Among the art openings galore tonight is Companheiros/Partners, a collaborative intercontinental exhibition of fashion, quilts, photographs, and more. The show had its genesis in a trip curator Jenneifer Hereth, a School of the Art Institute instructor, made to Sao Paulo earlier this year to exhibit her own work. It opens tonight at Artemisia, 700 N. Carpenter, with a reception from 5 to 8, and runs through September 28. It's free; call 226-7323.
Everything you ever wanted to know about housing the homeless--from guerrilla lean-tos to the toilet problem to large-scale building proposals--will be on the table this month at the Randolph Street Gallery in a coming together of architects, artists, planners, and political organizers. Counter-Proposals: Adaptive Approaches to a Built Environment tackles the problem of the homeless in particular and affordable housing in general; the gallery has an exhibit of drawings and photographs up through November 9 and ongoing programming through next spring on the varied subjects. Upcoming are a discussion group on "The Waste Stream: Sites, Processes, and Receptacles" (6 to 8 PM Tuesday, September 17) and a demonstration by Chicago's Landon Architects on modular furniture they've developed for use in econonomical one-room housing (Thursday, September 19, at 7 PM). The gallery will also serve as a construction site for portable shelters by architects and community groups; the finished products will be relocated after the show. The whole shebang's opening reception is tonight from 5 to 8, complete with a "context talk" by participants. The gallery's open 10 to 6 Tuesday through Saturday. Admission to the gallery is free, but some of the programs cost a few bucks. Call 666-7737 for details.
Yet more art stuff: New Art '91, a block party under tents along Superior between Orleans and Sedgwick, celebrates the opening of the fall River North gallery season. It's sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Art's New Group; the $30 ticket ($25 for New Group members) gets you grilled chicken, pheasant sausages, and mahi-mahi kabobs (plus drink) along with music deejayed by WXRT's Terri Hemmert. Things get under way at 6:30. Call 280-5163 or 280-2673 for details.
American Public Radio's Whad'ya Know? program, hosted by the irrepressible Michael Feldman, comes to town today for a live broadcast from the Chicago Theatre. The syndicated variety show, usually broadcast from the campus of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, hits the airwaves at 10 AM with Feldman, guests Studs Terkel and Chicago's crack R and B ensemble Big Shoulders, and the debut of an aggregation called the Whad'ya Know? Big Band. Tix cost $10.50-$30; get 'em through Ticketmaster at 559-1212 (if you don't mind being subjected to its standard exorbitant service charges) or at the Chicago Theatre box office, 175 N. State.
The peripatetic Psychotronic Film Society has taken up residence in the Avalon Niteclub for the Sex, 'Toons, and Rock 'n' Roll Fest Saturdays in September. Tonight at 8:30 there's a showing of the relatively rare Born to Boogie, which stars Marc Bolan (of T. Rex fame) and was directed by the implausible Ringo Starr. Next week, September 14, same time and place, it's the Bad Taste Cartoon Blitz!; on September 21, it's Ten Seconds to Destroy!, which reportedly features bisexual and lesbian Japanese female wrestlers--the usual high-class stuff we've come to expect from PFS. Admission is $2.50; Avalon is at 959 W. Belmont. Call 738-0985 for details.
We know a vegetarian; we thought his fixation was harmless, but now he's refusing to imbibe even dairy products and tends to drift into rather doleful recaps of his most recent colonic. Over dinner. So if you decide to attend the fourth annual Chicago Vegetarian Society Picnic today, be careful--this could be you. The picnic starts at 11:30 on the east side of North Pond, just above Fullerton in Lincoln Park. It's free but potluck, so bring a dish (not bratwurst). Call 764-8349 for details.
Larry McCray, a scintillating young bluesman from Detroit, will be talking and jamming at a fund-raiser for the Elliott Donnelley Youth Center early this evening. McCray will be hanging with the kids at 5:30 and playing at 6:30. A band called Jarra & Company will also play, and the $10 tickets include refreshments. The center's at 3947 S. Michigan; call 268-3815.
Here's what School of the Art Institute staffers write about performance artist and cerebral palsy sufferer Frank Moore: "By taking advantage of his physical vulnerability, Moore and his longtime companion Linda Mac lead audiences into intimate rituals designed to promote physical and emotional participation among participants." You'd hardly guess that the intimate rituals include getting naked and writhing around. Moore and Mac will lecture on their work as part of a visiting-artist program at 6 tonight in the school's auditorium, Columbus and Jackson. It's $3, free to seniors and students. Call 443-3711 for more information.
Federico Garcia Lorca wrote plays and poetry, hung with Dali and Bunuel, and got offed by the fascists at 38 for his trouble. He also drew for most of his life, greatly influenced by Picasso, Juan Gris, and Georges Braque; his work, say the folks at Northwestern's Block Gallery, "reveals an intensely Spanish and parochial style that exploits folk themes in a bardic, incantory manner." Line of Light and Shadow: The Drawings of Federico Garcia Lorca includes 95 of the poet's drawings, in pencil, ink, pastels, and crayon; they'll be on exhibit at the gallery, 1967 Sheridan Road in Evanston, through October 20. The gallery's open noon to 5 Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 8 Thursday through Sunday. It's free; call 708-491-4000 for details.
You can learn about cats and dogs and toss some money at the Animal Protective Association--a cageless cat shelter that doesn't practice euthanasia--at an advice clinic tonight at the Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark. An "animal behavior specialist" from the Anti-Cruelty Society will talk about why cats and dogs do what they do in All About Animals--Those Crazy Cats and Dogs. A cash bar opens at 6, and the program starts at 7. The tax-deductible tickets are $5, $6 at the door. Call 463-6667 for details.
The biggest production in the Remains Theatre's history--a 36-actor cast re-creating the courtroom circus that surrounded the conviction of the Chicago Eight--opens tonight. The Chicago Conspiracy Trial was originally produced in LA, where it ran for 15 months to strong reviews; that production's director, Frank Condon, who also adapted the play from the court transcript with Ron Sossi, is directing this production as well. The play goes into ten days of preview performances tonight; general-seating tickets are $10, and reserved seats cost $12 Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, $15 Fridays and Saturdays. Show time is 8 PM Tuesday through Saturday, 7 on Sunday. Remains is at 1800 N. Clybourn; call 335-9800 for details.
The State of Illinois Building will be lousy with dancers at rush hour today and tomorrow as a traveling amalgamation of New York and Chicago dancers take over the plaza, atrium, balconies, elevators, and escalators for Dancing in the State. Participating: Chicago's Mordine & Company Dance Theatre, New York's Elizabeth Streb and her troupe Ringside Inc.,Timothy Buckley and Dancers, and organizer Stephan Koplowitz, who choreographed a finale that features about 100 local dancers. Things start outside in the plaza at 6:30 and gradually move inside for continuous performances until about 8:30. The same program repeats each night. It's free. Call 663-1600 ext. 421 for details.