Category Archives: Fine & Applied Arts

My Love Affair with April Greiman

It all started in college.

I was studying graphic design at the University of Illinois when I came across a copy of WET magazine (“gourmet bathing” according to the tagline on the cover). This was in the early 1980s and we’re deep in the minimalist modern “Swiss” era where any decoration in art was frowned upon. So this copy of WET that I held in my hands, well it looked like it came from Mars. It was funky, it was spicy, it smelled of something illegal and it was the opposite of the rational design thinking my professors were trying to instill in their students. It wasn’t until much later that I found out April Greiman was one of the people behind this magazine (even though her name was not on the masthead).

California-style postmodernism as envisioned by April Greiman et al (1979)

As an art student (yes, design was taught in the “art” department), I dutifully imitated what I saw in WET. What I copied was the surface qualities of April’s work. I was an excellent forger, but unfortunately my professors had already ruined me. My mind had already embraced their modernist philosophies, and I couldn’t unlearn what I had already been taught. Little did I know that modernism was already dying a quick death. April Greiman had killed it in California and kick-started the postmodern era in graphic design just as I was about to graduate.

Today, students get to read about April Greiman in history books. She is one of the few female graphic designers acknowledged in an industry dominated by men. When I saw her face in the new documentary “Graphic Means: A History of Graphic Design Production,” I immediately sent her an email. I told her about our upcoming movie premiere event and begged her to join us for a panel discussion after the film. After a little prodding, she said “yes” to a Skype interview.

One of my favorite early April Greiman designs that I tried to rip-off.

“Graphic Means” is a brand-new documentary about the pre-digital period of graphic design known as the “cold type” era (you’ll have to see the movie to understand why the funny name). This is the same era glamorized in the “Mad Men” TV series. Fans of this period are in love with the fashion and furniture design of the “mid-century modern” style as featured in the TV series. But this was also the epitome of overt sexism in the workplace where women were literally worth half as much as men. Both sides of the story are told in great detail in “Graphic Means.”

Vintage retro promo graphic for the “cold type” era (circa 1975)

“Graphic Means” is Briar Levit’s first film and it hits all the marks of a great documentary. From her selection of offbeat on-screen characters she interviewed to her selection of ironic retro archival footage, “Graphic Means” is a rich and amusing visual experience. It’s also stuffed full of fascinating facts and stories not often told. I predict that in time, “Graphic Means” will rise to the level of “Helvetica” as one of the important must-see cultural documentaries of our time. And she made the film with Kickstarter funds and an all-female crew.


“Graphic Means” is currently making the rounds at film festivals, film societies, museums and specialty cinemas in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, and across the US (see full list). Champaign is lucky to be on the list of premiere cities and Parkland is very lucky to be able to host both the filmmaker and April Greiman via Skype for a post-screening discussion.

And what about that “love affair” with April? Well I did graduate from the University of Illinois with a BFA and a portfolio of fake postmodern projects (but it made me look “cool” and got me good jobs). Later, after I started teaching graphic design history at Parkland, I really got to know April’s work deeply (since I had to explain what “postmodernism” means to my students). Now my students make Powerpoint presentations about her and design T-shirts that pay tribute to her.

A tribute T-shirt design by Parkland Student Brandon Cherry

And then in 2004, it happened. I met April Greiman for the first time. I was on the board of the now defunct Ad Club of Champaign-Urbana and we had the money to bring someone big and important to town for a presentation. On a lark, we invited April and she came. She even made a stop at Parkland in L111 and chatted with the students.

In 2004, April Greiman visited Champaign-Urbana (click the image above to jump to our Facebook gallery)

As a souvenir, she handed out little “fortune cookie” strips that said “If thinking, think nothing” (it’s a Buddhist thing). Those are now collector’s items. I got to design the promos for her visit and this time I got it right. I was able to capture the joy of flying against convention and breaking rules just for the sake of breaking rules with this experimental web page:

Website promotion designed by Paul Young as a tribute to April Greiman (2004)

And then in 2015, it happened again. On a trip to Las Vegas, my wife and I decided to take a little detour to Joshua Tree National Park. We knew April Greiman owned a motel near there so we booked a few nights at her little hideaway called Miracle Manor. And what a little miracle it is, fed with natural mineral-rich hot springs right from under the motel directly into her pool. And on the day we arrived?April was there with her boyfriend and it was her birthday! Hanging out with April by the pool on this special day? Priceless.

