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Friday 9/25 - Thursday 10/1

SEPTEMBER

By Cara Jepsen

25 FRIDAY It's been said that the double take is the most appropriate response to surrealist art. And before their innovations were co-opted by perfume commercials, artists like Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali created arresting and controversial images by taking their cues from dreams and the subconscious. Works by Magritte, Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, and others will be on display in "Visionary States: Surrealist Prints From the Gilbert Kaplan Collection," which includes 126 prints and illustrated books by 23 artists. The show opens today with a free slide lecture and a reception at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). The lecture, by art historian Sue Taylor, starts at 5:30 in the Claudia Cassidy Theater; the reception begins an hour later in the fourth-floor exhibit hall. The show runs through November 15.

26 SATURDAY American feminists will have 150 years of history to fall back on at this weekend's conference, Celebrating Our Past--Creating a Vision for Our Future. Since women first rallied for leadership positions in abolitionist groups, we've learned at least two things--change is slow, and constant vigilance is required to see that gains aren't lost. Along with today's talks and workshops on body image, media skills, and Title IX will be a keynote address at 1 PM by Fay Clayton, lead attorney for the recent NOW v. Scheidler case, which used the federal racketeering law to prohibit antiabortion groups from blocking women's access to clinics. The conference is from 8:30 AM to midnight today (including an evening reception) and from 8:30 AM to 2 tomorrow at the Evanston Holiday Inn, 1501 Sherman in Evanston. Admission is $45; call 217-528-2077 to register.

With its precise lines and calibrations, midwestern innovator L.C. Spooner's intricate 1912 drawing for an invalid's chair looks a lot like the wheelchairs in use today. It was one of many found pasted into a fabric-sample book by art dealer Aron Packer, who bought the book at an antique store several years ago. Packer speculates Spooner was probably a traveling salesman based downstate: "He must have been the most hilarious bow-tied, wing-tipped, briefcase-carrying guy." His work will be on display with Robert The's carved books at a show dubbed "Inventive." The opening reception is from 4 to 9 today at the Aron Packer Gallery at FiFo (re)design, 2100 N. Damen (773-489-0866). It's free.

27 SUNDAY "If it has a hole in it and you can string it, it's a bead," says Judith Schwab, who heads the Bead Society of Greater Chicago. She's referring to the 23 oddball beads--including round, square, oblong, and hand- and shoe-shaped ones made of glass, plastic, metal, and Lucite--that were provided to participants in the annual Bead Challenge. The dolls, tableaux, and necklaces they created will be on display at this year's National Bead and Book Sale, which features 60 vendors of beads and bead-related books and videos from 14 states. It's from 10 to 5 at the White Eagle Banquet Hall, 6839 N. Milwaukee in Niles. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children ages 6 to 12. Call 847-699-7959 for more.

28 MONDAY Mountain climb-er and filmmaker David Breashears was making the Imax documentary Everest in 1996 when he abandoned his observer's role to help stranded climbers avoid the surprise blizzard that killed eight people. Last year he returned to the mountain one last time to make a special for Nova. "I have no intention of going back," Breashears said afterward. But he'll show photos and discuss the ill-fated expedition tonight at 7:30 in the theater at Harper College's Business and Social Science Center, 1200 W. Algonquin in Palatine. Admission is $7. Call 847-925-6100 for more information.

29 TUESDAY Last year Stephen King made the papers when he dumped his longtime publisher and trekked across Australia on a motorcycle while his lawyers hammered out a lucrative deal that had literary types spitting out their coffee. His first release with Scribner, Bag of Bones, recently hit the shelves. It's also King's first attempt at a romance novel, or what he calls a "haunted love story." Today the prolific author, who is such a fan of libraries that he footed the bill to renovate the one in his hometown of Bangor, Maine, will read from his latest at 5 in the Winter Garden of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State (312-747-4050). Tickets are free, but you can only get them by showing up at 9 this morning at the library's Congress Parkway entrance. There's a limit of two per person.

30 WEDNESDAY Japan's only traditional marionette company, the Youki-za Marionette Theater, has been around since the Edo period--in other words, the early 1600s. Back then shows were elaborate musical spectacles focused on the teachings of Buddha, but today the company's repertoire includes translations of works from other cultures, like Macbeth. The company also uses "magic lanterns" with hand-painted glass slides to create brilliantly hued projections. The troupe will make its first Chicago appearance today at 12:15 at the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). It's free.

OCTOBER

1 THURSDAY For the past two years Loyola University's Center for Ethics has hosted the oxymoronic Corporate Values Breakfast Series, in which local notables like Bob Greene and former senator Paul Simon attempt to foist consciences on business types over bagels and fruit. Today's speaker is the Better Government Association's J. Terrence Brunner, who will address "The Evaporation of Integrity: Local, State, and Federal." That's assuming there was something solid there to begin with. It's from 8 to 9:30 AM on the 15th floor of Kasbeer Hall, 25 E. Pearson, at the school's downtown campus. It's $25, or $20 in advance. Call 773-508-8349 for more.

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