Friday is the start of Family Weekend — a celebration for Redbird families to come to Illinois State’s campus and see how their student’s life is unfolding.
Luckily, Family Weekend has more activities aimed toward older family members, versus Siblings Weekend which is more focused on younger family members. But what can you do if you aren’t going to the football game on Saturday?
University Galleries has a gallery walk from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The two exhibitions on display are Chicago-based artists Dianna Frid’s “It takes Time” and Erin Washington’s “Light Touch.”
Frid’s collection features her selected pieces from 2009 to 2017 with the title referring to the process in creating work. The most notable work is her embroidered canvas that reads, “To Find It Had Been Written By A Woman.” Washington’s work features collages, paintings, drawings and sculptures. Her silverpoint portrait of Nefertiti is breathtaking.
With many students being from Chicagoland, seeing two artists’ work from the area will provide a level of insight and pride for viewers. The idea of Washington’s exhibition is that it is a work in progress, that things can be changed or added, and isn’t that the whole point of education? Growth and development.
Seeing how an exhibition in a gallery that is throwing in the audience’s faces that a “complete” work can still be incomplete can provide a unique perspective for visiting families. Higher education is focused on working and growing different parts of ourselves and our knowledge.
Frid focuses on the written word and how to incorporate it into her work. The purpose of her work is to stop and really take in the words you are reading, to breathe it in, process it and then let it out.
There is also a performance of “She Kills Monsters” at the Center for the Performing Arts from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, as well as a performance at 7:30 p.m. “She Kills Monsters” is appropriate for families with slightly older children because of the themes present in the play. It spins familial loss and “Dungeons & Dragons” on stage for the audience to laugh and cry.
The focus on having a female main character participating in geek culture is a breath of fresh air to the oversaturated representation of nerd-dom being male. This play is great for families looking for a wider range in entertainment this weekend and want to see theater on campus.
All three days have events at the Bowling and Billiards Center (BBC), with Sunday Funday closing out the weekend. The BBC isn’t a well talked about location on campus, but bowling is always a fun time with family. It's an easy way to get into the Redbird spirit and to let out some pent up frustration with end of semester finals looming just over the horizon.
More love should be given to the BBC, as most campuses don’t have an onsite bowling alley. Rent your bowling shoes, pick out the best ball, maybe don’t put up the bumpers (or do, no judgement here on lack of hand-eye coordination) and have fun.
Family Weekend can be a fun one, even if you don’t care about football. This weekend is a celebration for Redbirds both new and old; past, present and future.