Arts Calendar, 10/22-10/28


Jour de Fête
The University of Chicago’s 31st annual Humanities Day, entitled “Feast Your Mind,” sponsors a screening of “Jour de Fête” (“The Big Day,” 1949) on October 24. Starring and directed by Jacques Tati, the film follows a rural French postman who becomes obsessed with speeding up his delivery route after watching a newsreel on the efficiencies of the U.S. Postal Service. Professor of Cinema and Media Studies Jennifer Wild will present Tati’s 1949 post-war film, which was not only the filmmaker’s first feature film, but also an attempt to release the first French feature in color. Though the technology was inadequate at the time, the film was restored to color in 1995. A must-see for those interested in the influence of post-WWII themes on provincial tradition. University of Chicago Film Studies Center, room 307, Cobb Hall, 5811 S. Ellis Ave. October 24. Friday, 3:30pm. (773)702-8596. Free. (Rachel Reed)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Redmoon Theater first adapted and performed Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in 2000 at Steppenwolf Theater. Designer Jim Lasko, who received high critical praise for the 2000 production, stages 15th-century Paris for the second time almost a decade later, this time in Rockefeller Chapel. The show promises elements of modern ballet, circus, performance art and “multiple styles of puppetry.” The show is not, however, recommended for children under 8 years of age. Rockefeller Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. October 22-25. Thursday-Sunday, 8-9:30pm. (312)850-8440, ×111. $20/$10 students and seniors. (Rachel Reed)

eta Creative Arts, Chicago’s premiere Afrocentric theatre, presents a work by Daniel Beaty, creator of the one-man play “Emergence-SEE!”, which recently finished a sold-out extended run off-Broadway. The center of “Resurrection” is a 10-year-old boy who affects the lives of five men: the owner of a health food store in the projects, the bishop of a megachurch, a music executive, a graduating high school senior, and an ex-con. Director Cheryl Lynn Bruce won multiple awards for her direction of Congo Square Theatre’s 2001 production of “From the Mississippi Delta.” eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave. Through November 15. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm and 7pm. (Sam Feldman)


Chuchito Valdés
Dubbed “jazz improvisation of the most sophisticated kind,” Chuchito Valdés warms up the coldest winter nights and teases the most reluctant hearts with his high-energy Cuban jazz. Weaned on the piano from an early age, Valdés talks about jazz as a “different language” and handles the piano like an extension of his body. His hands, sometimes flying over the keys in wild, impatient strokes, while at other times floating gently as if caressing the piano, produce high-fervor notes that will break through even the toughest skin and make you fall in love. Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th Street. October 23. Friday, 7:30-9:30pm. (773)702-8086. $25/$10 University of Chicago students. (Fanele Chester)

Venetian Snares
Downtrodden employees of Illinois’ Best Buys, hear the call! Canadian audiohead, electronic musician, and Overgeek Aaron Funk, who performs as Venetian Snares, will get normally docile bodies moving in 19/16 time this Friday night. Since the 1990s, Funk, his laptop, and various mixers and sequencers have been an unstoppable team in the intelligent dance music circuit, cross-wiring classical music, inhuman breakbeats, and glitchy pulses into dauntingly complex auditory collages fit for both fight scene soundtracks and show-offy music papers. Dissecting every musical source imaginable, the techno-wizardry of Venetian Snares spins chaos into fragile order. Reggie’s Rock Club, 2109 S. State St. October 23. Friday, 9pm. (312)949-0121. $15. Ages 17+. (Brandon Hopkins)

David Boykin Expanse
Chicago-based saxophonist David Boykin weaves in and out of the standard jazz routes, playing neither strictly hard-lined free jazz nor dried-out standards. His playing bobs and weaves between recognizable modes and completely unexpected tonal choices, striking the adventurous listener with all the more impact. Jazz is, after all, the music of surprise, and Boykin’s unclassifiable idiom aims to lure the listener in with taunting melodies, only to turn right around and undo that structure. He plays this Friday with Black Earth Ensemble leader Nicole Mitchell, avant-garde pianist Jim Baker, and others. Velvet Lounge, 67 E. Cermak Rd. October 23. Friday, 9:30pm. (312)791-9050. $15. (Brandon Hopkins)

The CUBE Contemporary Chamber Ensemble is dedicated to performing new music written in a classical form, a relative rarity in canonically minded concert halls. The small chamber orchestra aims for the intimate and spiritual with its performance at the fifth Sounding the Sacred concert. The Lutheran School of Theology’s Augustana Chapel will welcome the players and their renditions of music by Elizabeth Smart, Adrian Williams, Howard Buss, John Anthony Lennon, and CUBE founder, Columbia College faculty member, and oboist Patricia Morehead. Lutheran School of Theology, 1100 E. 55th St. October 25. Sunday, 4pm. $15/$10 students and seniors. (Brandon Hopkins)


Colson’s Truck Group
Beverly Arts Center plays host to an exhibition of ten infamous artists from Chicago, all talented creators who, for one reason or another, have been repeatedly rejected by the city’s premier galleries. In spite of this setback, these artists continue to produce interesting and engaging art. Artists include Rick Therrio, Peter Barnes, John Colson, Jim Pizzillo, Sandra Leonard, Pat McDonald, Joe Crosetto and Chris Tedin. Incorporating a wide range of styles and materials, the show is thematically a “diverse cohesion,” according to its curator and participating artist Carla Winterbottom. In spite of their distinctions, the pieces manage to complement each other. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Through October 28. Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm; Saturday, 10am-4pm; Sunday, noon-8pm. (773)445-3838. Free. (Leah Reisman)

