Friday 10/8 – Thursday 10/14
By Cara Jepsen
8 FRIDAY He doesn’t smear elephant dung on images of the Virgin Mary, but local artist Dick Detzner has received a rap on the knuckles from the head of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, who’s called his paintings of corporate icons in religious tableaux “silly” and “in bad taste.” Detzner’s show Religious Conversions: New Adventures in Corporate Sacrilege features his watercolors of Big Boy carrying the Ten Commandments, a naked Mickey and Minnie Mouse being expelled from paradise, and the Morton Salt girl as Lot’s wife gazing back at Sodom. Tonight’s free opening is from 6:30 to 9:30, followed by music at 10, which requires a separate $5 admission, at Burkhart Studios, 2845 N. Halsted (773-348-8536).
Authors Ana Castillo and Dorothy Allison team up tonight to kick off this weekend’s Women Writers Conference, called “A Place in Mind: Women Redefining Voice and Vision.” But the real draw may be tomorrow at 3, when “participants will learn how to wield their menstrual cycle as an implement of creative self-empowerment” at Sharon Powell’s workshop “Women’s Bodies Politic: Periods, Poetry, and Power.” The reading with Castillo and Allison is at 7 at Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan. Admission is $10, $7 for students and seniors. The conference continues tomorrow and Sunday at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan. Admission to the whole thing is $50, $40 for students and seniors; the cost to attend individual workshops and panels ranges from $5 to $20. Call 773-296-1108, ext. 18, to register.
Bakelite, the plastic produced from the 20s until World War II, made the news this summer when it was discovered that Com Ed still had grid insulators made of the obsolete material in use. Tonight Gabrielle Sutton will discuss Bakelite collectibles and the material’s history (and give informal appraisals) at a free lecture called All About Bakelite. A reception runs from 6 to 9 and Sutton speaks at 7. It’s at Vintage Deluxe, 2127 W. Belmont. Call 773-529-7008.
Former porn star Ryan Idol, state representative Larry McKeon, and Dorothy Hajdys-Holman, mother of murdered sailor Allen Schindler Jr., are among the scheduled speakers at tonight’s free Matthew Shepard March and Rally Against Antigay Hate. It starts at 8 at Halsted and Roscoe; call 773-878-4781 for more.
9 SATURDAY Folks who attend this weekend’s annual Pullman District House Tour will get to go inside several of the homes old George built for his employees. It’s today and tomorrow from 11 to 5 and starts at the Historic Pullman Foundation Visitor Center, 11141 S. Cottage Grove. Admission is $12 in advance, $15 at the door, and includes a pretour presentation and visits to the Hotel Florence and the Greenstone Church. Call 773-785-3828 to sign up.
This weekend’s Hyde Park Co-op Used Book Sale promises thousands of books at less than a buck each. It’s from 9 to 6 through Monday at the Hyde Park Shopping Center courtyard, 1526 E. 55th. Call 773-667-1444, ext. 1212, for more.
A few blocks away at 57th Street Books, father and daughter writers Patrick and Franny Billingsly will present their very different books. Dad’s Convergence of Probability Measures (second edition) is about probability limit theory in metric spaces. The newest tome by Franny, a former 57th Street book buyer, is a fanciful teen novel called The Folk Keeper. The pair will talk today at 3 at the bookstore, 1301 E. 57th (773-684-1300). It’s free.
10 SUNDAY The hardest-working man in Chicago has got to be Studs Terkel, who just released another book, The Spectator. It’s made up of previously unpublished interviews with such notables of film and theater as Moms Mabley, Buster Keaton, and Satyajit Ray. Terkel, who’s done his share of acting, will read, answer questions, and sign books tonight at 5:30 at DePaul University’s Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo. Admission is $3; reservations are recommended. Call 312-922-1999.
11 MONDAY In 1993 Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila created a short-film trilogy, Me/We, Okay, Gray, intimate 90-second commentaries on family, society, and individual identity meant to be shown on TV and between previews at movie theaters. The trilogy and her 1997 film Today remain on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art through November 14. Tonight at 6 Ahtila will show some of her other films and discuss her work. The presentation is free and takes place at the MCA theater, 220 E. Chicago (312-397-4010).
T-Bone Burnett has produced four of wife Sam Phillips’s albums, but they’ve never performed together in public–until now. Burnett, who’s taken on the role of songwriter, says they’re “experimenting” with material right now. Tonight they’ll perform as part of Steppenwolf’s “Traffic” series with a lineup that includes Marc Ribot, Gillian Welch, and mandolin player Mike Compton. It’s at 7:30 at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets are $35; call 312-335-1650.
12 TUESDAY Last month Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovitz, the duo behind the 15-year-old New York-based fashion rag Paper, released a book, From AbFab to Zen: Paper’s Guide to Pop Culture. They’ll hit town tonight to give a related slide presentation; local musicians the Aluminum Group will also play. The free event starts at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 2817 N. Clark (773-935-3909).
13 WEDNESDAY In 1924 the first gay-rights organization in the country was founded here, says activist Marie Kuda, who will speak on Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian History: From the Fire to the Flood tonight as part of National Lesbian and Gay History Month. She’ll point out how Chicago’s ground-breaking status in the area of gay rights continues today in many forms, one of which is the annual Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame ceremony honoring those who have added to the stature and prestige of the city. Kuda will begin her talk at 7 at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 W. Lake, Oak Park (708-383-8200). It’s free.
14 THURSDAY Artist Anna Stonum, who died in February, began creating abstract watercolors–what she called “pictures of emotions”–in the early 1980s. As Friederich’s ataxia, a hereditary progressive disorder of the central nervous system, began to take over her body, she switched to papier-mache–one of her sculptures from that period, The World’s Biggest Necklace, is a six-foot-long spinal column–and later to the computer. Her piece Adapt or Perish, a play on the evolutionary scale placing the international wheelchair symbol at the top, became an emblem of the disability-rights movement, a cause she’d been closely involved with since she and her husband, Mike Ervin, helped found the Chicago chapter of ADAPT. In honor of Stonum’s 41st birthday, which would have been today, friends will discuss her life and work at a free reception tonight from 6 to 9 at the Communities of Women Art Gallery, 30 E. Adams, fourth floor (where an exhibit of her work runs through December 30). Call 773-275-1319.
After Daily Southtown reporter Kathy Orr died two years ago, some of her former classmates at Northern Illinois University got together to establish the Kathy Orr Memorial Fund, which will award scholarships to outstanding reporters at Kathy’s student paper, the Northern Star. The group’s holding a fund-raiser tonight with music by Anna Fermin, the Handsome Family, Brokeback, Andrew Bird and Nora O’Connor, and others. It starts at 9 at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia (773-227-4433). Admission is $10.