Smile Politely

Weekender: May 10-12

Friday, May 10th

Explore Queering UP the Arts at the University Y’s Murphy Lounge Gallery, Campustown, Champaign, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., free

Thanks to the Art @ the Y program and their collaboration with the UP Center, queer artists and makers from across Central Illinois are being celebrated in a supportive, public space. With a wide range of styles, media, and subjects, this exhibit provides a diverse examination of queer experience, giving voice to fantasy, political protest, and examinations of identity. (DD) Top photo from Facebook, “Fashion Industry” (detail), Christopher Morris.

Go to a drag show, Parkland College, 7:30 p.m., $5 or less

Parkland Pride is hosting the show at Harold and Jean Miner Theatre as a fundraiser for their activities throughout the year. They also hope to break down stereotypes and misconceptions and help foster an inclusive community. Kids are welcome, though be aware that some music might have adult-ish lyrics. (JM)

Gaze into the starry night at the University’s Observatory open house, UI Campus, 9 to 11 p.m., free

The final open house of the semester at the University’s Observatory will take place Friday night. Professional astronomer Charles Gammie, who worked on the recently published black hole image, will be on-hand to answer any questions and discuss his contribution to the photo. Both the historic dome telescope and telescopes on the south lawn will be available to look through and the event will occur rain or shine! You can find more information and photos on the facebook event. (SP) Photo from Facebook event page

Get your fix of indie-rock at Blackbird, 9 p.m., $6

Sun Beard and The Grant Farm are the Friday night lineup at Blackbird this weekend. Both of these bands remind me of back in the good old days when live music outside was something I enjoyed doing. Now that we live in perpetual pre-Aslan Narnia, I only vaguely recall the fun of outdoor music, but these guys make me feel hopeful. (NL) 

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone the secret screening!, Art Theater, Champaign, 9:30 p.m., free

The Art Theater in Champaign is bringing back its secret screening series for the summer and it begins Friday night. So what’s the secret? Well it’s no secret that the showing is free, but what exactly they are screening is. Although they’ve given some pretty heavy-handed clues on their facebook page. The secret screening series will also take place on Saturday May 11th at 9:30 p.m. (SP) Photo from Facebook

Saturday, May 11th

Buy some plants (if you didn’t get on that last weekend), places vary, prices vary

If you didn’t take advantage of the various plant sales last weekend, you’ve got more options.  C-U Herb Society is hosting their annual sale at Lincoln Square from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday in tandem with Grand Prairie Friends, the African Violet Society, Coyle Woodlands, and Twisted Twig Bonsai. All proceeds from the herb sale will be used to purchase books for area libraries, mini-grants for non-profits and schools, and maintain their educational public garden at Meadowbrook Park. Sola Gratia kicks off their plant sale Friday, and will be open through the 19th, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. (JM)

Snag the last chance to see the Illinois Art+Design BFA show, Krannert Art Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free

Before these young artists and designers head out into the world post-graduation, stop by to see what they’ve been up to. This exhibit showcases work in studio art, graphic design, and industrial design. Come see the value of an arts education and get inspired. (DD) Photo from the Krannert Art Museum website

While you’re at Krannert Art Museum, stop by the Emphatic exhibition before it closes, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

A powerful exhibition of American paintings that, as the curator observes, “offer resolute statements on the physical and emotional significance of painting. Their emphatic tones resonate despite — or because of — the artists’ great ambivalence towards the representability of history, violence, and desire.” Featuring work by Sue Coe, Louise Fishman, Leon Golub, Robert Indiana, Annette Lemieux, David Park, Mark Rothko, Hedda Sterne, and Purvis Young, this show serves as a teaser for Art Since 1948, a reinstallation of the museum’s modern and contempoary collection opening this August. (DD)

Get out of town, get some inspo here, all weekend, prices vary

Have you been to any restaurants in the towns surrounding C-U? We’ve published reviews of a whole bunch, but there are more to be explored. Take a look through our out of town reviews and make a little day trip of going. You can refer to this article about a day trip to Paxton, or this article about a day trip to Arthur. (JH) Photo by Sheena Spikes


Salsa at the Rose Bowl, 9 p.m. $10

School is done, Mother’s Day is about to happen, the sun is occasionally coming out, it’s time to dance. If you haven’t seen local favorite Timbalú yet, do yourself a favor and head to Rose Bowl tonight. The $10 cover won’t be enough to dissuade fans of the energetic salsa band, so get there early and carve out your spot on the floor. They’re spinning bachata tracks between the live sets, so if you get your friends to bring you drinks, you’ll never have to stop dancing. (NL) Photo from Facebook event page

Sunday, May 12th

Attend a Mother’s Day tea party, Sylvia’s Irish Inn, 2 to 4 p.m., $45/person

This event is hosted by Walnut Street Tea Company, and tickets include a glass of wine, and feature a traditional tea menu with sandwiches, desserts, and, of course, tea. This is a lovely and quiet way to celebrate mom. You can get your tickets here. (JH) Photo from Walnut Street Tea Company Facebook page

Or, Learn to make something new, your house, whenever, prices vary

This weekend is the double whammy of Mother’s Day and the University of Illinois Graduation — restaurants will be packed. Avoid the crowds by making something at home. You can pick up some locally sourced goods at the market on Saturday, or stop by Common Ground at your convenience. The libraries are obviously fantastic resources for cookbooks, but you can also check out Jane Addams. (JH) 


All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we’ve provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.

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