July is hot with changes to experience the arts outdoors and among friends.
The opening reception of Around the Block III: Artists from Our Neighborhood was an all too familiar affair in these times: 100% virtual.
As I planned my Boneyard weekend, I wondered "With everything that we've gone through these last 18+ months, would the work reflect grief, loss, rage, or metamorphosis? Would it inspire catharsis? A glimmer of hope? A path forward?"
Green screen technology does some incredible work for this opera, both practically and narratively.
Recent University of Illinois graduate Jordan Ratliff discusses the inspiration, process, and takeaways from a senior thesis production that has been over a year in the making.
Designer and illustrator Brooke Armstrong advice to new artists is to "make the work you want to see."
According to poet Christopher Kempf, his new collection employs Gettysburg as a vehicle to "engage ongoing issues involving race, regional identity, and the ethics of memory, tracing how post-bellum memorial practices (like monument construction) advance hegemonic notions of whiteness."
May 2021 in the C-U arts scene means celebrating graduating visual and performing arts students, and beginning to explore ways, even in-person, to learn and explore the arts yourself.
For Tom Zhang, a second-year MFA student in stage management at Illinois Theatre, COVID restrictions have been frustrating, but they also inspired technological innovations that may live on past the pandemic.
For LGBTQ+ artists, both the social risks and emotional benefits of sharing aspects of their identities in their work are particularly high.
According to Matt Wiley, "One of the benefits of a simple illustration style is how significantly facial expressions and framing can have on the feeling of a scene."
Tyehimba Jess' advice to young poets is "Don't give up and revise, revise, revise, and have a decent understanding of American history or of the history of the country you're living in and the country that your people came from."
The Arts Section strives to celebrate our community's rich and vibrant artistic scene, from theatre to local authors, film, performance art, and everything in between.