Smile Politely

Five things in arts this month: October 2022

The weather is cooling. The leaves are turning. And the arts calendar is bursting with vibrant offerings in art, theatre, and dance. Plus, we’ll be treated to a drive-in premiere of a long-awaited local horror film just in time for Halloween.

Family Ties

Crop of painting in black, white and blue-gray tones, featuring a smiling woman on the left standing with a smiling man at her right.

Photo from the Giertz Gallery Facebook page. 

Giertz Gallery’s fall line-up is filled with fantastic work that investigates significant themes. Following the recent art and design faculty exhibition is Family Ties, featuring work by Lisa Marie Barber, Zachary Horn, Gabi Magaly, Jeanette May, Marshall Sharpe, and Katie Virag in a range of mediums including photography, painting, ceramics, video, and installation. In a recent news release gallery director Lisa Costello shared that “the exhibition features six artists whose work explores various familial connections,” including “bonds between direct and multi-generational relationships, imagined or unimagined conceptions of home and family, uncovered secrets in the family tree, personal artifacts and consumer products linking generations, and the documentation of day-to-day family life.” 

Family Ties
October 3-November 5
Opening reception: October 6th, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Parkland College
Giertz Gallery
2400 W Bradley
Get gallery hours here.

October Dance

Close up photo of male dancer wearing a black t-shirt with white lettering mid-dance move left arm bending at the elbow, torso bending towards the left, against a dark blue black background.

Photo from the Dance at Illinois Facebook page.

October Dance 2022 promises a look at new faces and new work from Dance at Illlinois. Featuring Dick and Janes, by new Head of the Department of Dance Sara Hook, which, according to a recent news release, “references the iconic American early reader series.” Also featured are several work focused on “international aesthetics” choreographed by new faculty members. Internationally known hip hop artist Serouj (“Midus”) Aprahamian will be performing a new solo work. Alfonso Cervera has created a piece for first-year Dance at Illinois students that is, according to the release, “based on his background in experimental dance, Ballet Folklorico, and Afro-LatinX social dances. Roxane D’Orleans Juste, who is Haitian-Canadian, Juste who is Haitian-Canadian, will showcase “a group work conjuring the resilience of community in crisis and set to music by Samuel Barber.” Graduate student Sojung Lim, who has created a solo piece for fellow MFA candidate Ricky De Jesus-Valentin. Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Professor Sara Hook in the arts section.

October Dance
Livestream: October 12th, 7:30 p.m.
Live performances: October 13-15, 7:30 p.m
Krannert Center for Performing Arts
Colwell Playhouse
500 S Goodwin
Get ticket information here

Final Summer

Image of sailboat holding a corpse floating against a dark lake with a red shadow of a skeleton.

Photo from the Final Summer Facebook page.

John Isberg’s long-awaited horror film Final Summer will be making its C-U premiere at none other than the Harvest Moon Drive-In in Gibson City on the luckiest of all unlucky numbers. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

The following teaser and trailer already have me in a scary season mood.

In the aftermath of a tragedy at a summer camp, a group of camp counselors find themselves fighting for their lives against a masked killer.


Check out the film’s imbd page for more on the cast of C-U celebs and more. Plus stay tuned for Jacob’s upcoming interview with director John Isberg.

Final Summer
October 13th, 7 p.m.
Harvest Moon Drive-in
1175 S Sangamon
Gibson City

The Story

Close up photo of a Black woman's eyes, forehead, and nose.

Photo from the Parkland Theatre Facebook page.

Tracey Scott Wilson’s The Story, which premiered at New York’s Public Theatre in 2003, tells the story of Yvonne Wilson, a Black reporter filled with ambition and a desire to get the best story. When she faces off with her edtior about a murder investigation, she must ask herself if the cost is worth it. The Story explores timely questions about the line between reality and fiction, and morality and ambition. Directed by Latrelle Bright, The Story features Gertrude Namara as Yvonne, Tiphaine Kouadou as Pat, Excellence Onalundula as Neil, Ashanti Lumpkin as Latisha, Braedon Arnett as Jeff, Mia-belle Shannon as Jessica, Spencer Hazen as Tim, and Jacklyn Kaboff as the Detective.  

The Story
October 13-15, 21-22, 7:30 p.m.
October 16th + 23rd, 3 p.m.
Parkland College
Harold and Jean Miner Theatre
2400 W Bradley Avenue
Get ticket information here.

The Art Connection: Schools to Library

Photo of a young Asian girl held up by an older Asian male. Both are smiling as she points to her painting of a tiger hung on the wall.

Photo from the Champaign Public Library Facebook page. 

Nothing makes me happier than a good arts collaboration, especially one which supports young artists by combining the forces of schools and libraries. The Art Connection features work from Champaign Unit 4 students which has been curated by their art teachers. The Facebook event page indicates that art can be viewed in both the children’s area on the first floor, as well as the FriendShop Bookstore, located on the lower level. If you’re able, stop by the opening reception to give some love to these budding artists and kudos to the organizers. The Art of Connection pairs nicely with Those Who Teach, Can, which is currently up at the 40 Point One gallery,

The Art Connection: Schools to Library
Opening reception: October 16th, 3 p.m.
Open through January 2023
Champaign Public Library
200 W Green
Get library hours here.

Top image from the Giertz Gallery Facebook page.

More Articles