Arts Calendar, 11/5-11/11


“Take Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathi”
As part of the ongoing film series “Movies with a Mission Project,” the DuSable Museum of African American History presents “Take Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathi.” Narrating the story of the Kenyan Noble Peace Prize laureate, it examines her career as a political and environmental activist and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Maathi founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization that plants trees to combat deforestation, prevent erosion, and empower women. DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. November 8. Sunday, 2pm. (773)947-0600. Free (Elly Fishman)

“Islam: Empire of Faith, Part II”
In celebration of Arab Heritage Month, the Oriental Institute continues its screening of the two-part PBS series “Islam: Empire of Faith.” A survey of the first thousand years of Islam, Sunday’s film explores its influence on science, spirituality, and the arts in Greece, Egypt, and China during the Middle Ages. Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St. November 8. Sunday, 2pm. (773)702-9514. Free (Elly Fishman)

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)


Joe McPhee’s Survival Unit III
En route to Chicago’s Umbrella Music Festival, the legendary and multi-talented Joe McPhee first stops by the University of Chicago campus. Since the late 1960s, McPhee has been sitting down for sessions with the greats in experimental jazz, including trailblazing members of his own generation like Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, and Pauline Oliveros, and new innovators like Mats Gustaffson and Ken Vandermark. At Bond Chapel, he joins cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and percussionist Michael Zerang, two bright lights in Chicago’s shining improv scene. Bond Chapel, 1050 E. 59th St. November 9. Monday, 8pm. (773)702-8670. Free. (Brandon Hopkins)

Kool Keith
Kool Keith raps about chiropractors, marinara sauce, and rehabilitation centers over a techno-inspired, lightsaber-fast beat on his song “I Am Computer,” off his August release “Lost Masters Collection.” The rapper and founding member of the Ultramagnetic MCs will play at Reggie’s Rock Club this Saturday in support of that album, a three-disc set of forgotten tracks from across his career. Kool Keith, a New York native, contributed to the latest Prodigy album and goes by several aliases, including Black Elvis, Dr. Octagon, Dr. Dooom, and, most recently, Dr. Ultra, whom you may have seen in a television ad for Sprite. Reggie’s Rock Club, 2109 S. State St. November 7. Saturday, 10pm. (312)949-0121. $20. (Megan Frestedt)

I Love You, Sadhu Sadhu, The Tanks, and Suckling Pigs
Following in the footsteps of Go-Go Town and other do-it-yourself South Side music venues that have fallen to the fist of financial and legal pressure, Mortville offers an intimate setting for off-kilter touring and local acts. This week’s schizophrenic bill kicks off with Kansas City’s psycho-pop party band I Love You, a hipster house act in the vein of These Are Powers. The Tanks are a noisy blues punk group from Iowa that recall Pussy Galore. Chicago represents with psychedelic prog rock from Sadhu Sadhu and incomprehensible No Wave scribbles from Suckling Pigs. Third floor, Mortville, 2106 S. Kedzie Ave. November 5. Thursday, 9pm. Donations requested. (Brandon Hopkins)


33rd Beverly Art Competition & Exhibition
In 1976, Arthur Rubloff, one of the original supporters or the Beverly Arts Center, honored his friends by creating the Alice and Arthur Baer Art Competition. Today, the name has changed, but its values of generosity and community are maintained. The competition portion of the event ended last month: entry was open to local artists who live within one hundred miles of Chicago. The cutting-edge work must have been completed in the last five years. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Awards & reception November 6. Friday, 7-9pm. Exhibit runs November 7-December 27. Monday-Saturday, 9am-9pm; 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)

Close Encounters
Featuring work by eight artists from New Zealand and Chicago, “Close Encounters” addresses the continuity of tradition in the midst of multicultural exchange. The show is a response to events that occurred at the Field Museum in 2008 surrounding the use of a nineteenth-century Maori marae (meeting house), when the tribe whose ancestors carved the structure requested that it be used as a place of meeting and discussion instead of as a simple exhibition piece. The artists brought together for “Close Encounters” examined that request through their artwork. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Opening reception November 8. Sunday, 3-5pm. Exhibit runs November 8-January 24. Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. (773)324-5520. (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)

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. (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)

Susan Aurinko curates an exhibit of works by Barbara Crane, who has had over 75 solo exhibitions internationally. A graduate of the IIT Institute of Design, she utilizes the same techniques she developed there over 40 years ago. According to a 2002 interview, her work is a quest to “eradicate previous habits of seeing and thinking.” The resulting abstractions appear simple, but often speak to a complex interaction between form and content. Kemper Room Art Gallery, Paul V. Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology, 35 W. 33rd St. Through February 1. Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm; Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. Free. (312)567-5293. (Sarah Pickering)

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. (Sarah Pickering)

Rastros y Crónicas: The Women of Juarez
The unsolved murders of female factory workers in Ciudad Juárez, a border city in Mexico, are the subject of this powerful and at times personal exhibition. These violent crimes against over four hundred women have been documented for the past twenty-six years. Artists in the show are all women from the United States and Mexico, and their work will be accompanied by a series of discussions and lectures. National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. Through February 14. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm. (312)738-1503. (Sarah Pickering)­