Miracle Manor: April Greiman’s retreat in Desert Hot Springs CA

And now it’s going to happen for a third time. Tomorrow night, I get to moderate a panel discussion about “Graphic Means” with April Greiman participating on the panel live via Skype. Joining us will be four other local designers and educators as well as the director of the film (see complete list of panelists). Am I nervous? Nah not really. She’s a really cool gal and really easy to talk to. Besides, I’ve met her before.

Click the above image to jump to the movie premiere promo site for advanced tickets and all the details.

Discounted advanced ticket sales will end on Tuesday, November 14 at 12 noon, but tickets will still be available at the door. Here are the details of our one-night only movie premiere special event:

Thanks to our generous sponsors, 100% of the box office receipts will benefit Giertz Gallery at Parkland College.

[Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.]

Graphic Design Students Earn $$ For Excellence

Last night at the 2017 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition opening reception, eight students split $1,100 in cash awards for exhibiting excellent work.

Every year, the students in Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs have the opportunity to showcase their best work in the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. This year, 207 entries were received and 137 entries were accepted by a jury of our design faculty.

Then, two industry professionals were invited to come in to judge the entries and to select the award winners. This year’s judges were Maria Ludeke, design studio manager at Neutral Design Studio and Ralph Roether, graphic designer at Champaign Park District. Their mission: Find the best 11 pieces in the show and then select the one piece that would receive the coveted “best of show” award.

“Judging this years show proved challenging as we had to pick just one best of show,” said Maria. “These students will do so well moving forward in their careers. They show great creativity, execution, and capacity to make beautiful, thoughtful work.”

“I was honored to be a judge for the Parkland Graphic Design Show,” added Ralph. “It was enlightening to see how many different aspects of design are being taught: print, packaging, logos, identity, history, web, digital, video titles, animation etc. I’m a little jealous. What a fantastic program to have available to our community.”

“I was thrilled to see the breadth of student work produced by Parkland’s Graphic Design program,” added Maria. “The professors at Parkland have prepared them well for transitioning into the professional world of design and marketing.”

Most of the awards were donated by local businesses and supporters of Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs. These friends include Surface 51, The Robeson Family, [co][lab], Studio 2D, and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO), who all donated cash awards. CUDO was also the co-sponsor of the opening reception.

More than 270 industry professionals, alumni, friends, family, and students attended the reception. At 6:30 p.m., each of the winners were acknowledged with a round of applause, a certificate, and a check.

Here’s who won:

• Graphic Design Best of Show

Motion Design by Jason Dockins (click image to view)

 

• Illustration Best of Show

Illustration by Shannon Martin

 

• Typography Best of Show

Packaging by Emily Gorski

 

• President’s Award of Excellence

Poster by Shannon Martin

 

• CUDO Award of Excellence

Packaging by Justin Klett

 

• Surface 51 Award of Excellence

Packaging by Brooke Armstrong

 

• Studio 2D Design Strategy Award

Web Mockup by Brooke Armstrong

 

• [co][lab] Award of Excellence

Calendar by Brielle Arnold (Designer), Nikolas Atwood (Copywriter), Jason Dockins (Art Director), Shannon Martins (Illustrator)

 

• Electric Pictures Award of Excellence

Poster by Justin Klett

 

• David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award

Packaging by Kristy Lau

 

• Fine and Applied Arts Department Chair Award

Book Cover by Emily Gorski

 

The 2017 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition will continue in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery through June 1. Summer gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 10am–7pm (closed Saturday and Sunday).

To see more examples of student work from Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs, please visit our virtual galleries.

[Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.]

Parkland Study Abroad: Meet Scott Christopher

What’s the first thing a student tells me when they come back from study abroad? This was the best experience of my life and has changed my life forever.” I encourage you to follow Communication major Scott Christopher Barnes on his life-changing experience abroad and live vicariously through him until you can go on your own Parkland study abroad! In this first video, Scott introduces himself and a few new friends.

