Friendly chatter floating down the hallways and bouncing off the high ceilings created a warm environment for the Wexner Center for the Arts’ Fall Student Party last Friday.
One of the main attractions for students was free access to Mickalene Thomas’ exhibit “I Can’t See You Without Me.”
Brea Berry, a fifth-year student docent at the Wexner Center, said she identifies with Thomas, being a black, queer female.
“I see myself in a museum,” Berry said.
The gallery stretched across multiple rooms, upstairs and around corners. From bursts of colored paint, glittering rhinestones and risqué sexual works, Thomas’ art truly caught the eye.
“[Thomas] is truly comfy with her sexuality. She’s confident about who she loves,” Berry said. “She really hits barriers and breaks rules.”
Another rule-breaking artist featured was Yayoi Kusama, with her documentary “Infinity.” During the showing, viewers held a quiet respect for the Japanese artist. The film followed Kusama’s life journey, her mental health struggles and her colorful, polka-dot covered art.
Though often serious in tone, the documentary was peppered with humor and a message that art can change the world.
AROUSE Student Radio broadcasted live from the event. Backburner Comedy, Julian Jefko, the Magicians Club and the 3D Urban Dance Team all performed, giving guests a wide variety of performances to check out.
3D’s performance earned high praise from the crowd.
“Everyone, the team and audience, was engaged and into it,” said Jack Crowley, a fifth-year student. “Everyone got a chance to dance, even when offstage. It was a rapid-fire performance.”
The main goal of the event, aside from showcasing art, was to encourage students to visit the Wexner Center, said Jillian Davis, third-year and member of the Wexner Center student engagement group.
The group’s target is to encourage students, in and out of the arts, to come to the Wexner Center and see all it has to offer.
“We want to turn this program over to the students and make sure they have accessibility to the Wex,” Davis said.
While free pizza and ice cream might have contributed to the positive student turnout, Davis said plenty of people were just as engaged in the art displays and performances.
From Thomas’ glittering gallery, Kusama’s powerful documentary and AROUSE’s fun broadcasting table, every section of the Wexner Center was bursting with conversation, admiration and enjoyment. No matter what students’ interests might be, there was something for everyone at the Wexner Center.