Bill’s Best Bets: Hillsong at USA, lots of art, ‘Avengers’ playing everywhere, fishing for kids, progressive country’s Dalton Domino

Sixth-annual Art on the Llano Estacado

I always have been so impressed with the manner in which an annual fundraiser for the Museum of Texas Tech – called Art on the Llano Estacado – is staged. The sixth-annual art show and sale takes place Saturday and Sunday. The event begins Saturday as an exclusive event spotlighting approximately 200 original works of art by 41 Southwestern artists, representing a wide variety of styles and media.

Saturday’s is a ticketed event. Those tickets, $150, can be reserved by calling the Tech Museum Association at 742-2443, or e-mailing jouana.stravlo@ttu.edu. The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday at the museum’s Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court, 3301 Fourth St. The Saturday event, of course, provides the earliest opportunity for serious collectors to buy art, with most of the artists also present to answer questions about their work. In addition, the ticket includes hors d’oeuvres, cocktails (wine and beer), a buffet dinner, silent auction, a bid book and entertainment by the South Plains Faculty Combo.

During Saturday’s introduction to Art on the Llano Estacado, a portrait sitting by artist Paul Milosevich will be offered via the silent auction. The 2019 Legacy Award recipient is Toni Arnett, a Lubbock artist and crowd favorite who participated during each year of Art on the Llano Estacado. She credits workshops by artists Frank Gervais, Millard Sheets and Glenna Goodacre for much of her own art education.

This year’s participating artists include Toni Arnett, Sylvia Benitez, Steve Brewster, Duward Campbell, Nicholas Coleman, Kathleen Cook, Maryneil Dance, Darrell Davis, Karen Dreyer, Jim Eppler, Dennis Farris, Bethany Fields, Richard Galusha, Glen Garnett, Martin Gates, Bob Guelich, Homer Hensley, Carol Howell, James W. Johnson, Lynwood Kreneck, Janie Lowe, Kim Mackey, Jody Martin, Susan Nall, Tim Oliver, Bruce Peil, Erika Pochybova, Richard Prather, Cynde Roof, Wayne Salge, Stefan Savides, Nathan Solano, Janelle Spivey, Pati Stajcar, Bo Tan, Kandy Tate, Richard Thompson, Risa Waldt, Gale Webb, Garland Weeks and Christopher J. White.

Another plus: Should any of the 200 pieces remain unsold after Saturday’s reception, it will remain on exhibit from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 28. There is no admission charge for entry, and the art will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis during an exhibition and sale for the general public.

Art on the Llano Estacado is another way the Tech Museum Association raises funds for the museum to provide quality programming, exhibits and a variety of free educational opportunities for children and adults in the Lubbock community.

Hillsong United

The United Supermarkets Arena has provided a home for an increasing number of concerts of contemporary Christian music and this is not the first time Hillsong United has performed here. The band headlines again at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, with Amanda Lindsey Cook and Mack Brock the opening acts.

Tickets are $92 for reserved seats on the floor, $92 for general admission standing room in the Pit, $59 for early entry general admission seating in the lower bowl (100-level sections), $43 for general admission seating in the lower bowl, and $35 for general admission seating in the upper bowl (200-level sections). Prices include service charges. Package prices are $277.50 for the Diamond Package, and $168.50 for the Gold Package. See selectaseatlubbock.com for package descriptions.

Tickets are on sale at Select-A-Seat outlets. Call 770-2000 for more ticket information and purchases.

Hillsong United manages to take the world by storm, selling out major arenas, without superstars.  One critic wrote: “Hillsong is a bit of an enigma. It is a band – several bands, actually – named after a church in Australia. One of those bands, Hillsong United, basically is the church’s former youth group band.”

The youth band made its first recording in 1998.

Its ever-growing popularity now usually finds fans filling seats and also singing along with the band. The band’s reputation took off when it won five Dove Awards in 2014, then was named Top Christian Artist at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards and won three more Dove Awards in 2016. It has remained competitive.

