Mayfest, Northwestern Art Review to bring student artwork to Dillo Day

Jordan Harrison, Assistant Campus Editor

Mayfest and the Northwestern Art Review are partnering to add a splash of color and student creativity to the Dillo Day atmosphere this year.

NAR is looking for student artwork that will be weather-resistant to display on the Lakefill on Dillo Day. Communication junior Aileen McGraw, president of NAR, said she is hoping students submit a lot of interactive artwork, but noted the organization has few rigid specifications required for submissions.

“It’s really quite open,” McGraw said. “Something that can really be curated and created by students, so ideally interactive … There’s no specific idea or installation we’re looking for. We’re really hoping to see that from the Northwestern community.”

Students must submit art for the installation to McGraw by Friday. McGraw said she has already received a variety of submissions.

“It’s pretty much a wide range,” she said. “We’re definitely going to be talking and coming together with Mayfest to see which best fit with what (they) see as ideal for the Lakefill.”

Weinberg senior Justin Wu, Mayfest special events co-chair, said the art installation is part of an effort to make Dillo Day feel more like a traditional music festival.

“Mayfest has been trying really hard this year to make Dillo Day have more of a festival feel and we looked at larger festivals all across the country, like Electric Forest and Coachella, who have all of these really large, elaborate, patron-made art installations and we really wanted to include that this year,” Wu said.

Mayfest also requested funds from the Associated Student Government Project Pool to construct their own art installation separate from NAR. They received $700 at Wednesday’s Senate meeting out of the $1200 they requested originally.

Communication senior Bri Hightower, Mayfest’s co-chair of promotions, said the funds will be sufficient to build the art installation. However, due to a lack of funds, Mayfest will not go forward with its original plan to fund students’ art projects through the NAR collaboration and will instead look for completed projects from student artists.

“We’re going to use the money to build some big letters that say ‘Dillo,’ and they’re going to be hopefully about seven feet tall, and it can serve as a meeting place for students on the Lakefill,” she said. “We’re also hoping to do a ‘before I die’ board, and that’s this interactive, huge piece of wood that people can write things that they want to accomplish before they die.”

Wu said the art would be placed in a few different locations, located around the vendors and food trucks on the Lakefill and around the second stage area.

“Last year we put all of our vendors together and created this little ‘Dillo Village’ and that’s what we’re really hoping to recreate this year,” he said. “By putting the art among all of these things we’re going to make it feel like a legitimate, established thing.”

Hightower said the art installation would help expand the scope of Dillo Day beyond just musicians and performers.

“The layout of the Lakefill is going to look very different this year than it has in previous years,” she said. “We’re just exploring lots of new options for students to be able to interact and engage with the whole day instead of just purely focusing on the music.”

Twitter: @MedillJordan