Saints & Sinners
Figge Art Museum
Thursday, September 6, 7 p.m.
Good guys. Bad guys. An excess of violence. The summer-movie season may be over, but things are just heating up over at the Figge Art Museum, which presents its "Saints & Sinners" tour at 7 p.m. on September 6.
Showcasing both the naughty and the nice among the museum's permanent collection, the 10-stop tour will display archetypes in both secular and nonsecular artworks, and will be led - according to a Figge press release - by "a knowledgeable guide known as a 'docent.'"
The docent in question, Linda Lewis, told me that the tour will include analyses of such works as Yves Michel's Adam & Eve in Paradise, José de la Morta's Christ Washing the Feet of the Disciples (pictured), and Paul Gardere's 1983 acrylic The Madonna ("a highly sarcastic painting," says Lewis), and encourages attendees to both ask questions and give their own impressions of the works, as the experience is meant to be an interactive one.
And, I'm guessing, a rather visceral one. Adding that several of the "fairly gory" pieces are "gruesome and were meant to be," Lewis says, "We're going to have a good time crawling through these works." I understand that Eli Roth is planning a film version of the tour even as we speak.
September 6's "Saints & Sinners" tour will be repeated at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 16, and more information is available by calling the Figge at (563) 326-7803.
The Learning Center's 10th Anniversary Celebration
The Abbey Hotel
Thursday, September 6, 5:30 p.m.
At September 6's 10-year celebration of Bettendorf's Learning Center (composed of the Bettendorf Public Library and its adjacent venue, the Family Museum) at Davenport's Abbey Hotel, Chicago author Sara Paretsky will give a presentation titled "My Quest for Heroes." Pretty ironic considering that, for those of us with a literary bent, she sounds like one herself.
Paretsky, the author of the hugely successful V.I. Warshawski mystery novels, is a Lifetime Achievement Award winner from the British Crime Writers Association, is the recipient of numerous doctorates of letters from universities nationwide, and founded the "Sisters in Crime" organization, devoted to the acknowledgment of women in the arts.
But as evidenced by the FAQ section of Parestsky's Web site (http://www.saraparetsky.com), she's also as straight a shooter as her gun-toting heroine. Responding to the question "How do you write?" the author says it takes "a lot of chocolate" to work her way through a novel, adding, "I'm often beset by anxiety and am often frustrated with how my work is progressing." (I've finally found my soulmate.)
As for the writing process itself, Paretsky says, "There is no right way to write. There is only the way that works well for you." As someone who is, honest to God, composing this while ritualistically pacing his living room while bouncing a racquetball against the walls, I can verify that the author knows of what she speaks.
The evening also features a silent auction of prize baskets created by the Bettendorf library's staff, and reservations for the event can be made by calling (563) 344-4182.
All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
The Center for Living
Friday, September 7, and Saturday, September 8
On September 7 and 8, Rock Island's The Center for Living presents the public-performance culmination of the work done by the venue's acting course for adults, the Living Theatre Project. And perhaps only in the realm of theatre could you celebrate your graduation by being sent straight to kindergarten.
The center's two-day production is the stage adaptation of Robert Fulgham's bestselling book All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, described as "an evening of theatrical storytelling in revue format, with monologues, dialogues, and multiple-voice narration."
Such Fulghum-isms as "Be aware of wonder" and "Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody" will be enacted through such characters as the man who flies in a lawn chair buoyed by weather balloons, and the modern-day Greek philosopher rifling through World War II memorabilia. (No word on the stage equivalent of the writer's one-word kindergarten lesson: "Flush.")
Fulghum's philosophies might seem cornball to some, but the Kindergarten author has rationalized his credos; he's quoted as saying, "Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about three o'clock in the afternoon, and then lay down with our blankies for a nap."
You mean most workplaces don't let you do that? Man, this Reader job is sweet.
Tickets to All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten are $5, and can be reserved by calling (309) 788-5433.
Saturday, September 8, 6:30 p.m.
While doing some background research on self-described "psychedelic avant-pop explorers" Jennifer Gentle - formed by Italian musicians Marco Fasolo and Alessio Gastaldello - I landed upon the group's MySpace page (http://www.MySpace.com/jennifergentle), and found two descriptions of the group's output that I particularly liked.
The first called the duo's Funny Creatures Lane CD "a colorful, hallucinated phantasmagoria bubbling with ideas and unpredictable noises," which seemed apt for an outfit that touts its "almost impossible-to-describe melting pot of whacked experimentation, deep-fried eccentricity, and acoustic beauty."
The second description, though, was of the Jennifer Gentle's Live in the House of God CD, recorded in "an empty, desecrated church" in 2003; the MySpace page states that the instrumental, "spacey and noisy" improv "horrified" the new owners of the church, but adds, "God liked it a lot."
Jennifer Gentle's September 8 gig at East Moline's Mix Tapes (830 15th Avenue) is being presented by Daytrotter's Sean Moeller, who writes in an e-mail that the event will be taking place on his birthday, and adds, "There will be cake!" That's a nice touch, but a completely unnecessary one; I'm thinking that a recommendation from God is reason enough to attend.
The 6:30 p.m. concert will find the group playing alongside San Francisco's alt-rockers The Dodos, Ames, Iowa's Radio Moscow, and Davenport's own Mondo Drag, and information on other Daytrotter artists and events is available by visiting (http://www.daytrotter.com).
Dawn Patrol Fly-In and Planes, Trains, & Automobiles
Davenport Municipal Airport and Downtown Geneseo
Saturday, September 8
Once upon a time, before I landed upon this 8-to-5 job, it would have taken a fly-in by 35 to 50 Stearman airplanes to get me out of bed by 7 a.m.
I'm happy to report that an early wake-up is no longer a problem for me, but on September 8, my adaptability isn't stopping 35 to 50 Stearman airplanes from potentially getting you out of bed at 7 a.m.
This Saturday brings with it the WQPT-TV-hosted Dawn Patrol Fly-In at the Davenport Municipal Airport, happening in conjunction with both the station's airing of Ken Burns' new PBS documentary The War (scheduled to begin on September 23), and Galesburg, Illinois' 36th annual National Stearman Fly-In week (September 3 through 9). From 7 to 10 a.m., the airport will not only host the awesome landing site for dozens of World Warr II-era planes, but historical artifacts from the Putnam and Rock Island Arsencal museums, and previews of Burns' latest work on a series of big-screen TVs.
And if Davenport's event doesn't give you enough aerial delights, swing over to the second annual "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles" festival, taking place in downtown geneseo from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and featuring a Stearman fly-over at 10 a.m., in addition to (as befits the event's title) an enormous display of model trains, some 250 classic cars, and a virtual-reality simulator in which you can experience lying beside John Candy while disgustedly exclaiming, "Those aren't pillows!"
Just kidding on that last one.