Hillsong United has released 17 albums.

‘Avengers: Endgame’

Even with the “Star Wars” saga ending – sort of, with chapter IX – in December, there still would be many who consider “Avengers: Endgame” the year’s most eagerly awaited film. For a number of reasons.

Diehard fans know this is Marvel’s 22nd film and closing Avengers chapter, although a number of films focused on individual members will continue to be produced.

More to the point, however, co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo ended last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” in unexpected fashion, with villain Thanos’ finger snap wiping out half of Earth’s population – and movie fans weeping in their seats as many of the Avengers slowly disappeared like dust in the wind.

Yes, Nick Fury was able to put out a distress call just in time to Captain Marvel, who was introduced via her own movie earlier this year.

But even with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely also returning, one wonders how Captain Marvel can help  and whether the surviving Avengers can figure out a way to reverse the effects of the infamous finger snap. Important to note, though: Ant Man was last seen entering the Quantum Realm … at least before the new film’s trailers reveal him showing up at Avengers headquarters. So it seems obvious that Ant Man will play an important role.

Regardless, the film enjoyed a $100 million opening day in Europe and is expected to set cinematic financial records this weekend.

The sequel will open at every Lubbock theater, indoor and outdoor and do not be surprised if a total of close to 20 prints of “Avengers: Endgame” provide lots of showtimes at Lubbock’s multiplexes.

Why else is this film’s arrival so important? The previous weekend became the lowest grossing Easter weekend at the movies in the past several years. Ticket sales have taken a drastic dip at American cinemas throughout the first quarter of 2019 and studio moguls are hoping that “Avengers: Endgame” will do far more than just stop the bleeding.

Sixth-annual Kidsfish

The event takes place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Maxey Park, 2401 Quaker Ave. The free event is sponsored by the Lubbock Lions Club, Cabela’s and Maxey Community Center at 4020 30th St.

No fishing license is required for participating youth or adults. However, participants should bring their own fishing pole and tackle, because there are only a limited number of poles to lend out.

Cabela’s provides bait.

Families are encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets and sunscreen.

For more information and to register your family, visit kidsfishlubbock.com. Everyone must either pre-register, or register at the event. Pre-registered participants still must check in upon arrival to receive an event wristband good for lunch and other freebies, including door prizes. The first 500 children to show up and register receive free T-shirts.

The lake at Maxey Park is stocked with channel catfish provided by funding from the Texas Game Warden Association. This ensures plenty of opportunities for children to be able to catch a fish. Children of all ages and all abilities are invited. There also is a wheelchair accessible fishing area and playground.

Lunch – hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies, soft drinks and water  is served at 11 a.m. Saturday to those with event wristbands.

Dalton Domino

Progressive country singer-songwriter Dalton Domino will headline two shows on Saturday at the Blue Light Live, 1806 Buddy Holly Ave. – an early show at 7:30 p.m. and a late show at 11 p.m.

Blue Light Live is open only to music fans age 21 and older. Call 762-1185 for more details.

Tickets are $10 for Saturday’s early show, which will be an acoustic appearance. Those sticking around for the late show will be charged another $2. Or, the cover charge is $12 for those just showing up for the 11 p.m. concert.

Domino’s music has been described as a cross between Americana and Red Dirt Country.

Born in Memphis, he gravitated toward Texas as he grew older. He lived for a while in the Metroplex, but recognition and respect did not grow until he moved to Lubbock. That’s where he eventually formed the Front Porch Family Band, playing with Beau Bolfing, guitar; Michael Moad, bass and Levi Fowler, harmonica.

Jon Taylor produced their first album in 2015 and the band recorded another, called “Corners,” in early 2017 in Dripping Springs.

Domino will be featured with the Front Porch Family Band on Saturday, according to Blue Light Live co-owner Dustin Six. Meanwhile, expect Domino to share stories behind his songs, captivating audiences with his honest approach.