Thursday, February 28, 2013

2013 Parkland College Art and Design Student Juried Exhibition

April 8 to May 4
Parkland Art Gallery
Reception: Thursday, April 11, 6–8 p.m., gallery lounge, with awards ceremony at 7 p.m.
Musical performance by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble

The Parkland College Art and Design Student Juried Exhibition will be on display April 8 through May 4 in the Parkland Art Gallery.

This yearly exhibition of Parkland College student work comprises photography, painting, drawing, metals, sculpture, three-dimensional design, two-dimensional design, color theory and ceramics. Students taking art classes in the current academic year (beginning with summer 2012) are eligible to participate. Art and Design faculty select approximately 200 works for the exhibit from among more than 400 entries.

Numerous works will be selected to receive awards; an award ceremony will take place during the opening reception on Thursday, April 11.

Both students and faculty look forward to this exhibit each spring.

“The student show is why I wanted to teach here in the first place,” said Joan Stolz, an associate professor in drawing and painting at Parkland. “I couldn’t believe the quality of the student work. This show is a great occasion for them to learn and benefit from each other.”

This exhibition showcases the extensive talents and exploration processes that the students, many who plan on a profession in the arts, have experienced through their studies in the Art and Design program. It also introduces them to professional practices in their field, such as working with a gallery, preparing works for exhibition, and taking part in the jurying process that is essential for emerging artists, according to Gallery Director Lisa Costello.  “This is a necessary component for resume building and establishing themselves as practicing artists once they graduate or transfer to a four-year college.”

During the exhibit’s opening reception and awards ceremony, which takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery lounge on April 11, Jordan Kay and the Parkland Guitar Ensemble will provide music. An awards ceremony at 7 p.m. will recognize students whose artwork shows remarkable distinction. Merit Awards, Purchase Awards, The Parkland President Award, The David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award, The Metals Award for Jewelry/Metalsmith, The Fine and Applied Arts Chair Award, the Parkland Art and Design Faculty Award, the Blair Kling Memorial Award and an Art Coop supplies award are among the gifts made possible by the generosity of private individuals who have donated funds.

Scholarships are also announced during the exhibit. This year, they include The Don Lake Art Scholarship, the Underwood-Alger Scholarship,  the Robert Ralph Ford Memorial Art Scholarship and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts scholarship. Merit awardees, scholarship recipients, and certificate winners retain possession of their work. Purchase awards become part of the Parkland College Permanent Collection.

All events in the handicapped-accessible gallery are free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m.–3p.m., and Saturday, noon–2 p.m.

To find the gallery when classes are in session, we suggest using the M parking lots. Enter through any door and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor fountain area. This exhibit is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, A state agency. For more information, call Lisa Costello, gallery director, at 217/351-2485 or visit the gallery website at

Friday, February 8, 2013

Way to Go, Next Generation!

I just came back from a great visit to Next Generation School in Champaign!  The Spurlock Museum has been working with teachers from Next Gen for a number of years now, but our most elaborate collaboration is with the fourth grade class, led by Mr. Han and Ms. Spencer. As part of their World Religions unit, the students visit the Museum twice in one week. During the first visit, we discuss the artifacts on display related to their studies. The second visit is an introduction to our related Teaching Collection artifacts--items that will be taken back to the classroom on loan.

Later in the unit, I visit the classroom and present the program Create Your Own Museum. At the end of 90 minutes, the students have learned the fundamentals of creating an exhibit and used that knowledge to create a mini-museum made of food containers. They then use that practice as a base for creating their own world religions museum.  The students give tours of the museum to special visitors and members of other Next Gen classes. 

The room where the museum was installed was bustling with excitement when I arrived this morning.  The students were so happy to share with all the visitors everything that they had learned about the artifacts, and I was thrilled to see how much hard work they had put into their excellent exhibits. Not only were there groupings of artifacts (including some family pieces brought from home) with informative labels, but each exhibit had an interactive component, like making a bookmark or doing a word search puzzle. I'm grinning from ear to ear as I write this...There is nothing like the experience of seeing knowledge, research, creativity, and teamwork coming together with such energy and thoughtfulness.  THIS is why I love my job!