Free Stuff to do this weekend in Chicago, April 12-15

Late Bar

Late Bar Photograph: Allison King

Thursday 12

A Garden by Design

Gabriel Bizen Akagawa, Regin Igloria, Amber Ginsburg and several other artists and collaborating groups relate sustainability to their own practices.
10am-5pm, President’s Gallery

Figures and Grounds: Approaches to Abstraction

Stephanie Bernheim, Lawrence Kenny, Renée Petropoulos and Linda Stillman explore abstraction through photography, painting and sculpture in this exhibition curated by Anne Rorimer.
11am-6pm, Arts Club of Chicago

Andy Warhol: Photographs

These 25 Warhol (1928–87) Polaroids and black-and-white photos of celebrities—as well as the not-so-famous—are part of DPAM's gift from the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program.
11am-7pm, DePaul Art Museum

Heather Mullins and Karolina Gnatowski's fainting couches and Thornberry's doorstops are among the artworks in a show that blurs the line between art and design as it emphasizes research and development. Curated by Britton Bertran, "R&D" also includes works by Mike Andrews, T.J. Donovan, Ben Foch and Geoffrey Todd Smith.
Noon-4pm, Manifold

Energy BBDO Creative Salon

Jim Lasko, the public space artist and Redmoon Theater artistic director, visits the salon. Join him for conversation, drinks and appetizers. Reservations required.
4pm-6pm, Energy BBDO

Modern Model

Andy Hall and Kaylee Rae Wyant present light fixtures, storage, wall coverings and a table that can't be neatly labeled "art" or "design."
4pm-7pm, Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center

Harold Washington Birthday Celebration: Chicago Cultural Plan, 1986 and 2012

Julie Burros, Chicago’s cultural planning director, speaks about the first Chicago Cultural Plan, which was created in 1986 under Mayor Washington, as well as the new plan currently in development.
6pm, Harold Washington Library Center

Night Lab: The Science of Smell

You'll be relying on your schnoz to complete tonight's experiments. Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation director Alan Hirsch reveals the ways our sense of smell affects weight loss, disease and behavior. The adult barroom class is part of the Science Is Sexy series.
6:30pm-8:30pm, Schubas

Stacy Bierlein

The OV Books editor celebrates the release of her debut story collection, A Vacation On The Island Of Ex-Boyfriends.
7pm, The Book Cellar


Dir. Lars von Trier. 2011. 135mins. A bride (Kirsten Dunst) can’t cope with her wedding party; the end of the world is more her speed. Von Trier’s latest attempt to grapple with his depression (after Antichrist) boasts moments of astonishing beauty, and the first half—devoted to the catastrophic party—is a tour de force. This is a Cinema Slapdown event, with Hollywood Chicago staffwriter Patrick McDonald taking the pro position and film critic Penelope Steiner on the con.
7pm, Columbia College Chicago, Film Row Cinema

Frathouse Thursdays

Just try to find elbow room at this throwback to the house party days of college where beer pong, 20-ounce brews and hot boys ruled.
9pm, Scarlet Bar


In its musical form, the stuff holding nightlife together is house and disco. It may sound different than it did back in the day, but on its most base level it stuck—and that's what this night is all about. Headed up by DJ Weaponry and Studio Casual, Glue explores the deeper side of house and disco monthly with special guests.
10pm, Bonny’s

Friday 13

Colombia: Transformed
Five Colombian architects—Bogotá-based Daniel Bonilla and Giancarlo Mazzanti, and Felipe Mesa, Juan Manuel Pelaez and Felipe Uribe of Medellín—present ten designs for day-care centers, schools, a library and other socially conscious projects. Curated by Vladimir Belogolovsky and Fernando Villa, this exhibition is presented in collaboration with Chicago architecture firm MAS Studio.
10am-7pm, Instituto Cervantes Chicago

Survival Techniques: Narrative of Resistance
Yto Barrada, Sigalit Landau, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Artur Zmijewsk and several other artists examine political conflicts, social unrest and exile in this exhibition cocurated by Natasha Egan and Davide Quadrio.
10am-5pm, Museum of Contemporary Photography

Carrie Schneider: Burning House

Schneider built a series of identical wooden structures, rowed them to an island in a Wisconsin lake and torched them to create her large-scale photos and video of a house that seems to burn forever.
11am-6pm, moniquemeloche

