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Celebrate Black Friday By Having Priceless Museum Experiences

If the idea of expressing thankfulness for what you have by heading to the mall to buy more on Black Friday rubs you the wrong way, you're not alone. Why not do something enriching instead?

"We have an alternative here with our exhibits," says Sarah Gould.

"Here" is The Institute of Texan Cultures, and Gould says the Painted Churches of Texas exhibit details immigrant farmers' lavish appearing churches.

"They would just use paint to fake all of the rich materials that they were accustomed to back in Europe," she says.

Artistic painting approximated that look, very inexpensively. A look captured by a camera called a Gigapan.

"Which is a device developed for the Mars Rovers. It takes 144 high resolution photos. And then the software that comes with it, stitches those photos together," Gould says.

The exhibit features many magnificent shots of Texas's Painted Churches. Also open Friday--the McNay Art Museum, with both the museum and the ground open all day for normal hours.  

The grounds are worth the trip itself, but you should go inside.

"We also have a special exhibition--Telling Tales: Contemporary Narrative Photography," says Julie Ledet.

Those are large-scale photographs in the Stieren Exhibition space, but the entire museum will be open.

"You will be able to see works by Picasso, Cezanne, Monet, just to name a few."

Also open Friday, San Antonio's largest art museum, the San Antonio Museum of Art

"We have 64,000 square feet of art from around the world. Latin American Art, Asian Art, ancient Mediterranean art, Greek, Roman, Egyptian."

SAMA's Cary Marriott has another good reason to come.

"We're right on the river so you can go for a walk on the River Walk while you're here. We're a 5-minute walk from the Pearl. A 30-minute walk from downtown."

Oh, and one more thing:

"And, as it happens, on Friday we're free!"

Three outstanding local institutions that are great alternatives to the Black Friday shopping madness.

Find more on the Painted Churches of Texas exhibit here.

Find more on the McNay Art Museum here

Find more on the San Antonio Museum of Art here

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii