Ball State’s David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA) embraced an anti-Valentine’s Day theme at the DOMA After Hours event Friday. The event was from 5-8 p.m., and included a variety of activities and events, such as cross stitching, fortune telling, anti-speed dating and creating ex-effigies.
Maureen Nicholson, DOMA’s Curator of Education, said the purpose of this event is to bring people together. She also said she hopes this event helps bring awareness to DOMA.
“There are far too many seniors that I’ve met [who] have walked into the museum and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I did not know that this campus had a museum,’” Nicholson said. “[DOMA is] an amazing place and it [has] an amazing collection, and we just want to share it with as many people as possible.”
According to Nicholson, this is the first-ever DOMA After Hours event. Hannah Sprenger, fourth-year Ball State history major, has been working at DOMA for the past three years and said she is happy the museum is hosting entertaining events.
“A lot of events we usually have are more education [based] here, so we have a lot of tours or exhibitions,” Sprenger said. “I’m excited for this event because it’s more [focused on] community building. I’m happy that DOMA is going to be turned more into a community building center than just [for] education.”
DOMA After Hours embraced an anti-Valentine’s theme, which Sprenger said was an interesting spin on the romantic holiday. She said it creates an opportunity to recognize all forms of love, like friendship.
Sprenger said an anti-Valentine’s Day event being held in a museum was ironic. She said it helps people feel like they can enjoy art on their own or with someone else.
“A lot of people go to museums for dates,” Sprenger said. “[This event] is a flip on that. It pulls a lot of people who might be afraid to go to museums by themselves. This is an event where you don’t have to come with someone.”
Falind Reson, fourth-year Ball State English education major, said she hates Valentine’s Day. She said she liked the anti-Valentine’s Day theme of this event.
“My issue with Valentine’s Day is I like the message, but I don’t like how it’s actually performed,” Reson said. “It’s very performative. It’s a very much [money-centered] holiday. It’s a Hallmark Holiday.”
Alex McNeill, second-year Ball State animation major, said they came to this event for their love of both DOMA and Valentine’s Day. Despite McNeill’s love for the holiday, they said they are in complete support of approaching it from a cynical perspective.
“I’m totally for anti-Valentine’s Day, I know it’s more of a satire,” McNeill said. “I know people who are in not the best relationships or just prefer to stay single, and I like events like this that feel more inclusive for people … I prefer an inclusion of everybody because love comes in every form you can think of.”
McNeill said they enjoyed how an entertaining event like this one was held in a museum. They said it strips away the idea that museums have to be formal, and that this event can bring in all kinds of people to show that it can also be a causal space.
Reson said she enjoyed this event more compared to other Ball State events she has been to. She said the added element of this event taking place in a museum gives her more to do while attending.
“Every other Ball State event I’ve been to, usually they’re pretty chill, but there’s not much to do at a certain point,” Reson said. “At least I can walk around and look at the art [while I’m here.]”