Parkland showcases student work from permanent collection
CHAMPAIGN — Parkland College is known for its excellent art foundation courses. It's also known for its annual student exhibition and for its longtime practice of purchasing the best student work each year.
Now the Giertz Gallery, formerly called the Parkland Art Gallery, will showcase 40 or so two-dimensional art pieces created by students that now belong in the college's permanent collection.
Parkland art history instructor Laura O'Donnell and gallery director Lisa Costello curated "Through the Decades: Selected Student Artwork from the Permanent Collection." It opens Monday and remains on view through July 24, with the opening reception on Thursday evening.
The exhibition will feature drawings in ink, pastel, charcoal, graphite and other materials; paintings in watercolor, oil and acrylic; and photographs. The artworks exemplify only part of the talent represented in the collection.
"Our goal was to select artworks representing the breadth of the program in terms of years, media and content," said O'Donnell, the collection coordinator. "It has been edifying to note the influence of various instructors over the decades and to see students' creative explorations and the beginnings of their individual artistic voices through the manner in which they have handled materials and ideas."
Said Costello: "This exhibition is evidence of our students experimenting with an assignment and developing their own voice in the process. In fact, there are many outstanding works in the collection that could not be included in this show, which visitors will find in public spaces throughout the college. They are not all on display due to conservation concerns, but we have many out there for people to enjoy."
The college began collecting student work in 1971, when its Fine and Applied Arts Department began acquiring a few works each year from its annual Art and Design Student Juried Exhibition.
Along with highlighting the permanent collection, "Through the Decades" will offer audiences an opportunity to learn more about the practice of collecting and the conservation process.
At 1 p.m. June 24 in the Giertz Gallery, Jennifer Hain Tepper will give the guest lecture, "Preservation and Conservation Approaches for Historic Paper and Photograph Collections." Tepper is the Velde Preservation Librarian and an associate professor at the University of Illinois Library.
The talk is free and open to the public.
If you go
What: The Giertz Gallery at Parkland, formerly called the Parkland Art Gallery, presents "Through the Decades: Selected Student Artwork from the Permanent Collection," featuring 40 two-dimensional works.
When: Monday through July 24, with the opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday with a brief talk by gallery director Lisa Costello and collection coordinator Laura O'Donnell at 7 and music by Big Blue Stem.
Where: Giertz Gallery at Parkland, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., C.
Information: 351-2485 or vparkland.edu/gallery.
Summer hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
Directions: To find the gallery, use the M6 parking lot on the north side of the campus. Enter any door and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located.