CHAMPAIGN — Parkland College has renamed the Parkland Art Gallery after Donna Giertz, who with her husband, Fred, recently gave a gift to help support its work.
An art lover, Donna Giertz is a trustee of the Parkland College Board and was a faculty member there for more than 20 years.
The college renamed the gallery the Donna Hyland Giertz Gallery, but it will be mainly called the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College.
A renaming ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 21, during the annual Art and Design Faculty Exhibition reception at the gallery.
"I support the arts and have great respect for Parkland and what they do," Donna Giertz said. "When I taught there, I always encouraged my students to visit the art gallery — maybe for some students it would be the only time they'd visit an art gallery/museum. The arts are a part of our culture, human development and education. The arts stimulate creativity and ideas."
Gallery director Lisa Costello said the Giertz gift will be used for programming and work on the college's permanent collection.
"We're really excited about this," she said. "This will give us a lot of additional opportunities to do programming and outreach.
"As director of the gallery, I'm always impressed by the commitment of people in the community to the gallery, and I think this gift is a wonderful example of that. The fact that the Giertzes have been contributors in the community a long time and this — it's really wonderful that we have people in our community who do this because not all towns have such a strong response to the arts."
Open year-round to the public since 1981, the gallery on the main campus features a professionally designed space for exhibitions and educational programs. The exhibitions feature artworks in a range of media created by regional and national artists.
Donna Giertz was a professor of marketing, management and international business at Parkland from 1980 to 2003; she was elected to the Parkland board in April 2005.
Before coming here, she taught at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Fred Giertz is a professor of economics at the UI.
The Giertzes are active with such organizations as C-U Sunrise Rotary, the Krannert Art Museum Council and Director's Circle, Champaign Township and their precinct committee.
The couple pledged a total of $1 million to support the Education Center at Krannert Art Museum, as well as other educational and outreach programs there.
They first pledged $500,000 in 2001, and the remaining amount six years later.
Called the Fred and Donna Giertz Education Center, it functions like a library, circulating art-appreciation and -history materials to area schools, libraries and other community sites.