Remember, anyone can study abroad; I have people of all ages and backgrounds go on these trips. We have 10-day, 4-week, and 15-week programs available at a variety of times in the academic year.


***The Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs and Parkland College work together to provide opportunities for Parkland students to study abroad. Multiple programs in various countries are available every semester. Students interested in enrolling should contact study abroad coordinator Jody Littleton via email at jlittleton@parkland.edu for more information.

2016 Graphic Design Student Show Awards Announced

Last night at the 2016 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition opening reception, 10 very proud students received $1,400 in cash awards for submitting excellent work.

Every year, the students in Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs submit their best work for jurying by the faculty. This year, 169 entries were chosen by the faculty to be showcased in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery. Then two industry professionals were invited to come in to judge the entries and to select the award winners. This year’s judges were Kelly White, the executive director of 40 North, and Matt Wiley, a well-renowned local illustrator and graphic designer at Taylor Studios. Their mission: find the best 14 pieces in the show and then select the one piece that would receive the coveted “best of show” award.

Most of the awards were donated by local businesses and supporters of Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs. These friends include Surface 51, The Robeson Family, [co][lab], Studio 2D, Six Demon Studio,Wesley Food Pantry and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO) who all donated cash awards. CUDO was also the co-sponsor of the opening reception.

Over 200 industry professionals, alumni, friends, family and students attended the reception. At 6:30 p.m., each of the winners were acknowledged with a round of applause, a certificate and a check. Here’s who won:

• Graphic Design Best of Show

klinger_packagingwine
Packaging by Christie Klinger

 

• Illustration Best of Show

klinger_orchidposter
Poster by Christie Klinger

 

• Typography Best of Show

hilary pope herblubalin
Editorial spread by Hilary Pope

 

• President’s Award of Excellence

martin-seven-samurai
Poster by Shannon Martin

 

• CUDO Award of Excellence

klinger_packagingme
Packaging by Christie Klinger

 

• Surface 51 Award of Excellence

Map by Martha Henigman

 

• Studio 2D Design Strategy Award

sarah powers surplus
Brochure by Sarah Powers

 

• Six Demon Studio Award of Excellence

skyler reifsteck
Book cover by Skyler Reifsteck

 

• [co][lab] Award of Excellence

bethany manalo menurevisions4
Menu by Betta Manalo

 

• Wesley Food Pantry Award of Excellence

Brochure by Shannon Martin

 

• Electric Pictures Award of Excellence

Logo by Jordan Bidner

 

• David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award

jordan bidner bottle
Packaging by Jordan Bidner

 

• Fine & Applied Arts Department Chair Award

maiki bello etiqueta-vino
Packaging by Maiki Bello

 

• Graphic Design Program Director’s Award

rogers-businessapps
Self-promotion by Abby Rogers

 

The 2016 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition will continue in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery until May 28. Summer gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 10am–7pm and Saturday, noon–2pm.

To see more examples of student work from Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs, please visit our virtual galleries.

IMG_9680                      IMG_9631

 

[Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.]

Talk the Talk, w/Help from the Presentation Center

Taking a Parkland College speech class this summer? Does your upcoming syllabus include a team project demonstration? No worries; let our Presentation Center help!

presentationcenter1

Stop by Room C151 with your individual or group presentation project! Trish Barker, one of our COM faculty, will be in the center to help Parkland students and employees with:

  • Organizing or creating oral presentations
  • Creating visuals
  • Overcoming public-speaking anxiety
  • Creating a presentation assignment (faculty)
  • Coaching students through practice sessions (faculty)

We’re open during the 2016 early summer session, May 16–June 2:

8–9 a.m. Monday–Friday
12:30–2:30 p.m. Monday–Friday

A full summer schedule soon will be available at the Presentation Center’s web page.

[Associate Professor Jody Littleton teaches speech communication and serves as Parkland’s Study Abroad coordinator.]

 

169 Entries, $1400 in Awards, One Night to Celebrate

Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs feature intensive hands-on studio classes that are rooted in real-world problem solving. Students start building portfolio samples in their first semester and then keep building them throughout the two-year program. The best of these projects are featured every year in a juried exhibition in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery.

