Giertz Gallery at Parkland College is celebrating Parkland’s 50th anniversary by hosting its first-ever alumni juried exhibition, featuring the artwork of our most talented alumni! Are you one of them?
Giertz Gallery invites Art and Design alumni to show your creativity and talent by submitting artwork to the Parkland College 50th: Art and Design Alumni Exhibition.
All works to be considered for inclusion in the exhibit must be submitted by August 26. Visit parkland.edu/gallery for complete details and the online entry form.
Entry is open to all artists who have taken at least one class within the Art and Design program at Parkland. Submitted works may be in the following disciplines: painting, sculpture, ceramics, metals, drawing, printmaking, photography, textiles, video, and mixed media. Work completed under an instructor’s supervision is not eligible. Work must have been made in the last three years.
We are delighted that Barry Blinderman, director of University Galleries at Illinois State University, will serve as juror of the exhibition.
Parkland College 50th: Art and Design Alumni Exhibition will run September 26–November 5, 2016.
While many Parkland students were finishing up the semester with papers and final exams, students in the metalworking/jewelry class were completing their final projects and discussing their work in an end-of-semester critique. Students who take ART 185/186, Metalwork and Jewelry I and II, work in a variety of different materials, processes, and designs as they learn technical skills including riveting, annealing, silver soldering, patinas (a chemical and/or heat reaction to the metal that produces color changes color), and texturizing.
One assignment was stone setting, where students learned to set a cabochon stone. They selected their own stone and each inspired a different kind of creativity. Here are some of the Metalwork and Jewelry I student projects:
This class is an elective, and is open to art and design majors and non-majors alike. This semester’s students included a sculpture major, someone preparing to transfer into fashion design at a four-year college, a retired engineer, a graphic designer, a homemaker, and a construction technology major. We welcome the new insights and fresh perspectives these students bring.
Another assignment for advanced students was to create reliquaries involving personal meaning and reflection along with technical challenges and instruction. Brooches were also explored for their historical meaning as well as the concept of a series through incorporating design elements. Here are some of those pieces:
Metalwork and Jewelry I (ART 185) and Metalwork and Jewelry II (ART 186) are both offered on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 9-11:45am OR Mondays/Wednesdays from 5:30-8:45pm**. Class sizes are limited but a few seats are still available for spring 2016. Current students may register at my.parkland.edu; new students should go to parkland.edu/getstarted.
**The Monday/Wednesday sessions are now available as a LATE-START option, starting Feb. 1. Last date to register (new degree-seeking students) is Jan. 26.
Come join us in the Art Gallery Lounge for an evening of fun and the opportunity to support the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. Each ticket includes selecting a beautiful handmade cup thrown by our very own Parkland students and faculty in the Ceramics classes.
While you’re there, enjoy a large selection of desserts baked fresh by the Parkland College Hospitality program; Columbia Street Roastery will provide hot tea and freshly brewed coffee. The event will also feature traditional Irish music by Fair Play featuring Lisa Boucher.
You can also peruse our silent auction with over 30 works that include bowls, vases, serving dishes, and pitchers. Also included is a lithograph donated by Gerry Guthrie, professor emeritus from the University of Illinois Art and Design program, as well as a photograph by Craig McMonigal, an award-winning photography instructor at Parkland College who is retiring this year.
Live music, floral centerpieces designed by the Floral Design class at Parkland, and white tablecloths transform the Gallery Lounge into a festive location to celebrate the arts and support the gallery.
This event occurs every other year to raise money for the Giertz Gallery. It is held at the same time that the gallery hosts the State of the Art: Biennial Ceramics Invitational. This year the exhibition is curated by no other than Chris Berti, Professor of Art and Design at Parkland College. The exhibit includes artwork by eleven contemporary ceramic artists from all over the country and features work by Randy Carlson, Sunshine Cobb, Michael Corney, Paul Eshelman, Meredith Host, Doug Jeppesen, Beth Lo, Jan McKeachie Johnston, Randy Johnston, Joseph Pintz, and Luba Sharapan (AKA Darn Pottery).
View many of the Silent Auction works online by visiting the Giertz Gallery Facebook Album or website . Guests are able to place bids on various artworks and the bidding will end at 6:30pm.
