Friday 6/27 – Thursday 7/3
By Cara Jepsen
27 FRIDAY When he was a child, Jamie Wyeth played in his late grandfather’s studio, where he had access to the props and costumes N.C. Wyeth had used for his illustrations in books and magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post during the first half of this century. Jamie quit school in the sixth grade to study at home with a tutor and his father, the painter Andrew Wyeth. Today Jamie’s a sought-after illustrator whose drawings recall those of his grandfather, though the two never met. Writer Stephen May will discuss the art of illustration and the Wyeth legacy tonight at 5:30 in the John B. Murphy Memorial Auditorium, 50 E. Erie. The evening includes a reception and a preview of the new Terra Museum exhibit, N.C. Wyeth and His Grandson: A Legacy, curated by Jamie Wyeth. It officially opens tomorrow and runs through October 26 at the Terra Museum of American Art, 666 N. Michigan. The lecture, reception, and preview is $7; call 312-664-3939 for reservations.
What is the relationship between nature and technology? “Think about the fake Christmas trees that look so real. One does not know if it is fake until it is touched,” says artist Christopher Tedeschi. His new outdoor video installation consists of a giant nest suspended from a tree. Three TV monitors in the nest will play sounds and display images from the surrounding environment. The nest will be installed at 8 on the east side of the Creative Reuse Warehouse, 721 W. O’Brien; it’s free. Call 312-663-1600, ext. 5670, for more information.
28 SATURDAY “I’m interested in making physical things audible,” says composer Louise Cloutier. For several weeks she visited artist Richard Hunt’s studio and “listened” to two sculptures he’s been making for the Evanston Public Library. Cloutier says her musical portraits of those works, entitled Bookends, have distinct voices: the sculpture resembling an open book with a scroll rising out of it sounds like a traditional song; the other, recalling a computer with protruding antennae, is more like spoken word with melody and inflection. Cloutier and Hunt will be present at today’s dedication ceremony, where a stereo speaker beneath each piece will play its portrait. It’s at 4 outside the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington. It’s free; call 847-866-0300.
29 SUNDAY Home movies can be revealing in unexpected ways. When my family watched my long-dead grandfather’s home movies recently, we saw reels and reels of the ’57 World Series, auto races, and regattas, and only about two minutes of our younger selves. There was, however, an entire reel of a smiling, waving, white-haired woman who was definitely not my grandmother. “That must be the Arizona woman your grandfather had an affair with for so long,” said my mother. Most of the home movies from filmmaker Roslyn Broder’s youth show family parties where everyone is smiling. But if you look closely at the scene where her mother is feeding her baby sister, you’ll notice her mother pushing the baby’s head up and toward the camera, forcing her to perform. “The appearance is always happy, and that kind of contradicts what’s happening at the time,” Broder says. She has included some of those old movies, along with scenes from Mommie Dearest and new footage, into her new film Mother, which explores her relationship with her mother and the changing politics of motherhood. It will be shown with other works by local artists that have received some funding from the Illinois Arts Council. The movies start at 7 tonight at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division. Admission is $6; call 773-384-5533.
30 MONDAY It shouldn’t take much to impress the crowd at this week’s National Amateur All-Star Baseball Tournament when you consider the embarrassingly awful records of our two pro franchises. Whether Mayor Daley’s All-City Team will follow their lead or break the hex remains to be seen. The team, which includes players from local high schools, will compete against the top 100 amateur baseball players from the rest of the U.S. in a week-long round-robin tournament. The two teams with the best records will face off in today’s championship game; perhaps they’ll eventually find work with the Cubs or Sox–the sooner, the better. The round-robin games take place all week at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Flames Field at Roosevelt and Maxwell. Today’s big game is at 1:05 in Comiskey Park, 333 W. 35th. Tickets are $3; call 312-245-8085.
1 TUESDAY After moving to Chicago a young gay man thinks he may head back to the closet, in Tom Hietter’s new play Royal Flush. The small-town boy finds he doesn’t fit in with the gay scene, dislikes the in-your-face tactics of political groups such as ACT UP, and thinks homosexuals are better off conforming and assimilating. His views are challenged when he starts hanging out with three fun-loving locals. The play previews at 8 tonight and tomorrow at the Athenaeum Studio Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets are $10; call 773-271-2190 for reservations.
2 WEDNESDAY In the late 1800s Pilsen was a Bohemian neighborhood, but that group had already started moving west by the turn of the century. Immigrants from Poland and Yugoslavia took their place. They stuck around until Mexican families moved in during the era of urban renewal in the 1950s and ’60s. Today the lower-west-side neighborhood remains a destination for many Mexican immigrants. The exhibit Pilsen/Little Village: Our Home, Our Struggle, which premiered last year at the Chicago Historical Society, comes home today. A free block-party-style opening reception will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1852 W. 19th. Call 312-738-1503.
3 THURSDAY No matter where you find yourself on the planet–even underwater–you’re never more than three feet away from a spider, say the folks at the Nature Museum. For every human on the planet, there are nearly 200,000 insects. Before you say “Give me some bug spray!” you should know that insects are critically important to the ecosystem. The exhibit Bug’s Eye View is designed to give the squeamish a newfound appreciation. It features a larger-than-life-size landscape filled with giant flowers, mushrooms, and insect models, including a walk-in grasshopper head, in which you can see the world through a grasshopper’s eyes. The exhibit opens today at the Nature Museum at the Chicago Academy of Sciences, 435 E. Illinois. It’s open from 9:30 to 4:30; admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children. Call 773-871-2668.