Parkland College students and staff enjoyed the 13th annual Pygmalion in late September, an event that has outgrown its “festival” label, continuously expanding its borders into the arts and technology, while showcasing outstanding local and national musical acts and so much more. And did we mention the food and beverage options? Only the best! Great job, Seth Fein (Parkland alumnus – yeah!), Patrick Singer, Justine Bursoni, and all who put their hearts and souls into making Pygmalion one of the reasons we are lucky to live in Champaign-Urbana.
Parkland digital media student Ryan Marshall demonstrated physics and fluid simulations that he and other students worked on in class using Autodesk Maya. Ryan was in illustrious company – other demos were from Beckman Institute, NCSA, and Volition.
Parkland Art Studio Collective participated in this curated marketplace featuring handmade and vintage items, selling works in a variety of media made by Parkland art students. Running the Parkland booth gave students the experience of participating in an art fair. Art students Daniel Quinn, Erin Rogers, Clare Margiotta, Joan Gary, Neda Sroka, Ray Irani, and Ruta Rauber sold their exquisite artwork—jewelry, painting, ceramics, textiles—and put in long hours setting up, staffing, and tearing down the booth. Lisa Costello, Denise Seif, and Laura O’Donnell were Parkland faculty Made Fest champs for coordinating and running the booth.
Parkland English Professor and #1 Pygmalion fangirl Amy Penne was on the Lit Fest bill—along with mega literary superstar George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)—sharing her new short essay: “A Fluff Piece: Or, Where Does Sex Education End and an Oedipal Complex Begin? One Midwestern Mom’s Query.”
New this year at Pygmalion, a 24-hour hackathon with the wide-open theme of engaging coders, designers, engineers, and dreamers with a challenge to come up with an idea that benefits the community. Sara Stone, Parkland’s Tech Services Desk coordinator, served as a judge alongside an illustrious panel of local tech rock stars.
Of 11 projects submitted, top awards went to a proposal for connecting surplus food at grocery stores with food pantries and a proposal for mapping safe routes in C-U using crime frequency data. The grand prize went to SpreadBread, an intuitive food-sharing app that connects eateries, restaurants, and grocery stores to local homeless shelters and foodbanks. Sara’s vote went to SpreadBread because it seemed to have the potential to make the most positive impact on the community. Check out all the entries at https://pyghack2017.devpost.com/submissions and prepare to be inspired by the passion, teamwork, and innovation you see there.
Thanks to all the Parkland peeps who participated, attended, and enjoyed Pygmalion! See you next year.