Tickets to the gallery benefit are $30 or two for $50, with advanced purchase recommended; cups will be chosen on a first come, first serve basis. To purchase tickets, please contact the Giertz Gallery office at 217/351-2485, visit our website or stop by the Giertz Gallery.
Our hours are Monday through Thursday from 10am to 7pm and Saturdays noon to 2pm. Please check ahead of time for our hours over the holidays. We look forward to seeing you at the event!
Ornithology: Works by Barbara Kendrick and Monique Luchetti runs through Saturday, November 7, at Giertz Gallery.
This exhibition has been a hit at the gallery so far! A reception took place Thursday, October 1, with a brief gallery talk by both artists and musical performance by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble. People who attended the event were able to hear about the artwork firsthand.
Barbara and Monique have a fascination and sympathy with birds, but their work is divergent in concepts, material, and process. Although the artists take different approaches in their body of work, they both use images of birds to speak to the ways our lives are inextricably tied together, interdependent and bound to the earth for survival.
“We are alive in a world where the distinction between what we know to be human and what we believe to be animal is shrinking,” the artists have said about their exhibit.
And speaking of birds…
In addition to the artist lectures, and in tandem with Parkland College’s Sustainable Campus Committee, there will be a special program titled “Owls and Avian Adaptations” on Tuesday, October 20 from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. in the Gallery Lounge. Savannah Donovan from the Urbana Park District’s Anita Purves Nature Center will introduce you to Quasi the Eastern screech owl.
Savannah will show you the amazing adaptations that allow owls to thrive in darkness. You will also get to see other avian specimens for comparison. October is Campus Sustainability Month, and the Sustainable Campus Committee will be hosting a series of activities and events throughout the month at Parkland. Please visit the Parkland College website for more information.
Now, back to the “Ornithology” exhibit!
Barbara Kendrick is a local artist and a retired professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She admires birds’ ability to survive and adapt to new, sometimes hostile environments. The way they build nests in the alphabet of signs on storefronts, or gather cigarette butts to line their nests, informs her collages. As she makes her work, she tries to match her own sense of improvisation with that of the birds. Each collage opens up new questions about our connection to the way the birds live in our world.
Monique Luchetti, a Brooklyn-based studio artist, sifts through museums’ ornithology collections as if they were cemeteries, gleaning the identities of the birds for her drawings, preserved and tagged by humans for further study. Her drawings are a meditation of loss and remembering and on the contradiction inherent in humans: racing to collect, classify, and catalog species while continuing to haplessly destroy the same species through climate change and the devastation of the planet’s forests and oceans.
Barbara was recently interviewed by Melissa Merli at the News-Gazette; during the interview, she said, “In my own work, there has to be a sense of surprise and discovery or I get bored… Now I use found materials for the collages. I use everything. I grab images off the Internet. I use magazines. I use books. Lately I’ve been taking my own photographs. These are ink-jet prints. I read an essay about parakeets in the bare nerve garden and that was such an image to me. So I went on the Internet and found images of neurons and dendrites and printed them and took images of parakeets and put them in them among the dendrites.”
Giertz Gallery at Parkland College hours are10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.
To find the gallery when classes are in session, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through door X-7, turn left, and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor fountain area.
Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution; for accommodation, call 217/351-2505.
The Giertz Gallery Summer Internship Program is wrapping up its pilot year. Funded by a Summer Youth Employment in the Arts (SYEA) grant from the Illinois Arts Council, this paid internship offers two recently graduated high school students interested in the arts an opportunity to gain employment skills in an art-related setting to inform their career paths, build self-confidence, and provide a source of income for the summer.
We thoroughly have enjoyed working with our first summer interns, Katie Tabeling and Alexis Walter (above, l. to r.). Katie, a graduate of the High School of St. Thomas More, will be attending Eastern Illinois University in the fall. Alexis, just out of Champaign Centennial High School, will be attending Parkland College this fall.
