"The myth of the artist working in isolation in the studio just isn't true," says Ginny Sykes, a visual artist whose Collaborative experience includes joint ventures with performance artists, musicians, and dancers. In spite of her experience, nothing had prepared her for working with Mirtes Zwierzynski, a Brazilian currently living in Chicago. "We push each other beyond our own fears. We're much more aggressive together than in either of our individual work," Sykes says. And when she says they work together, she means it: the two paint and draw on the same piece at the same time. Their finished work can be seen in Convergence: The Body Series, beginning today with a free opening from 6 to 8 PM at NAB Gallery, which is temporarily at 118 N. Peoria. The show runs through May 4. For more information, call 421-1889.
Chicagoans of Latin American heritage typically think of themselves as Latino--before they think of themselves as Mexican, Cuban, Chilean. That attitude is evidenced by the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum's inclusive theme for its first anniversary exhibit, Adivina!: Latino Chicago Expressions. The show features Chicago Latino artists with ethnic roots in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, El Salvador, and Chile. The opening is today from 6 to 9 PM at the museum, 1852 W. 19th. It is free to members; $5 for nonmembers. After the opening, the show will be free. For more, call 738-1503.
Even though it's called Hoosier Hysteria, basketball was actually invented in Massachusetts by a physical education teacher told to devise a winter indoor game. He gamely stuck two old peach baskets at either end of the college gym and threw a soccer ball out to a bunch of guys. That was in 1891. Two years later, Smith College organized the first women's team. Women continue to compete, although, Title IX aside, it's often just for fun. That's the spirit behind today's Saint Scholastica High School Women's Three on Three Basketball Tournament, which also serves as a fund-raiser for the northwest-side institution. Play starts at 10 at 7416 N. Ridge. It's free to watch; the teams gave with their $40 entry fee. Call 764-5715 for more.
In Nicaragua there are women everywhere wearing soldiers' uniforms. There are women doctors and construction workers, women lawyers and athletes. But in spite of such big steps forward, the Sandinista revolution has yet to integrate women into its upper echelons: until recently, the highest-ranking woman was Nora Astorga, the UN ambassador who died recently of cancer. Abortion--part and parcel of any feminist agenda--remains illegal in Nicaragua. So even now, women's concerns need a voice. In Leon, Nicaragua, the Women's Legal Offices provide free services to all Nicaraguan women, but their funds are badly depleted because of the continued contra war and U.S. economic policies. You can help support this organization's good works if you drop by the second annual Dance to Support the Women's Legal Offices in Leon, Nicaragua, at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood, at 9:30 tonight. DJ "General B" will be spinning the hits and there'll be free food and a cash bar. Tickets are $10, $5 for students, available at Guild Books, 525-3667. Call 769-8079 for more information.
Henry Giroux's Theory and Resistance in Education: Pedagogy for the Opposition will be the subject of lively discourse at today's Critical Pedagogy Group meeting. Giroux, who advocates teaching students to critically examine society and not take it for granted, will be speaking in Chicago on May 14 and 15, and the crit group is gearing up for his visit. Organized about 18 months ago to give teachers, organizers, and activists an opportunity to discuss alternative strategies for educational reform, the group meets Sunday at 3 in the New World Resource Center, 1476 W. Irving Park. Anyone can attend. There's no charge, but prepare to exercise those brain cells. Call 743-1579 for more information.
TriQuarterly is referred to by the New York Times as "the preeminent journal for literary fiction" in the country. On the other hand, Another Chicago Magazine, affectionately called ACM, is the snappy upstart that keeps the literary tempest interesting. An editor from each magazine will showcase her own fiction at a special reading tonight at the Raven Theatre, 6931 N. Clark. Anne Calcagno and Sharon Solwitz spin their stories beginning at 7:30. Admission is $2. For more information, call 338-2177.
No one knows when the bassoon came into being, but it got its definitive long shape in 1540 at the insistence of Canon Afranio of Ferrara, Italy. Today it's the principal bass voice in the woodwind section, and it can easily cover three octaves. The bassoon will take center stage today when Robert Thompson, a former player with the Indianapolis Symphony, performs works by Stravinsky, Boismortier, and other composers at 1 as part of the "Tuesdays at One" concert series at the University of Illinois 1 at Chicago. The concert is free in the music department's recital hall on the lower level of the Education, Communication, and Social Work Building at the corner of Harrison and Morgan streets. For more information, call 413-5070 or 996-2977.
Dr. Stephen Halkovic is the caricature of the mountain guide, according to his sponsors--bushy beard, heavy eyebrows, and a wild look in his eyes. He's traveled extensively through Asia, especially around the Himalayas. So imagine an expedition to Bhutan, the secluded little Shangri-la nestled between India, China, Pakistan, Burma, and Nepal, where only 2,500 visitors are allowed each year. It's all mountain views, thick forest, and exotic architecture hundreds of years old. Halkovic and his slides will tell all about his trips there tonight at 7 at the Academy of Sciences, 2001 N. Clark. Admission is free. For more information, call 472-5237.
Chicago's Future seems appropriate enough subject matter for Alderman Tim Evans, the chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee, all-but-declared mayoral candidate, and pretender to Harold Washington's movement throne. The Fourth Ward rep will hold court at noon today as part of a college class taught by Dick Simpson (yeah, the former independent 44th Ward alderman and conscience of the council). The public's invited to attend; it's free in the Newman Center, 700 S. Morgan. While you're there, pick up a schedule of the other speakers Simpson has spared no clout to get: Alderman Danny Davis, Alderman Ed Burke, Fred Hess, and Dan Miller of Crain's Chicago Business, among others. For more, call 996-8282.
It seems inevitable that after years of slam dancing in the clubs touching would come back in vogue. The tango, a big fave in the 1930s and a dashing, romantic Argentine import in 2/2 or 4/4 time, is one of the most dramatic of the ballroom dances. Learn to tango, fox-trot, waltz, and rumba from 9 to 11 every Wednesday night at the Bistro Too, the heir of Rush Street's late great Bistro, where Chicago disco hit its height. There's a dance contest tonight after class. Instructions are free, but there's a $5 door charge. Listen, it's a great excuse to get close. Call the Bistro Too, 5015 N. Clark, at 728-0050.
Premenstrual Blues is a much bigger problem than just cramps. A few years back some psychiatrists actually wanted to label premenstrual syndrome a "diminished mental capacity" problem. This might have gotten more sympathy for those suffering monthly angst, but imagine the political repercussions. Much better to get rid of the symptoms, which is what registered nurse Nancy Depke wants to help women do. Her practical lecture starts at 7:30 at the Saint Francis Center for Women's Health, 1800 Sherman in Evanston. Admission is $5. Call 492-3700 for details.