Thursday, April 5
Painter/draughtsperson Anne Harris
U of L’s Hite Art Institute continues its ”Images and Ideas” visiting artists and scholars series with a lecture by New England artist Anne Harris. She will discuss her artwork — and what work it is, as she is well versed in both paintings and drawings of sensuous figures best described by the French term “belle-laide” (beautiful-ugly).
Artist-teacher Sharon Howerton Leightty organized Harris’ visit. “In her drawings, I see so much about the art of drawing,” Leightty says. “One of the things that sets drawing apart from painting is the hand. The thought process — it’s so much about the mark on the paper. Her non-idealized subject matter is secondary to me. It’s more about the engagement; she engages me on several different levels.”
Harris has received numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Award and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her work is in the permanent collections of some important places, including Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum and the Prints and Drawing Department of the New York Public Library. —Jo Anne Triplett
Speed Art Museum
2035 S. Third St.
Free; 6 p.m.
April 5-May 11
Contemporary Chinese Art
The Crane House and the Bernheim Gallery at Louisville Free Public Library’s main branch have partnered to bring the work of four Chinese artists to Louisville. Beijing’s Luajia Chen and Qian Feng, Jing Xiang Liang from Kunming and Chongde Yang of Shapingba are in Louisville for a demonstration at U of L’s recently opened Cressman Center on Main Street.
The mission of the Crane House, which opened in 1987, is to enlighten the public about Asian culture. This is a golden — and free — opportunity to study Chinese art and its modern influences. In addition, there’s an artists’ reception Thursday at 5:30 p.m. with the creative geniuses present to answer any inquiries. —Claudia Olea
301 York St.
Free; reception 5:30 p.m.
Le Petomane’s ‘Siddown’
There’s quite a buzz around town about those crazy thespians in Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble. If you missed their recent triumphant adaptation of “Don Juan,” or if you saw it and long to see the troupe again, fret not. They’re at The Rudyard Kipling again this weekend for a reprise of their first original production, “Siddown,” in which two monumentally incapable vaudevillians indulge in operetta, go-go dancing, card tricks and their own particular brand of nonsense. When “Siddown” was first performed, the audience couldn’t decide whether it was a deep study of the human condition or just a goofy rejuvenation of vaudeville. But they all laughed their heads off. After this performance, the ensemble takes it on the road for a special run at the invitation of the prestigious Baltimore Theatre Project. Don’t miss this special performance! —Sherry Deatrick
422 W. Oak St.
$8-$20; 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 6
This guy’s been around the block a time or 10. He’s known primarily as a jazz guitarist, but Frisell’s finely crafted songwriting mixes rock and jazz and country and blues, and it all comes together with seamless execution. Frisell’s solo show at The 930, which has played host to some killer shows in the last several months, promises to be nothing short of memorable. Frisell once told The Village Voice that he was a shy person. Suits us fine, Bill — your music is all the personality we need. —Mat Herron
The 930 Arts Center
930 Mary St.
$15; 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 7
Movie Geek Art Show
The essence of art is “the big bone,” or so says a recent press release hyping an interesting event in the Highlands this Saturday. Billed as an art opening/costume party, the “Movie Geek Art Show” is an event to which participants are expected to show up dressed as their favorite film characters. Anticipate lots of gangsters, femmes fatale and Chewbaccas. Also look forward to a roomful of paintings and other artworks “inspired by the movies we love” — which surely means cult films — and plenty of obscure tapes and DVDs. —Paul Kopasz
Wild and Woolly Video
1021 Bardstown Road
Free; 7-10 p.m.
Saturday, April 7
Parker Gispert has done what most men not named Nick Lachey can only dream about: He’s met Jessica Simpson. The Whigs opened for Miss Daisy Duke at Gwinnett Arena in Atlanta after a promoter needed a semi-local band to play the concert in front of about 8,000 people. “And their fathers,” Gispert points out.
“She was sweet as can be,” he says. “She probably thought we were cleaning the toilets.”
The Whigs are on tour supporting their latest release, Give ’Em All a Big Fat Lip, which they recorded in an old Southern mansion-cum-frat house near the 40 Watt Club. “It was pretty incredible, a vibe that I’m not used to,” Gispert says. “We just asked if we could use the house. All the kids were pumped that we were gonna record there.”
Catch them at Phoenix Hill on Saturday. The Loft and D.W. Box and One Long Song open. —Mat Herron
Phoenix Hill Tavern
644 Baxter Ave.
$6; 10 p.m.
Saturday, April 7
Health & Happiness Family Gospel Band
Do you believe that religious hymns and electric guitars go together? The Health & Happiness Family Gospel Band does and wants to prove it to the world. The ensemble, comprising a group of local musicians from bands including Bad Blood, the Smacks, Yardsale, Adventure, The Touched and VRKTM, will perform this Saturday at Lisa’s Oak Street Lounge, for only the second time in the band’s relatively short existence. The band’s first gig, late last year, received kudos from musician and writer Will Oldham in the UK magazine The Wire as one of his favorite performances of 2006, which helped prompt the group to reconvene. HHFGB performs gospel songs from a widely diverse array of artists, including the Louvin Brothers, Nina Simone, Hank Williams and The Staple Singers, infusing energy while staying true to original arrangements. HHFGB is even working on an album — one that will include a 50-person choir. Appropriately enough, this Saturday’s show is on Easter eve. There is talk that the band may provide chocolate bunnies and an Easter egg hunt; then again, HHFGB may take the holiday back to its pagan roots and have bonfires and sacrificial rituals. Either way, hymnals are optional. —Kevin Gibson
Lisa’s Oak Street Lounge
1004 E. Oak St
$5; 10 p.m.
Through April 11
Dreams with Wings printmaking exhibit
Dreams with Wings is an organization in Louisville that works with people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Recently, artist Shayne Hull held a printmaking and sales workshop at the facility. After creating relief, intaglio and monoprints, these new artists also learned about how to price their work and other aspects of the business. The resulting workshop prints are on sale for $10 each on the “gallery” walls of Heine Brothers’ Coffee.
Hull says he thinks the show “looks pretty nice. I’m encouraging everyone I know to check it out and maybe be in an art-buying mood and purchase one of these $10 gems,” he says. “I’m definitely getting one of the etchings. One of the staff at Heine Brothers asked me how to go about buying one, so maybe they’ll all sell.” That pretty much sums up all artists’ hopes, including the ones at Dreams with Wings. —Jo Anne Triplett
Heine Brothers’ Coffee
1449 Bardstown Road
April 9-May 19
Afghan rugs benefiting Afghan women
While Afghan carpets have nothing to do with the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Derby Museum sees its mission to encourage education as being in step with that of the non-profit organization Arzu (“hope” in Dari). Arzu (www.arzurugs.org) sells high-quality, handspun wool carpets made by women in central Afghanistan and uses the proceeds to help provide education and healthcare to Afghan families. (More than 80 percent of Afghan women are illiterate, and only slightly more than half of children between 7 and 13 attend school.)
Through next month, the museum will exhibit and sell these carpets colored with natural dyes, most of them derived from vegetable and flower substances. The carpets, which are woven on looms in weavers’ homes, feature modern and traditional Afghan designs, some of which local weavers have passed down over centuries. The organization has received a lot of attention in part thanks to efforts by founder and president Connie K. Duckworth, a retired partner and managing director of Goldman, Sachs, & Co. and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ initiative on women and foreign policy. —Elizabeth Kramer
Kentucky Derby Museum
704 Central Ave.