Accomplished artists from across the country will bring their individual interpretations of our world to a Parkland Art Gallery group exhibition opening Sept. 28.
"Defining Territory: Contemporary Drawing," curated by Parkland College Art and Design faculty members Joan Stolz and Matthew Watt, will run through Saturday, Nov. 9.
Stolz and Watt, associate professors who teach drawing, painting, and design, have selected five artists for this exhibition who approach drawing in very different ways—in content and in process—but who are linked by their pursuit of reinterpreting what they have seen. They share a transformative approach to figurative elements in drawings through the use of abstract structure which creates an aesthetic that draws in the viewer.
The exhibit participants comprise a mix of studio artists and faculty at several U.S. educational institutions, including Karina Noel Hean, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and teaching at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design; Patti Jordan, adjunct professor at Laboratory Institute of Merchandising College in New York City, where she teaches Drawing and Color and Design; Lucas Monaco, a studio artist practicing in Brooklyn; Sara Schneckloth, an associate professor in the Department of Art at the University of South Carolina; and Shelby Shadwell, an assistant professor in the Art Department at the University of Wyoming, in Laramie.
Several events have been prepared in conjunction with the exhibit. First, as part of the exhibit’s opening day, the gallery will participate in Smithsonian Magazine’s “Museum Day Live,” where gallery visitors can enter a drawing to win season tickets to the Parkland Theatre. Second, an exhibit reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring a curatorial talk by Stolz and Watt at 7 p.m. and music by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble. Finally, exhibit artist Shelby Shadwell will provide an additional public lecture on Oct. 17 at 1:15 p.m. in the gallery.
Watt said the new exhibition is an attempt to reveal the “exploratory spirit of today’s art world, where many artists’ use of drawing as a primary medium allow audiences to see the world of familiar objects in new ways.”
“The exhibition is really about tension,” Stolz said. “The tension comes from the friction between realism and abstraction. No matter how realistic or abstract it is, it is the artist who ultimately defines where the line is drawn. That is where it gets really interesting.”
In their curatorial statement, the professors describe drawing as “the intersection between the artist’s observation and the marks made in reaction to that observation. Every mark drawn on a surface reflects a decision of some sort. And no matter how realistic the drawing may be, it is an interpretation.
“Observation can have a very inclusive definition. In addition to realistic and accurate depiction of objects and space, artists use memory, observation of marks and artwork made by others or themselves, reinvention of naturally occurring processes, emphasis of structure over superficial appearance, or meticulous recreation with the removal of context.”
Gallery director Lisa Costello said the exhibition provides a great opportunity for students and the public to learn more about the practice of drawing. “It enables the viewer to see the artwork up close and appreciate the mark making and observational skills by the artists,” she said. “This exhibition is evidence of drawing as a means of personal expression and as an end in itself as opposed to completing an assignment in class.”
Parkland Art Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday; 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 any door 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.
For more information on the invitational, please call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit www.parkland.edu/gallery.
Karina Noel Hean, Fixation
, graphite, 16" x 14", 2011]Defining Territory: Contemporary Drawing
Curated by Joan Stolz and Matthew Watt
Sept. 28-Nov. 9 Parkland Art Gallery
Reception: Oct. 3, 6-8 pm; music by Parkland Guitar Ensemble and curatorial talk by Stolz and Watt
Public lectures with exhibit artist Shelby Shadwell: Oct. 17, 1:15 p.m.; Nov. 29, 2 p.m., gallery