Commercial Visions: Personal Illustrations

September 28 - October 27, 2005

Hell by Chris SickelsParkland Art Gallery’s new “Commercial Visions: Personal Illustrations” exhibit features a group of artists who are also influential illustrators. Show curator Paul Young, a graphic design instructor at Parkland, says these artists are successful illustrators in today’s marketplace because they “show a consistent body of work in a distinctive style. They have a recognizable personal style that has evolved over the years. Their work is clever and original, full of tasty visual treats that bridge the gap between the personal and the commercial.”

Participating artists included Illinois artists Dan Cosgrove, Stephen Foster, John Jennings, Michael Noel, and Chris Sheban; Indiana artist Chris Sickels; Colorado artist Jean Tuttle; Florida artist Brian Stauffer; Michigan’s David Lesh; New Jersey’s Santiago Cohen and Plankton Art Co.; and New York’s Brian Cronin, Hugh Kretschmer, and Luba Lukova. Sickels, the driving force behind Red Nose Studios and regular artist for HOW Magazine, will spoke during the exhibit’s reception on Thursday, September 29. Sickels’ stop-motion animation shorts feature miniature puppets he has created out of sculpy clay and bits of fabric, and his 3D illustrations have appeared in advertisements and periodicals nationwide. Jennings, assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, spoke about his work at the gallery on Wednesday, October 19, during Illinois Arts Week. Jennings’ work spans a diverse array of visual arts media, including illustration, graphic design, fashion design, web based media, and fine art. He is active in the Champaign community and experiments with visual statements that address social and political concerns.

“Illustrators in the advertising, editorial, and design industries have to create beautiful images that speak to a mass audience and still satisfy their own personal vision,” Young said. “Where some commercial artists have made compromises to achieve success; our featured illustrators have stayed true to their personal visions. This requires skill, dedication and a connection with the culture we live in.”