One of those banners that hang along Chicago streets advertising everything from museum exhibitions to neighborhood festivals can be yours for just a few bucks. The sixth annual Banner Auction will be held today from noon to 3:30 at Daley Plaza, Dearborn and Washington. Many of the banners have been autographed by celebs such as Walter Payton, Michael Jordan, and Sir Georg Solti. The auction is a once-a-year event to benefit the mayor’s Sharing It Program, and proceeds go to feed the hungry during the holidays. For more call 744-3315.
School of the Art Institute student David Fitzgerald’s work might be more aptly titled “building art,” but he prefers Street Art. If you’re on the streets in the Loop during rush hour, you’ll see why either title could fit. With the help of 30 other students, Fitzgerald will project two and a half hours worth of urban images onto the school’s new building at 37 S. Wabash, starting at 5. The projections span two stories and stretch 300 feet. Naturally, it’s free. For more information call 443-3527.
Lithuanian Christmas-tree ornaments were once made from real straw, but here in America ordinary white drinking straws will do. Helen Pius, who has been teaching this traditional art for more than 25 years, conducts classes at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, 6500 S. Pulaski, every Friday night in November, starting tonight, from 7:30 to 9. You may attend as many classes as you wish. There’s a $6.50 fee your first night to cover the costs of supplies; every additional class costs $3. You must bring your own scissors, pencil, and ruler. Call 582-6500 between 10 and 3 Monday through Friday for more.
It’ll be hot and steamy at the usually cool and reserved 57th Street Books store today when the Feminist Writers Guild presents Eros: Liberty Runs Clean and Naked in the Night, readings of erotic literature. Among those reading their own material, as well as erotica by others, are Joyce Goldenstern, Midge Stocker, and S.L. Wisenberg. The fun starts at 3 PM at the store, 1301 E. 57th St. It’s free. Call 684-1300 for more.
The San Francisco Mime Troupe does a twist on Washington Irving’s classic tale with its Ripped Van Winkle, the story of a free-loving hippie named Rip who takes a hit of acid in 1968, falls asleep, and wakes up 20 years later. Freaked-out Rip has quite a few adventures trying to figure out what happened to the revolution. Curtain time is 8 tonight and tomorrow at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets are $16 and are available through Ticketron, 853-3636, or Latino Chicago Theater Company, which is sponsoring the show, 486-5120.
“World’s Fair spring in the big town by the lake,” wrote Nelson Algren in his first novel, Somebody in Boots, about the 1933 exposition. “Over on Michigan Avenue the people were going in one gate and the people were coming out of another; and inside the gates was chaos. . . . a zigzag riot of fakery, a hash of hot-dog stands and shimmy shows lapped by the lake.” Algren’s view is, as usual, darker than most, but you can get some sense why from the Wilmette Public Library’s display of memorabilia from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, A Century of Progress. The exhibit, from the collection of Larry and June Ettema, can be seen for free from 1 to 5 PM on Sunday, from 9 to 9 Monday through Friday, and from 9 to 5 Saturday. The show runs through November 25, but the library, 1242 Wilmette Ave., will be closed November 23 and 24 for Thanksgiving, Details at 256-5025.
Lapdogs, hunting dogs, William Wegman’s Man Ray, Warhol’s Amos, and Manet and Renoir’s Tama are on the loose in art historian Robert Rosenblum’s The Dog in Art From Rococo to Post-modernism, today’s presentation in Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute. Rosenblum’s semiserious survey of dogs in art illustrates major cultural and social changes over the centuries. The lecture begins at 2 PM and is free, although the museum, located at Michigan and Adams, has a suggested admission of $5. For more call 443-3680.
When Lori McNeil, the 12th-ranked woman tennis player in the world, hits town for the Virginia Slims of Chicago, she’ll probably be glad to get a break from the New York papers, which have been all over her for tidbits on the Givens-Tyson fight. Robin’s best pal, McNeil is going to need all her powers of concentration to beat the competition, which features nine of the top players in the world, including Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Zina Garrison, and Soviet whiz kid Natalia Zvereva. Play starts at 9 AM at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion, 1150 W. Harrison. The tournament runs through November 13; tickets are $6 to $17.50, available through Ticketron, 853-3636, and at the box office, 647-6400.
After the Chicago cops shocked the world in 1968 by beating protesters at the Democratic convention, a group of New York artists called for a boycott: no artist was to show his work here for ten years. “A boycott was clearly a nonstatement,” says gallery owner Richard L. Feigen, who thought the only ones who would suffer from the boycott would be Chicago artists. “It was also clear that artists everywhere wanted to make a statement and the only way to do this was to exhibit.” Feigen and other Chicago artists organized the Richard J. Daley exhibit, a show that was more about politics than about art. After 20 years that show is back and features several of the original works; it opens today with a free reception from 5 to 7 and runs through December 6 at Feigen’s gallery, 325 W. Huron. Regular gallery hours are 10 to 5 Tuesday through Friday, 11 to 5 Saturday. It’s free. For more info call 787-0500.
Up-to-the-minute election results will be aired tonight in English, Polish, German, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Assyrian (in that order) during Ethnic Election ’88 on the Ethnic Television Channel 52 on the north, northwest, and west sides, and on Channel 25 everywhere else, including the lakefront. The three-hour program begins at 9 PM with reports presented in half-hour segments in each language. An English wrap-up will be broadcast in between. For a complete schedule call 775-9595.
“It’s like America. Plugged in. Electronic. Direct. Visual. Spontaneous. Immediate,” says Lesley Schiff about her artistic technique: painting with light on a Canon color copier. The results can be seen in Emergence: Laser-Ray Paintings, a one-woman show at one of the newest additions to the SuHu district, Montana Moon Gallery at 750 N. Franklin. The show runs through November 25 and can be seen during the gallery’s regular hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 to 7. For more call 337-1495.
On November 9 and 10, 1938, Nazis destroyed approximately 7,500 Jewish shops and homes in what would come to be called Kristallnacht, or the “Night of the Broken Glass.” Nearly 30,000 Jews were rounded up, beaten, and sent off to concentration camps; that night marked a turning point in the Nazi persecution of the Jews. The 50th Anniversary Kristallnacht Commemoration Commission of the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago is sponsoring a free Jewish-Christian colloquium today at 1:30 at Congregation Ezra-Habonim, 2620 W. Touhy. There will also be candlelight vigils throughout the city tonight. Details are available at 743-0154.
Lloyd Bentsen may not like it, but John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan did have one thing in common: both of them could charm the press corps. Neither George Bush nor Michael Dukakis makes much of an impression on the media, and that will make the next four years quite different. America’s New President and the Press is the keynote address by John Seigenthaler at the sixth annual benefit dinner for the National Center for Freedom of Information Studies at Loyola University. Seigenthaler is president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, among other things. A reception begins at 5 PM at the Midland Hotel, 172 W. Adams. Tickets are $30. Call 670-3116.