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Put Down Your Nanowrimo And Leave The House

By Lauri Apple in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 6, 2009 5:00PM

schneider.jpg This month is National Novel Writing Month — Nanowrimo for short. A time for cranking (crunking?) out 50,000 words of elegant prose — or crap, depending. A time (30 days, to be precise) within a time (that lacks a foreseeable end, to be depressing) of widespread unemployment among writers, many of whom used to get paid to wordsmith. Damn, man. Those were the days.

But just because the jobs have gone away doesn't mean that the passion has followed them. Although we have no evidence that thousands of you writer-types out there are busy at work right now, refilling your Starbucks lattes and making Nanowrimos, we will throw it out there as a possibility. Typing. Imagining. Stone cold scone crumbin' all over your laptop. Developing complex characters who do things like fall in/out of love or become Alaska governor or win big in the stock market, only to lose it all when the market crashes, because life is the baker of tough cookies. Whether this is your current lot or not, you deserve a break this weekend — a chance to put down your dictionary and shine beyond the realm of the computer screen's glow.

The following events will not help you develop an original plot, but they will let you do that shining thing.

Tonight, Marwen hosts its Art Fair — one of its two annual fundraisers. The show features work by students as well as Marwen teaching artists — including Hilesh Patel, Kathryn Rodrigues, and Jeremy Bolen. Proceeds benefit Marwen’s programs for under-served Chicago youth and the participating artists.
Opening night Friday, Nov. 6. 6:30-10 p.m. (A suggested donation of $20 is requested at the door.) Show through Nov. 13. Marwen, River North gallery space, 833 N. Orleans St.

Also tonight, 360SEE hosts Iron Pastorals: new paintings by Curtis Frillmann, with functional art pieces by Jesse Hooker. Frillman describes his work as "paintings of rural and natural scenes on discards objects of industry and culture."
Friday, Nov. 6. Show through Dec. 15. 6-9 p.m. 1924 N. Damen.

moniquemeloche presents Sign of the Times, a group exhibition exploring the current global economic crisis (speaking of tough cookies). Features work by Kim Beck, Máximo González, Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung, Michael Patterson-Carver and Carrie Schneider.
Opening reception Saturday, Nov. 7 from 4-7 p.m. Through Jan. 9. 2154 W. Division.

Also on Saturday, Golden Age in Pilsen — where many residents say "los Nanowrimos" — hosts the release party for The Incredible Journey That Is Consciousness, a new publication by locals Alex Fuller and Gabe Usadel. The book is not a 50,000-word novel — no, it has colorful triangles and other shapes inside.
Saturday, Nov. 7. 7-11 p.m. 1744 W. 18th St.

threewalls is closing for renovations, but they'll put away their Nanowrimo (about an art gallery owner whose life changes forever when he discovers that applying spackle to walls has awakened his true self ... perhaps?) to host two events this Sunday. In the afternoon, they'll join Green Lantern Press for the book release of The Artists Run Chicago Digest, which archives the activities of Chicago's artist-run spaces between 1999-2009. And in the evening, they'll have Time Out Chicago Associate Features Editor David Tamarkin over for "Wine and Time," a lecture and tasting.
Book release Sunday, Nov. 8. 2-5 p.m. at Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Wine tasting Sunday, Nov. 8. 7 p.m. (Suggested donation of $5; no one turned away.) 119 N. Peoria, #2D.

Recession 2009: Photo by Carrie Schneider