Parkland College has named its art gallery after college trustee and former faculty member Donna Giertz.
Giertz and her husband, Fred Giertz, recently provided a generous gift to support the Parkland Art Gallery
, according to Parkland College Foundation Director Linda Myette. In recognition of this gift and Giertz’s 20+ years of service to Parkland, the college has named the existing gallery "The Donna Hyland Giertz Gallery," also known as "The Giertz Gallery at Parkland College."
Official recognition of the renaming will take place Thursday, Aug. 21 at 6 p.m., when the gallery will hold a dedication ceremony during its annual Art and Design Faculty Exhibition Reception.
Opened year-round to the public since 1981 and free of charge, the art gallery features a professionally designed space situated in the main part of campus, central to student life and readily available to the community.
It is a teaching gallery, holding annual exhibitions and educational programs that promote the development of artists’ talent and aesthetic awareness. At the same time, the gallery strives to meet the cultural needs of its surrounding communities, expanding general audiences’ appreciation of various art forms. It presents exhibitions by contemporary artists of regional and national status and illustrates a wide range of traditional and innovative work.
For many years, Donna and Fred Giertz have shown dedication to the arts and education in this community. Their contributions to the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois helped to create the Fred and Donna Giertz Education Center. Dedicated to integrating art appreciation and art history into humanities and science instruction at all levels, the center circulates education materials to schools, libraries, and other community sites, including videos, teacher manuals, art prints, art replicas, and more.
Donna Giertz was a professor of marketing, management and international business at Parkland from 1980 to 2003, and was elected to the Parkland Board of Trustees in April 2005. She is a graduate of Nazareth College, Rochester, New York and earned both an MS in Personnel Counseling and an MBA from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. She taught business-related courses at Miami University from 1973 to 1980. Fred Giertz is a professor of economics at the University of Illinois. The Giertzes are active community members, involved with such organizations as C-U Sunrise Rotary, Krannert Art Museum Council, Krannert Art Museum Director’s Circle, Champaign Township, as well as with their Precinct Committee.
The Giertz Gallery will continue to offer an extensive exhibition calendar that includes solo and group shows. The gallery hosts the State of the Art: National Biennial Ceramics Invitational on alternating years and engages a guest curator so that the exhibitions continue to reflect current and varied perspectives. Its annual Art and Design Faculty Exhibition highlights the talent of the Faculty at Parkland College in Art and Graphic Design and supports the educational mission of the Fine Arts Program. In addition, two juried exhibitions of works, by Parkland Art and Design and Graphic Design program students, provide practice in exhibiting art work in a professional space and allow the community to see the talents and efforts of emerging artists.
To interpret many of its exhibitions and broaden its audience base, the Giertz Gallery will continue to hold artist receptions, gallery lectures and tours; "For Art's Sake" videotaped interviews with artists aired on the Parkland College Television Station; its popular High School Art Seminar; screenings of the Global Lens Film Series; and other special events.