South of No North: 3 Artists of Conscience
The exhibit is part of Chicago Artists Month, which showcases local artists that exemplify the diversity of the city and its art community. Victor A. Lopez creates beautiful and expressive abstract paintings, which, for all their organic complexity, maintain a structure through layers and layers of color. Erik DeBat’s high-energy work is visibly influenced by pop art, and while it ranges from representational to abstract, it is all very much grounded in popular culture. Jeff “Kingdom” Kilpatrick uses hand-made stencils to paint the people and buildings that populate our society. A mixture of locals and celebrities, his subjects are like those of an alternate universe comprised solely of light and shadow. Beverly Arts Center, 2417 W. 111th St. Through October 28. Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, noon-6pm. (773)445-3838. (Sarah Pickering)

New Collages by Jack Girard and Recent Paintings by Lawrence Tarpey
Jack Girard and Lawrence Tarpey are both from Lexington, Kentucky, but their work addresses the human condition from very different approaches. For Girard, collage “suits the fragmented design of (his) days,” and as the photo-real mixes with dreamlike blocks of color, the viewer gets the impression of looking into the artist’s, or perhaps even his or her own, subconscious. Tarpey describes his process as “somewhat obsessive.” Like the love child of Cubism and Surrealism, his patchwork creations are achieved through a combination of oil and pencil on gessoboard. The paintings are not without humor, but a muted color palate and restrained composition hints at graver undertones. Logsdon 1909, 1909 S. Halsted St. Through November 7. Saturday, noon-5pm and by appointment. (312)666-8966. (Sarah Pickering)

Ryan Mandell meditates on the idea of wealth and its ability to construct reality. A graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, his sculptural work has a visible architectural influence. In this new show, he postulates a conception of the future, dominated by hyperbolic buildings and landscapes. Inspired by extravagant libraries, palaces, and Graceland, Mandell confronts the connection between money and power from a unique, literally structural perspective. Eastern Expansion Gallery, 244 W. 31st St. Through November 12. By appointment only. (773)837-0145. (Sarah Pickering)

After Effects
In his paintings for “After Effects,” Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist Thad Kellstadt toys with the idea of ordinary animism. He first imagines that everyday objects have souls, then portrays what might happen to the object’s psyche when it has been discarded. His more abstract work makes bold use of color and pattern, sometimes resembling collage; if the show’s more concrete subjects are painted so vividly, it should be easy to see them as more than objects. secondBEDROOM, 3216 S. Morgan St., #4R. By appointment only. (630)849-7750. (Helenmary Sheridan)

Artist Makeba Kedem-DuBose was raised in a public housing project on the West Side of Chicago. She calls her family and friends from that area her “tribe.” Having cultivated an appreciation of art from a Jesuit priest, the artist developed her own style. Blending African ancestral traditions with her Judeo-Mystic religion, she strives to let her work reach out to viewers and pull them in. The pieces are bright and uplifting, and range from the abstract to hyper-stylized representations. eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. Chicago Ave. Through November 15. Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm. (773)752-3955. (Sarah Pickering)

This group show features the video work of 18 artists from around the world presenting their view of Shanghai. Each artist spent time in China, observing and absorbing the culture firsthand. The pace at which the city is growing and changing makes it a suitable subject for this particular medium; all videos will be on display in HPAC’s Black Box Gallery. Some pieces choose to contrast older notions of a “mystical orient” with more modern representations of globalization. Very much an exhibit of our generation, this show celebrates the growth of this global city, while simultaneously questioning its sustainability. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Through December 13. Monday-Thursday, 10am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. (773)324-5520. (Sarah Pickering)

Polonia and Other Fables
Allan Sekula’s “Polonia and Other Fables” is an endeavor in documentary photography aimed at exposing the “social impact of global economics” in Chicago, according to the curatorial statement. His images focus mainly on Chicago’s labor community and large Polish immigrant population. The exhibition is complemented by samples of Sekula’s writings, which are as essential to his art as his photographic pursuits. As is characteristic of Sekula’s work, the exhibition is critical of the medium of photography while being decidedly photojournalistic. For this story, at least, Sekula can rely on his images to do the telling. Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis Ave. Through December 13. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5pm. (773)702-8670. Free. (Leah Reisman)

The cities and small towns of the Midwest have never been a part of the mainstream art world, last breaking through with the unsentimental, deceptively folksy murals of Thomas Hart Benton. The Smart’s “Heartland” presents contemporary art from this geographic center and cultural periphery, featuring videos, photography, drawings, and site-specific installations made by artists from Kansas City to Detroit. Some works reference the expected imagery of the Midwest, whether real or stereotyped, such as Greely Myatt’s installation of a lawnmower with plant roots, while others treat less-localized personal and societal issues with a refreshing lack of New York-style narcissism. Originally shown at a museum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, to explain the culture of a people who elected Obama, this examination of familiar territory may yield surprises. Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave. Through January 17. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 10am-4pm; Thursday 10am-8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-5pm. (773)702-0200. (Helenmary Sheridan)

Joanne Trestrail: Piecework
Joanne Trestrail, an alumna of the Hyde Park Art Center’s ceramics classes, brings to the gallery a unique take on form. From a distance her pieces look like rocks, but upon closer inspection, they turn out to be crescendoing multilayered works. These are not stones to dismiss easily. Trestrail’s focus on the fundamental building blocks creates pieces that grow organically, recalling the stratigraphical storytelling of geology. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Through January 17. Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. (773)324-5520. (Tizziana Baldenebro)

The Hyde Park Art Center’s faculty displays a selection of their artwork that deals thematically with the process of memory. The exhibition uses a variety of media, including painting, photography, video, installations, and performance art, in an attempt to express personal experience in retrospect. Fact and fiction collide in these projects, all of which contain multiple layers and histories. An emphasis on process gives a constructive relevance to highly individualized pieces. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Through February 14. Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. (773)324-5520. Free. (Sarah Pickering)