The Christian Petersen Art Museum hosts a date night for students to take a break from school and socialize.
The event will take place from 5-7 p.m. Friday and will include free food, crafts and a selfie station.
The goal of the event is to provide the campus community with an opportunity to appreciate art in a non-formal setting. People often view the museum as a formal, program-based environment, but staff hope the event will promote the space as a place to relax and unwind.
Date night is the museum’s first event after it was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Setbacks since the 2020 quarantine suspended several museum events as cases continued to rise and fall.
Museum staff are delighted to reopen the doors but are urging attendees to follow health and safety rules to prevent the spread of disease.
“We want students to feel comfortable and safe on date night,” said museum intern Caitlyn Patton. “We want them to always maintain the 6 foot rule and think twice if they don’t feel well before entering.”
The event will feature the museum’s newest exhibit, “Double Take: Insights on Figural Expression.” Upon entry, visitors will encounter works of art ranging from ancient Egyptian sculptures to New York cartoons.
“The exhibit centers around stylized figures,” said Sydney Marshall, the museum’s curator. “It’s about stylization around things like New York cartoons and ceremonial objects to show transformation, power and reflection on identity through body stylization.”
The exhibition is an opportunity to present often unpublished works of art. Each work was removed from storage and combined to form a new theme, so visitors could learn about different historical pieces and show the self-reflection of the body.
“We want to encourage students to ask questions and think critically and engage with each other,” Marshall said.
The exhibition reduces the human body to its essential parts to encourage viewers to think freely about diverse backgrounds and break down social barriers.
During the event, museum staff encourage visitors to think about the decisions involved in creating the collection and to discover that everyone on campus has more in common than they first thought.
“It’s not just something for couples,” Patton said. “This is not an exclusive event for two people. You can come with friends, alone. There’s no limit to who can come in and just have a good time.