There are those who believe that extreme cheeriness is a sign of evil. If you don't happen to subscribe to that theory, you'll probably be interested to know that Borders Books and Music has started the Martha Stewart Good Things Group. No, we're not kidding. Fans of television's ultimate homemaker will meet to discuss their favorite Stewart recipes, books, and other projects. Borders will provide recipe cards and other bits of Stewart ephemera, and raffle off an autographed Stewart book and a subscription to Martha Stewart Living, which sounds more like a threat than a promise. For some, this is one of those "why hasn't anybody done this before?" ideas. For us, it is a sign of the coming apocalypse. The group meets at 7 p.m. at Borders on Preston and Royal. Call (214) 363-1977.