Poster by Bethany Manalo

Solving visual communication problems is not easy. Students have to communicate a concept, utilize design principles to make it look good, learn to embrace centuries-old typographic traditions, master powerful digital tools with steep learning curves, and then justify their design decisions to the client.

jason dockins
T-shirt design by Jason Dockins

Despite these and many other challenges, our students rise to the challenge and embrace creative problem solving as a way of life. When they succeed, they are very proud of their work. As instructors, so are we. That’s why every spring, we take the best examples from our studio classes and put them in our art gallery for the world to see.

Book cover by Cayden Bergschneider

Every year, we also invite two industry professionals to come in to judge the show and to select the awards. This year’s judges were delighted with the results. “I was thrilled to be a judge for this year’s show,” said Kelly White, the executive director of 40 North. “The graphic design program at Parkland is outstanding and it was impressive to see the students’ resolutions to such a variety of concepts, applications, and current trends. They are exploring the critical foundations of typography while also creating some amazing illustrations and experimenting with what is successful communication and impactful marketing strategies. It was a blast being a judge and this will be a fantastic show!”

Matt Wiley, a well-renowned local illustrator and graphic designer at Taylor Studios added, “I loved seeing the variety of work this year and am honored to be involved in encouraging upcoming artists in Champaign-Urbana.”

Map by Martha Henigman

Special thanks for the generous support from the people at Surface 51, The Robeson Family, [co][lab], Studio 2D, Six Demon Studio, Wesley Food Pantry and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO) who all donated cash awards. CUDO is also the co-sponsor the opening reception.

Come out and help celebrate another year of dedication, passion, sweat and tears. Expect to see great examples of advertising, branding, packaging, posters, brochures, T-shirts, motion graphics, websites, illustration, and other examples of commercial work. Be sure to RSVP on Facebook to see sneak peaks leading up to the event.

Poster by Brielle Arnold
Poster by Brielle Arnold
THE DETAILS
  • Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 11, 5–7pm
    (RSVP on Facebook)
  • Awards ceremony at 6:30pm
  • Musical performance by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble
  • Exhibition dates: May 9–28, 2016
  • Summer gallery hours: Mon–Thurs 10am–7pm; Sat noon–2pm
  • Location: Giertz Gallery at Parkland College,
    2400 W Bradley Ave., Champaign

Parkland’s Illustration instructor Liza Wynette will give a gallery talk titled “The State of Contemporary Illustration” immediately after the awards ceremony. Her gallery talk will feature recent student and professional art commissioned for editorial, advertising, and other commercial applications.

[Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.]

Metalwork and Jewelry: Explore a Fascinating Art Form

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:

circular pendant necklace
circular pendant necklace
Family heirloom stone set pendant (front)
Family heirloom stone set pendant (front)
Family Heirloom stone set pendant (back)
Family Heirloom stone set pendant (back)
Beveled stone set ring
Beveled stone set ring
Deer antler ring with pink camo stone
Deer antler ring with pink camo stone
Shield ring with stone setting
Shield ring with stone setting
Architectural Bracelet
Architectural Bracelet
Architectural Bracelet (knit)
Architectural Bracelet (knit)

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:

Silver Fibula brooch with stone
Silver Fibula brooch with stone

Historic Fibula Design

Stick Pin Brooch series
Stick Pin Brooch series
Rabbit and the Hare Reliquary
Rabbit and the Hare Reliquary
Bird Skull Reliquary
Bird Skull Reliquary

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.

 

 

Holiday Faves in “Food-Raiser” Choral Concert

As we quickly approach the holiday season, the Parkland College Chamber Singers have been busy organizing their second annual “Night of Readings and Carols,” a concert and food drive for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

dec12concert

Idea, Goal for the “Food-raiser”
The idea for this type of performance and “food-raiser” came in fall 2014, when we were planning to schedule our first-ever Chamber-Singers-only performance. Our students discussed ways in which we could help give back to our community, and we came up with the idea of collaborating with EIF, setting up donation boxes at our concert. Last year’s event raised over 100 pounds of food and brought in at least $100 to help this great service. Our goal this year is to fill at least three boxes with items for the foodbank and collect 200 pounds or more of nonperishable food items.

