An Afternoon of Improvisation to A Night At the Museum: Looking Back at Spurlock Events in 2023–2024 overview image

An Afternoon of Improvisation to A Night At the Museum: Looking Back at Spurlock Events in 2023–2024

  • Post Date: 06/24/2024
  • Author: Travis Stansel, assistant registrar, photography and photographic archives
  • Reading Time: 3 minute read

The MIYUMI Project
(7/16/2023)

A July concert welcomed Chicago bassist, composer, and educator Tatsu Aoki and The MIYUMI Project to the Spurlock. Presented as part of a dialogue with the Nikkeijin Illinois exhibition, The MIYUMI Project explores a nexus of cultures: Asian and American; Japanese and African; past and present. The MIYUMI Project composed music for "And Then They Came For Us,” a 2017 documentary on Japanese-American incarceration during WWII.

  • an elderly asian man wearing glasses plays a bass instrument on an auditorium stage
  • an elderly asian man wearing glasses plays a bass instrument on an auditorium stage

The Dance Elixir
(11/10/2023)

An elixir is a mix or potion, an alchemical cure-all, and The Dance Elixir in November provided a respite from the end-of-semester rush. DJ KamauMau offered an evening of chill music for dance and movement to help promote emotional, social, mental, and physical wellbeing.

  • a group of smiling students pose for a photo
  • a group of smiling students pose for a photo
  • an overlooking view of two women dancing on a floor with the world map
  • a blurry image of three women dancing

Connie Shirakawa, “Woman Warrior”
(12/2/2023)

Connie Shirakawa was born and raised on Chicago’s west side, and her performance “Woman Warrior” reflects on four generations of women in her family and how they coped with discrimination and displacement with grit, wit, and tenacity. She brought “Woman Warrior” to the Spurlock in December and participated in a panel discussion with Nikkeijin Illinois curator Jason Finkelman and director Sharon Evans.

  • an elderly woman holds her hand out as she sits in an auditorium stage with a table of objects to the right of her
  • an elderly woman stands on an auditorium stage, holding a yellow object above a table
  • an elderly woman stands on an auditorium stage grasping a wooden stick on a brown table with a white cloth on top

Skeena Reece: "Access Granted"
(2/8/2024)

Skeena Reece is a Tsimshian/Gitksan and Cree artist based in British Columbia, and “Access Granted,” performed at Spurlock in February, offered more questions than answers, starting with simply “Is it a performance? …an installation? …a presentation?” Reece brought with her a mask her father crafted in 1991 called Txem-Sym – A Tribute to Northwest Coast Carvers and symbolically freed the mask from behind display glass.

  • a blonde woman in a white shirt closes her eyes as she holds a mask in front of a crowd

The Spurlock Gala: Night at the Museum
(4/18/2024)

Spurlock’s student gallery guides organized the first Spurlock Gala in April for an evening of music and dancing along with a photo booth, hors d'oeuvres, and mocktails. Music was provided by DJ TAT, the official DJ of the Fighting Illini, and attendees were encouraged to “dress to impress” and explore the galleries with friends, old and new…

  • a group of student workers in formal wear pose and smile for a photo in front of a white staircase
  • a group of young people in formal wear wait in front of white stairs

Juxtapositioned III: An Exhibition by Durango Mendoza
(3/26/2024–4/28/2024)

  • framed images and a sculpture on display for the Juxtapositioned III exhibit
  • framed photographs lined up on display for the Juxtapositioned III exhibit