Our interns assisted the gallery staff with installing artwork for the current exhibition, “Around the Block”; served as gallery monitors; curated and installed a mini-exhibition in the Hospitality corridor; and learned about the care and handling of artwork. For the Hospitality corridor, they curated a group of artworks from the Student Art Permanent Collection, which has been compiled over the years through the purchase of student artwork to be used as a teaching tool for future Parkland students. The interns also met with art educators to learn about outreach and art education and with Parkland College Marketing and Public Relations staff to learn about graphic design and promotions. Lastly, the two students helped prepare gallery fundraising activities that will occur this fall.
Katie and Alexis recently shared their experiences of being part of the summer exhibition setup and curating the permanent collection display. I have included some of their reflections below.
“Getting an internship at Parkland College has given me great insight into what it is actually like to work in a gallery. Working in an environment that allows me to focus my creative energies in a productive way is something I’ve always thought to be an important quality in my future career.
For the summer show, Giertz Gallery, in collaboration with 40 North, organized the exhibition Around the Block: Artists From our Neighborhood. Like the title says, this show embraces art made by local artists in the Champaign-Urbana area and beyond. Being able to meet the artists behind the work gave me insight to their art in a way that a viewer might not get just by looking at the piece. Along with meeting the artists, I was able to meet the juror of the show, Aron Packer. Talking to him and getting to learn about the exhibit gave me more insight into the selection process.
The works chosen complement one another and showcase the talent in our community. Something all the artwork has in common is a strong sense of color. Because of this, the works needed to be arranged in a way that they would enhance one another without overpowering the space. The pieces are arranged by similarities in color, shape, style, and subjects. This allows the viewer to fully enjoy each piece. All of the hard work that went into making the Around the Block exhibit was emphasized by how successful the reception was. It was a great experience getting to meet some of the many people who are keeping the art community in our region alive as well as learning about the process a gallery goes through when preparing for a show.”
“When Katie and I were asked to help put up some newer artwork on exhibit at Parkland, we knew we had a lot of different locations to choose from. One of the areas available to us was a hallway near the Hospitality program area. So, because this area is close to a kitchen, we decided to look for food-related pieces to include in the exhibit.
After looking at so many different pieces, we finally narrowed it down to eight pieces that we liked and also thought went together. While we kept the theme of food, we were able to include works that were prismacolor, charcoal, graphite, and watercolor. With the help of art history instructor Laura O’Donnell, the collection coordinator for the Giertz Gallery, we got all the pieces matted and ready to hang on the wall. With the help of both Lisa Costello, gallery director, and Ms. O’Donnell, Katie and I managed to put together a cohesive mini-collection for all of Parkland to see!”
There will be a small curatorial talkby our summer art interns on Wednesday, August 5 at 1:30 p.m.in the Giertz Gallery. This event is free and open to the public. Programs at Giertz Gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
The incoming work sits in gallery storage until it is time to install the show during installation week. The gallery puts a “Closed for Installation” sign on the door, and our tool carts appear along with our ladder. We “spot the show,” which is museum jargon for designing the exhibition and placing the artwork. We make measurements, let our hammers fly, place vinyl signage and labels, mount artist statements on the wall, and add lighting to the works. Hopefully, the dust settles before we open our doors on Monday morning!
Have you seen the latest exhibit in Parkland College’s Giertz Gallery? It features large-scale paintings by Wisconsin artist Tom Berenz. Berenz is a busy artist with a lot of exhibits on his resume. His artwork is full of contradictions, both in terms of formal elements and content. His artist statement says it best: “I am interested in blurring the lines between realism and abstraction, life and death, beauty and horror, devastation and sublime. Everything we live with as Americans is delicately balanced—the cars (magic carpets/death traps), houses (castles/prisons), and wilderness (paradise/oblivion).”
I look forward to giving tours and being able to hear interpretations coming from our students on the exhibits. I have already overheard some students analyzing Berenz’s work and disagreeing! One says, “The work captures the moment in time immediately after an explosion; you can see things settling in the aftermath!” and another says, “I see litter and the damage that we do to our environment. Also, it looks like a picnic. Is that a watermelon?” It will be interesting to read what they write in their papers!
I hope you are able to visit the gallery, enjoy the work, and draw your own conclusions.
Presently Absent: Works by Tom Berenz will be on exhibit at the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College now through March 31. The gallery is always free, and everyone is welcome. For more information about the gallery visit www.parkland.edu/gallery and sign up for our email updates.