Studio Malick
Malick Sidibé's black-and-white portraits and other photographs capture the exuberant nightlife and youth culture that Bamako, Mali, enjoyed during the 1960s.
11am-7pm, DePaul Art Museum

Catherine Sullivan and Company: Inaugurals

Sullivan, a U. of Chicago professor, filmed this exhibition's works in Chicago. The show includes a special installation of The Last Days of British Honduras (2012), which she created with artist Farhad Sharmini, and the five-channel work Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land (2003), a collaboration with Chicago's Trap Door Theatre.
11am-8pm, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

Geoff Farina
The former Karate frontman calls Chicago home now, and we can't think of a cozier place for his signature guitarwork than this Logan Square cocktail lounge.
6pm, The Whistler

The Maids

Playwright Jean Genet famously advised that the maids in his 1947 work be portrayed by men, ideally young men. The camp factor here derives more from the quaintness of the psychosexually charged dialogue than from the cross-dressing players. John Arthur Lewis and Rich Logan are effective Kabuki figurines, gliding with stirring dignity and forming deranged tableaux as they seethe and hatch plots. Elizabeth Lammer’s cinematic lighting design creates satisfyingly creepy patches of light and dark. As the maids’ imperious Madame, Sasha Grishkov modernizes and electrifies a play that feels teeteringly close to no longer being avant-garde.
8pm, Oracle Theatre

grrrit’s Friday

Welcome to bearadise. Sofo wakes up the neighborhood with a smoking-hot night of woof-worthy men.
9pm, SoFo Tap

Pecha Kucha: ADFF
The Architecture and Design Film Festival inspired this special edition of the fun, fast-paced slide show. Emceed by Chicago architect Peter Exley, this Pecha Kucha includes speakers Jord den Hollander (director of Mission Statements), local architects Brad Lynch and Paul De Santis, artist Rujanee Mahkanjana, Orange Skin founder Obi Nwazota and Ben Murray (codirector of Unfinished Spaces).
8:30pm-10pm, Music Box

Sleaze Pleaze
If you ask a househead to rattle off names of Chicago DJs, this night's resident is inevitably on the list. Diz came up as part of the Windy City's second generation of house jocks—sharing bills with names like Derrick Carter and Mark Farina—and can still be found spinning around town weekly. Friday means he's in this basement bar downtown, dropping beats till 4am.
11pm, Underground Wonder Bar

Saturday 14

Green Metropolis Fair
Have a field day poring over and purchasing organic, sustainable and fair-trade items from more than 100 businesses, including Abbey Brown Soap Artisans, Ethically Engineered, Urban Worm Girl and Natura Pet Products. Kids can get their hands dirty at the barnyard animal petting station.
10am-4pm, Green Exchange

Spring Art Sale

More than 120 SAIC students sell jewelry, paintings, sculpture, photography, prints, clothes and other items at this annual event. Most proceeds go directly to the artists, with the remainder benefiting SAIC's Student Association.
10am-5pm, SAIC Ballroom

Not Ready to Make Nice: Guerrilla Girls in the Artworld and Beyond

In the 1980s, a group of anonymous women donned gorilla masks and called on the art world to change its sexist practices. This multimedia exhibition brings together documentary materials and behind-the-scenes photos of the campaigns that the artist-activists carried out in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as their favorite "love letters and hate mail" and an interactive wall installation.
11am-5pm, Glass Curtain Gallery


Mickalene Thomas curates works by Clifford Owens, Malick Sidibé, Hank Willis Thomas (who is no relation) and seven other black artists—including herself—who work in photography and other media.
11am-5:30pm, Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Yto Barrada: Riffs

Barrada's installation of photographs and films examines the everyday traces of historical changes in her hometown: Tangier, Morocco. Her work appeared at the 2011 Venice Biennale.
Noon-5pm, Renaissance Society

Alan Cohen: Revisited Exposures
Cohen created these photographs in the 1970s, when he studied at Chicago's Institute of Design with Arthur Siegel.
Noon-6pm, Document

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Dir. Edgar Wright. 2010. 112mins. Not quite a Zucker brothers parodist, not exactly a Tarantino fanboy, Wright is instead the superhero mash-up artist of our wildest pop-culture dreams. His best and breeziest confection, Scott Pilgrim plays like a gushing romance between the writer-director and his world of "disreputable" interests: trash rock, splash-panel comic books and '90s video games. It screens as part of the 8th Annual CMS Graduate Student Conference.
6:30pm, Film Studies Center, University of Chicago