Ensembles Performing at Event
In addition to our choral performance, we will also be joined by a brass trio comprised of students from Parkland College as well as a guitar duet of local musicians and teachers from the Upper Bout, Champaign’s sophisticated music shop.

The Chamber Singers will perform many sacred works, including traditional chants such as O Come, O Come Emmanuel, There is Faint Music, and Amen! Tell it on the Mountain.  Not only will our group, 12-members strong, be performing, but many smaller ensembles from our community will also join us. We will hear madrigals by a quartet, O Holy Night by a trio conducted by a wonderful student conductor, and a song from the female members of this ensemble, who will take us to Spain by singing a traditional Christmas carol about the baby Jesus. This concert will include audience participation in singing four carols, and members of the ensemble will give both sacred and secular readings to get us in the holiday spirit.

Date, Time for “Night of Readings and Carols”
Our concert will take place Saturday, December 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 309 W. Green Street in Urbana. The concert begins at 7pm, with the doors’ opening and food drive beginning at 6:20pm. Pre-concert music will be provided by the aforementioned brass trio and guitar duet.

Please bring any and all nonperishable food items to make your donation upon admission. Of course, this is not required to attend the performance, but every little bit helps. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Coffee and Tea: Cups and Dessert Benefit

 

Coffee and Tea: Cups and Dessert Benefit 
for the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College
Thursday, December 3, 4 -7pm
Tickets are $30 each or two for $50
Silent Auction ending at 6:30pm
Traditional Irish music by Fair Play featuring Lisa Boucher

DSC_0019Come 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.

rutile green lidded jar

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).

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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!

Screeching Good Times at Parkland’s Giertz Gallery!

 

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“Ornithology” exhibit features works by artists Monique Luchetti (left) and Barbara Kendrick.

 

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…

Owl-1
Quasi the Screech Owl from the Anita Purvis Nature Center.

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 are 10 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.

We hope to see you here soon!

A ‘Celestial’ Find for Harpist, Staerkel Director

The Staerkel Planetarium offered its first light show (featuring the music of Pink Floyd) in 1991. In the years since, other shows have graced the dome, and we’ve done a few live musical acts, too. We had the entire Bowdacious String Band in the dome, plus a guitar trio, a four-piece rock band, and even a laptop orchestra.

However, several years ago, Parkland’s Grants and Contracts Manager Josh Birky approached me about doing something different with our shows, something more classical. I thought, “That’s not a bad idea—maybe something more ‘out of the box,’ as they say.”

I contacted a few colleagues in Fine and Applied Arts and eventually made my way to the University of Illinois’ School of Music in search of a harpist. The first harpist wasn’t available, but she suggested doctoral student musician Ann McLaughlin. Ann and I exchanged a few emails after that. She was also interested in doing something new and different and was excited about the idea of her music being backed by visuals in a theatrical setting.

Ann and I didn’t meet until our first rehearsal in the dome. She immediately struck me as very outgoing, passionate about her craft, and interested in “pushing the envelope.”

mclaughlin
Ann McLaughlin. Photo by Bernard Wolff.

We did our first show in late January 2013 and, much to my surprise, we sold the place out! And, in my standard pre-show introduction, I discovered that a little less than half the crowd had never been in the planetarium before!

Shows like these are challenging, as I had to run the visuals live (nothing could really be programmed) and Ann had to learn how to play in nearly full darkness. I set up two spotlights to illuminate Ann so it wouldn’t be quite as dark and, besides, since she is the “star” of the show, people should see her. We also had to run a couple of microphones (one floor-mounted and the other on a boom) so the harp played through our sound system. Our production designer Waylena McCully set up a screen in our digital system for special effects, with some of the clips she created herself.

Since that first program, Ann has performed in our planetarium a couple of times, one being a wedding in which the bridal party hired her to play. More recently, Ann performed a song at the Illinois state meeting of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association. The intent of this performance was twofold. First, we demonstrated what one could do with live music in a planetarium and, second, it got Ann’s name out there.

Now, as Ann finishes her doctoral degree, she will be leaving the area. But, before leaving, she has set up a “planetarium tour,“ with harp dates at the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the Illinois State University Planetarium. She’ll kick off her tour with a return to our dome on September 18 at 8:30 p.m. and then a special matinee on Saturday, September 19, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person, all sold at the door.

