It's On 

Work by artists Bob Verschueren (above left) at the Botanic Garden and Erwin Van Mieghem at the Memphis Jewish Community Center

Work by artists Bob Verschueren (above left) at the Botanic Garden and Erwin Van Mieghem at the Memphis Jewish Community Center

It's not uncommon to hear locals refer to the time between Memphis in May's Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest as the "off week." But I double-dog-dare those same folks to say that to those who organized the International Week Salute to Belgium, May 2nd through May 8th. For an "off week," there's a lot going on.

On display beginning May 1st is "Belgian Surrealism in Paintings," featuring the works of René Magritte and Paul Delvaux at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; "Art of the Outdoors: Sculpting Nature," phytoprints, monotypes, and photographs of outdoor installations by Belgian nature artist Bob Verschueren at the Memphis Botanic Garden; "The Diamonds of Antwerp," focusing on Belgium's diamond industry at the Mississippi River Museum; "Red Star Line and Van Mieghem: A Crossroads to America," paintings by Erwin Van Mieghem at the Memphis Jewish Community Center's Shainberg Gallery; "The Sax from Belgium to Stax," focusing on the saxophone — invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax — at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music; and "The Comic Art of Marc Sleen," on the work of comic-strip artist Marc Sleen at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.

On Tuesday, May 3rd, at noon, as part of the International Speaker & Lecture Program, Martine De Maeseneer delivers a lecture on Belgian architecture at the University Club of Memphis ($20, On May 4th, Indie Memphis gets in on the act with the first of five screenings of Belgian films. Tonight's feature, at 7 p.m., at Studio on the Square, is The Misfortunates, about a 13-year-old boy with family troubles ($7).

On May 5th, at 7 p.m., there's Belgium on Beale, a performance by the troupe Marc Malempré at the Orpheum ($12), and on May 6th, at 7 p.m., it's the International Gala at the Peabody ($150). And at Chez Philippe on May 6th and 7th, Chef Didier Bolle will create a menu of Belgian fare.

International Week Salute to Belgium, May 2nd-8th. For a full schedule and more information, go to


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