Illinois State University’s Rachel Cooper Gallery is set to be open from Feb. 25 until the end of summer 2020.
One of the significant exhibits that will be on display in this year’s gallery includes an art exhibit by Radiance Campbell, a current senior with a sociology major and minors in women’s and gender studies and Latin American/Latinx studies.
The art exhibit, known as “Performing Color: Participatory and Community-Based Research in a Modern U.S Circus,” features photographs of diverse performers in a United States circus.
The exhibit’s opening and reception will happen at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Women’s and Gender Studies offices in Rachel Cooper Hall.
Campbell’s exhibit also explores the experiences of the diverse performers in the circus and is primarily focused on granting them control over telling their own stories. The focus of the show surrounds these voices and experiences of people of color.
The show also inspires people to interact with the art and consider how the themes of agency and resistance for these performers is intertwined to the WGS curriculum.
The exhibit will include a variety of participant pieces as well, including participant-generated photos, text from participant interviews and a feature from Illinois State’s Special Collections: Circus & Allied Arts. Viewers can also participate through an exit survey that will be provided.
Campbell’s study creates visual research that includes participants’ experiences through photo voice or participatory photo. For this, participants were provided with disposable cameras and encouraged to photograph their own perspectives, describing the assets and challenges of their circus community.