I’ll admit that I don’t have a crate of records at home of harp music, but Ann opened my eyes to a new style, a new sound. Some of the things she does on the harp are amazing! And I’d like to think that we showed Ann another venue for her creativity. I’m looking forward to her last shows beneath the stars. I hope you’ll join us for these special performances!

Summer Youth Internship at Giertz Gallery

giertz2logoThe 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.

———–

Katie

“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.”

interns2
Alexis and Katie prepare to mount the Hospitality corridor art works.

Alexis 

“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 talk by 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.

Coloring? For adults?

Ready to relax, use your imagination, and revisit your inner child? Then spend a few hours coloring! Parkland College Community Education is offering a unique and creative outlet over three evenings this September.

You’ll have fun and explore the basics of visual art when you register for “Coloring for Adults.” When you do, you’ll join a current trend happening across the country–check out this article about adult coloring released just this past week.

During your first class, on Tuesday, September 1, visual artist Ella van Wyk will help you explore the materials, mark-making techniques, and basic color theory behind this experience. By week two, you will find your coloring abilities have reached a whole new level after a guided work session with the instructor.

At the end of your last class, you get to choose from a selection of original coloring pages by van Wyk to use as your final project and celebrate everyone’s finished pieces, with an informal critique of pictures and process.

Give yourself permission to enjoy this age-old method of stress relief. The fee for “Coloring for Adults” is $59, which includes all supplies for the class. To register, please contact Parkland College Community Education at 217/353-2055 or visit us at 1315 N. Mattis Ave. in Champaign.

Welcome to the Maker Movement

In one of his most famous speeches, Robert Kennedy spoke for innovators when he said, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why…I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Like Mr. Kennedy, there have always been humans discontent with things “the way they are.” They have been called different names—inventor, scientist, artist, daydreamer—but they are all united under the burning question of “why not?”

Sculpture student using a Dremel tool to make a hand sculpture.
Sculpture

Today, many people asking that question have found a home in the Maker Movement. Makers imagine new things, experiment, and bring their ideas to life. They often complete this process in the company of others, as Makers recognize the value of sharing ideas and resources. An intentionally broad and inclusive label, anyone, from amateur to professional, is welcome to call themselves a Maker. According to makerfaire.com, Makers are a “growing community of creative and curious people,” and a “wellspring of innovation.” They are immersed in their desire to solve problems, to add beauty to everyday life, and to fashion a better future.

Parkland art student drawing a still life.
Drawing

Parkland’s Fine and Applied Arts Department offers opportunities to participate in the Maker Movement. In this blog post, we highlight our Art Program, where faculty members—all working artists and definitely Makers—lead classes in which students paint, draw, compose photographs, solder metal, mold clay and otherwise transform lifeless materials. Students get hands-on, experiential learning in fully equipped workshops. They receive the space and time to think creatively and communicate visually. Like the Maker Movement, all students are welcome and encouraged to join.

Parkland student soldering in a metals class.
Metalworking & Jewelry

Giertz Gallery Director and Metals instructor Lisa Costello offers her take on the popularity of the Maker Movement, and its connection to Art courses.

“As human beings, we are not only built to be consumers, but we have a strong desire to be sensitive makers,” she said. “A huge part of our brains are geared toward small motor skills, attention to detail and the need for thoughtful creativity and problem solving. We offer classes that meet these needs.

“Some of our students are interested in eventually setting up their own studio, perhaps selling on Etsy or in galleries; some already have a degree and are looking to expand how they understand the world; and some take the classes as an elective to enrich their educational experience. It is a great time to take an art class and feed that creative desire, no matter where it stems from.”

If you’re intrigued and ready to discover how you fit in to the Maker Movement, or if you’re already a proud Maker, you’ll find the materials and support you seek in Parkland’s Art classes. Register at parkland.edu/admissions, or by calling 217/351-2482. The payment deadline is August 18 for classes beginning August 24.

Classes are available in the following subjects:
Metals,  Drawing, Ÿ 3-Dimensional  Design,  2-Dimensional Design, Photography, Ÿ Painting,  Sculpture,  Ceramics

[Kate Ross is the promotions assistant for Fine and Applied Arts.]