FLAT cofounders Catie Olson and EC Brown, Cole Pierce, Angela Lopez and Stephen Nyktas show new works.
7pm-10pm, Floor Length and Tux

Wayne Montana

Mixing up a little modern day Bad Brains and an added world music sensibility, the Eternals are a refreshing reggae-fied change of pace from the in-yer-face indie scene. Band member and DJ, Wayne Montana, takes over this modern Asian-themed and always-packed-with-beautiful-people haunt on Milwaukee for early evening dubby jams to get your Saturday off on the right track.
8pm, Rodan

Planet Earth

With a track record stretching back to 1994, Dave Roberts's Planet Earth night is a Chicago staple. His new wave selections have taken him from Club Foot to Exit to Neo. It's now found a permanent home here.
10pm, Late Bar

Atmosphere Strut: Kid Color

Local disco don Kid Color adds his selections to the musical spectrum at the Whistler, spinning bright discoid tunes perfect for cocktail sipping.
10pm, The Whistler

The Warmbloods + Tyler Jon Tyler + Coins

Former members of Watchers and Low Skies meet up in the Warmbloods, recalling Gang of Four, Television and other postpunk acts of that ilk. Local garage-pop contender Tyler Jon Tyler shares the bill along with dreamy duo Coins.
10pm, Cole’s

The Truth
Resident DJ Hiroki hosts every Saturday night, inviting in a rotating lineup of in-the-know selectors like Willy Joy, Zebo, Boy Wonder and more. Like the DJs, the genres stay in a steady flux with a mix of house, hip-hop, Top 40 and classics.
10pm, Empire Liquors

Sunday 15

Claire Ashley
Ashley's site-specific inflatable sculpture fills Terrain's porch and yard. Opens Sun 15, noon–4pm, includes artist's talk.
Noon-4pm, Terrain

Fun for All

Load up on free art making and family fun as Hyde Park Art Center holds its drop-in day of activities, workshops and even a scavenger-hunt gallery guide.
1pm-4pm, Hyde Park Art Center

Melodies of Love and Loss

A showcase of established and emerging Chinese composers, curated by Yuan-Qing Yu, assistant concertmaster of CSO, is inspired by the city's latest "One Book, One Chicago" selection, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. Featured players include pipa virtuoso Yang Wei, clarinetist Jennifer Woodrum and flutist Melissa Snoza of Fifth House Ensemble.
2pm, Harold Washington Library Center

Movies with a Mission
You don't have to fork over a dime to watch these educational monthly screenings. Today's featured documentary, Slavery by Another Name, addresses the Emancipation Proclamation.
2pm-4pm, DuSable Museum of African American History

Erich Mendelsohn, Architect: Berlin, London, Jerusalem, San Francisco
Architect Michael B. Rosen moderates this panel about Mendelsohn, the subject of ADFF selection Mendelsohn's Incessant Visions. The other speakers are architect Robert Nevel and Kevin Harrington, emeritus professor of architectural history at IIT.
3:30pm-4:30pm, Music Box

Alison Ruttan: Natural Disaster

Ruttan, indelibly associated with The Four-Year War at Gombe and her other works inspired by primates, explores human violence through ceramic sculptures of bomb sites.
4pm-7pm, ADDS DONNA

Rising out of the South Side in the early ’90s, DJ Terry Hunter has been synonymous with Chicago house ever since. The past few years have seen a lot of action between him and Masters at Work’s Kenny Dope, but at this Sunday residency, it’s all Hunter.
10pm, The Shrine

Nachos y Muchachos

Evil Olive continues its quest to combine food and dancing with this hilariously themed Sunday bash. DJs Zebo and Phenom curate an eclectic array of movies that air from 10pm to midnight while people munch on a $5 all-you-can-eat nacho bar. Once the bell tolls 12am, the needle drops and the beats go till close.
10pm, Evil Olive

Snake Pit

Witty MC Hollywood Holt, DJ Matty Boy White and tattoo-artist-turned-party-guy Jason Hoodrich hold it down every Sunday with a potent mix of gangsta rap and hardcore rock. If you're after a relaxing weekend wind-down, this isn't it.
10pm, Three Aces

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