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Painted Cities

This year’s annual Painted Cities exhibition at the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson will show off the work of artists based throughout our region, all the way to New York City. Painters Dan Rupe (State Street House, pictured), Paul Chojnowski, Tina Sotis, Bill Clutz, Bill Artim, Margaret Crenson, Seth Nadel and Arthur Hammer, and photographer Joan Barker, all share a common theme for this show, though their work varies greatly.

Among the most unusual works are those by Paul Chojnowski, who, instead of painting in oil like his colleagues, “paints” with water on thick paper, and then blowtorches the dry remainder of the paper, resulting in a sepia-looking print.

Painted Cities will open at the Carrie Haddad Gallery (662 Warren St., Hudson) tonight (Thursday, Sept. 16), and will run through Oct. 24. A reception for the artists will be held Saturday, Sept. 18, from 6 to 8 PM. For more information, call 828-1915.

Larkfest 2004

A favorite annual event is once again upon us: Larkfest attracts vendors and buyers, musicians and music fans, and food vendors and eaters from all over the Capital Region. Tens of thousands attended the open-air fest last year, and organizers suspect it will be just as successful, if not more so, this year. A highlight of the event is the eba Family Stage, located at the corner of Hudson Avenue and Lark Street, where magicians, dancers and other performers entertain audiences of all ages. On the other side of the street, Kids Fest will be going strong all day, featuring rides, crafts, games and more.

As always, a plethora of bands will perform throughout the day on the various stages and in various tents. Among the talent will be Sarah Ayers, Bryan Thomas, the Sean Rowe Project, knotworking, Coal Palace Kings, Super 400, Kamikaze Hearts, Rob Skane, and many, many more. For a full schedule of times and loactions to catch the acts, visit www.larkstreet.org/festivals.php. Don’t forget to stop by the Metroland table and play trivia for prizes!

Larkfest 2004 will take place on, ahem, Lark Street in downtown Albany on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 10:30 AM to 5 PM. Please remember: Pets are not allowed unless they are service animals. Don’t be the one to get kicked out because you brought your dog. For more information, call 434-3861.

Chuck Palahniuk

You either love him or hate him. One of his generation’s most polarizing writers, Chuck Palahniuk has published six novels, including Invisible Monsters, Survivor, and Fight Club, the latter of which was famously adapted into the cult-favorite film starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. His writing is dark and matter-of-fact, and very often deeply funny; his public readings have been rumored to cause adverse physical reactions in onlookers. “So far it’s made 43 people pass out,” Palahniuk recently bragged of Guts, a short story due for inclusion in the upcoming collection, Haunted. (Editor’s note: the number of faintees is now up to 52.) He’s currently promoting the paperback release of his 2003 novel Diary with a reading tour that will bring him to the University at Albany this week.

After a night of heavy drinking and general debauchery that would put Bukowski to shame, we caught up somewhere in dreamland with a wraithlike figure that may or may not have been Chuck Palahniuk. The following is an entirely fictional account of what he (it?) had to say:

“I am Chuck’s wasted life. You wanted me to say that, right?

“You see, sometimes I feel like I’ve nothing to show for 42 years on this dirty, infested hole of a planet. Sure, you could make the argument that having written a pile of best-sellers would be worth a shit, but no, that doesn’t do it. And when the screenplay-adaptation checks start rolling in, you’d imagine that it might come with some amount of personal satisfaction. Sure, the money’s nice and all—the lunch meat doesn’t come out of a can anymore—but there’s still something there that makes me wonder whether it’s worth setting the alarm clock in the first place.

“And now I’ve gotta do another one of these tours, you know, where I read from the books that the audience didn’t read because they already know there’s a film version coming out, and all that graphic stuff just works so much better in celluloid, right? With any luck, I can make a few of them throw up. . . .” After that, his voice trails off and the line goes dead. Even in our dream state, the cell service stinks.

Chuck Palahniuk will read from his work this Tuesday (Sept. 21) at 8 PM in the Main Theater at the Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus of the University at Albany. The event is free and open to the public. Contact the New York State Writers Institute at 442-5620 for more information.


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