New Music Recording Class Starts Up This Fall!

MUS 161 (Introduction to Music Recording) is an exciting new course coming to Parkland fall semester 2015.

The purpose of this course is to help students develop a knowledge and understanding of key recording techniques and apply them through hands-on practice in a multi-track studio environment, right here on Parkland’s campus!

Basic audio and recording concepts will be covered, including sound principles; perceptions of direction and space; microphone types, patterns, and placements; console features; effects processing; signal flow; and much more.

This project-based class will enable students to run real recording sessions on campus and learn how to do everything from setting up, tracking, and mixing to mastering a song.

MUS 161 will utilize a new recording space in Room C140 that is equipped with a top-of-the-line console and microphone collection. (Right now we’re in the beginning stages of building the studio.)

For any questions or more information on the course, please do not hesitate to contact instructor Adam Porter at aporter@parkland.edu.

Parkland Faculty Top Picks by State Trustees

Parkland students think they are stellar. Parkland’s faculty sing their praises. Now, the state of Illinois’ community college trustees have added their stamp of approval.

The Illinois Community College Trustees Association, or ICCTA, has just selected Math Professor Erin Wilding-Martin as its Outstanding Full-time Faculty Member Award winner for 2015. The ICCTA also selected photography instructor Craig McMonigal to receive its Outstanding Part-time Faculty Member Award. These amazing teachers received their awards June 6 during the ICCTA annual conference.

Our Faculty Professional Development Committee selected Erin and Craig to be Parkland’s 2015 ICCTA Outstanding Faculty winners earlier this spring, which nominated them for statewide selection.

Erin Wilding-Martin
Erin Wilding-Martin

Erin has been praised by her colleagues and students as an exemplary and engaging teacher who is a leader in mathematics education both within Parkland and beyond. For example, one of her students who entered Erin’s course intimidated by mathematics praised her “enthusiasm for teaching, dedication to her students, and innovative program design.”  She said Erin helped her overcome her fear of mathematics and gave her an appreciation for the “value of an active learning environment.”

Erin’s doctoral study in the philosophy of mathematics education in community colleges prepared her for the challenge of leading the algebra/math literacy redesign that Parkland began in 2011. As one colleague summarized it, “the success of this project, which has gained national attention, is largely a result of Dr. Wilding-Martin’s extraordinary efforts on behalf of our students.”

Erin is currently on the Developmental Mathematics Committee of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) and has served on AMATYC’s Research in Mathematics Education for Two-Year Colleges Committee. She has an article published in the Philosophy of Education Society.

Craig McMonigal
Craig McMonigal

 

Craig is a 21-year faculty member who has been praised by colleagues for his commitment to the college, the program, and the students. Described as an integral part of Parkland’s Art and Design program, Craig developed new courses in photography, implemented innovative techniques, and worked to help create the Associate in Applied Science in Photography program.

One Art and Design colleague says Craig is “eager to accept new responsibilities, helping the Art and Design program, and the photography degree within the Communication program, to grow by actively supporting assessment and the development of new curriculum.”  Craig uses humor to keep students engaged and, as one student affirms,  he “was instrumental in making learning about photography— and myself— fun. He is a great teacher; if possible I would choose him for all my classes.” Craig is an active member of the Society for Photographic Education and has served as the Parkland representative on the Illinois Higher Education Art Association.

 

Congratulations, Erin and Craig— Parkland College is proud to have such fine faculty!

 

 

Graphic Design Students Win $1400 in Awards

On Wednesday night at the Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition opening reception, seven very deserving students received $1,400 in cash awards for excellent work.

I could not be prouder of these students who worked hard all year long and gave body, mind, and soul to create these amazing portfolio samples.

Special thanks must go out to this year’s judges who volunteered their time to select the winners: Matt Cho, owner and founder of [co][lab], an experimental collaboration/coworking space in downtown Urbana, and Kurt Bielema, creative director of Single Stereo, a local design studio.

Their job was not easy. Out of 228 entries that were juried into the show by the teaching faculty, their mission was to choose the 14 best pieces to award the cash prizes.

