Photography has played a critical role in skateboarding’s rise from slacker hobby to X Games sport. The pictures that photographers like C.R. Stecyk III and Glen E. Friedman took in the seventies of skating innovators like Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta—as seen in the 2005 movie Lords of Dogtown—helped bring this underground style of street surfing out of the empty swimming pools of Venice, California, and onto the concrete slabs of Middle America. Fittingly, the third annual Skatestock event this Saturday, an open skate session with luminaries including Steve Alba, Tony Alva, Lance Mountain, and Peggy Oki (the only female of the famed Z-Boys skate team) will benefit the Morgan Moss Foundation, which equips Texas high school students with photography equipment in memory of Moss, a Houston-area photographer and a skateboard fanatic. The event will be at the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark, a 30,000-square-foot public park with one of the nation’s largest cradles (a spherical bowl turned on its side). There will be live music, art and the interactive “Before I Die” wall. Adrian Lenardic, a professor at Rice University, will also be on site, making sense of the graceful chaos with experiments that measure the skaters’ velocity and G-force.
Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark, Oct. 18, 1 p.m., skatestock.wordpress.com
An Inspector General
Donald W. Olson, a physics professor at Texas State University, is a human GPS. Using forensic astronomy, he has revealed history’s untold stories, like sourcing a star in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet to a real supernova, demonstrating an instance when Abraham Lincoln was not exactly “Honest Abe” and tracing the exact time and location that Monet, the French impressionist painter, created his work The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset. Olson has cataloged his findings in his 2013 book Celestial Sleuth: Using Astronomy to Solve Mysteries in Art, History and Literature, and on Thursday he will host a lecture, “Celestial Sleuth: Astronomical Dating of Paintings,” using a PowerPoint to illustrate his discoveries of the Monet painting, plus works by Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch. Olson got his start more than 25 years ago, when an English professor enlisted him to research Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Franklin’s Tale, which led to a history professor advising him to look into an amphibious 1943 landing by Marines in the Pacific. Since then, he and his group have published about three dozen articles in Sky & Telescope magazine about their findings.
McNay Art Museum, Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m., mcnayart.org
Going for Baroque
Because two men in white, powdered barrister wigs would never stoop to a battle of wits to determine one’s musical superiority, La Follia, the Austin Baroque ensemble, is doing it instead with its Bach vs. Handel Smackdown. The event will feature six rounds of comparable pieces by each composer, who were both born in 1685 and who are both considered the pinnacle in the Baroque genre. It is up to the audience, who will vote in the matchups—for example, Bach’s epic “Toccata in D Minor” against Handel’s “Blacksmith Variations” and Handel’s titanic “Hallelujah Chorus” versus Bach’s “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring”—to ensure the competition does not end in a tie.
First Presbyterian Church, Oct. 18-19, lafollia.org
The Art of the Cast
Fly-fishing is an art form in which process is often emphasized over product. That is the case at Oktoberfisch, an annual fly-fishing festival hosted by the Fredericksburg Fly Fishers Club, where it is not necessarily about how many fish one catches as it is the quality time one spends with one’s fellow fishermen. Clinics will provide the basics to the romantics out on the Llano River who are there simply because they have seen A River Runs Through It. And a steak dinner will cheer up those whose casts fail to hook anything.
South Llano River, Oct. 17-19, fredericksburgflyfishers.com
Pop Goes the Art
Pop Austin is an international art show with works from contemporary masters like Andy Warhol to rising stars like Shepard Fairey, the Obey Giant graffiti artist, and while it is geared toward educating 25- to 45-year-old high-earning professionals on how to collect, people who do not have money to spend can still claim an Instagram moment with one of the five installations around town, including a fifteen-foot-tall Popsicle.
Fair Market, Oct. 17-19, popaustin.com
A life lived on a plant-exclusive diet can be a lonely one in meat-mad Texas, but at the fifth annual Texas Veggie Fair, non-carnivores can bond over yoga, cooking demonstrations and talks by Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, a raw foods specialist; Joshua Katcher, the editor of a website for the “ethically handsome man;” and Robin Quivers, the former Howard Stern talking head who wrote the book The Vegucation of Robin.
The McKinney Avenue Contemporary and Reverchon Park, Oct. 18-19, texasveggiefair.com