Over 200 industry professionals, alumni, friends, family and students attended the reception (see pictures). At 7 p.m., I took the podium and with microphone in hand, called up each of the winners and congratulated them for their excellent work. Here’s who won:

• Graphic Design Best of Show (Kelli Mikhail, $100):kelli mikhail packaging

 

• President’s Award of Excellence (Gloria Roubal, $100):

gloria roubal

 

• Fine & Applied Arts Department Chair Award
(Catherine Yao, $100):

catherine yao

 

• Graphic Design Program Director’s Award
(Madelyn Witruk, $100):

madelyn witruk

 

• David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award
(Liza Wynette, $100):

liza wynette

 

• Surface 51 Award of Excellence (Catherine Yao, $100):

catherine yao catalog

 

• Studio 2D Design Strategy Award (Jordan Bidner, $100):

jordan bidner editorial

 

• Six Demon Studio Award for Excellence in Digital Media
(Kelli Mikhail, $100):

kelli-mkhail-motion
View Title Sequence

 

• CUDO Award of Excellence (Kelli Mikhail, $100):

kelli mikhail

 

• [co][lab] Award of Excellence (Dustin Kinkelaar, $100):

dustin-kinkelar
View GIF Animation

 

• Brian Sullivan Award of Excellence (Josiah Peoples, $100):

josiah-peoples
View Website

 

• Golfview Village Award of Excellence (Liza Wynette, $100):whenever-bars-student-show-2015

 

• Heartland Science and Technology Group Award of Excellence
(Liza Wynette, $100):

liza-wynette-animation
View GIF Animation

 

 

• Electric Pictures Award of Excellence (Jordan Bidner, $100):
jordan bidner

The exhibition will be open in our art gallery until June 4. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.  to 7 p.m. For more information, visit the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College website.

You can also view the online version of this year’s exhibition by browsing to gds.parkland.edu/pages/exhibition.html.

Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.

Graphic Design Student Show Sets New Records

Graphic designers are a strange bunch. We’re creative because we make stuff, like fine artists do. We’re smart because we have to solve our clients’ problems. We’re passionate because it’s competitive out there and one cannot survive without passion. And we like to show off because we’re proud of our work.

So we get very excited every spring when it’s time for the Graphic Design Juried Student Exhibition in the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. Starting May 11, Parkland’s graphic design students take over our art gallery to showcase their work for the world to see. This year, there will be 194 print entries, 22 web entries and 12 motion graphics entries in the show.

Logo design by Jonny Ashikyan
Logo design by Jonny Ashikyan

 

While this is not the largest show we’ve ever had in the gallery, we’ve set new records this year for the largest number of print and web entries to be showcased. This is a juried show, so only the best work is accepted. This year, the quality of the entries was rather high and we had a hard time editing the show down to the final 228 entries.

Because graphic design is often used for marketing communication, it must sell, inform, as well as entertain. The best graphic design work balances form with function, aesthetics with style, logic with intuition. In the jurying process, we look for examples that are imaginative, surprising, inspiring, distinctive, innovative, unusual, smart and memorable. Evidence of creative problem-solving and a high level of craftsmanship are often rewarded.

Web mock-up by Shannon Martin
Web mock-up by Shannon Martin

 

Last Friday, after the graphic design faculty finished jurying the show, two industry professionals came in and awarded over $1400 in cash prizes to the best work in the show. This year’s judges were Matt Cho, Owner and Founder of [co][lab], an experimental collaboration/coworking space in downtown Urbana and Kurt Bielema, Creative Director of Single Stereo, a local design studio.

“I was particularly impressed by the quality and range of projects, which made choosing projects to award very challenging,” Cho said. “All the students should be proud of their hard work, and I encourage everyone to keep stretching creatively.”

Kurt Bielema added, “I was blown away by the creativity and great concepts I saw. There are definitely some amazing talents graduating this year from Parkland.”

Packaging by Catherine Yao
Packaging by Catherine Yao

 

The winners of these awards will be announced at the upcoming opening reception on Wednesday, May 13 at 7pm. Here are the full details:

Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.

What goes up must come down! New exhibition in the Giertz Gallery

Gallery helpers remove vinyl lettering to make room for new exhibit title.

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).”

Art work being inspected
Large canvas in crate (upside down and wrapped in plastic) being inspected upon delivery

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.