May 9 - May 28, 2016
- Reception: May 11, 5-7 p.m.
- Music by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble
- Awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m.
- Gallery Talk: "The State of Contemporary Illustration" by Liza Wynette, immediately following the awards ceremony
This juried exhibit highlights work completed by students in the current academic year, beginning with summer 2015. Parkland Graphic Design and Interactive Design faculty jury the show and select the most imaginative, inspiring, distinctive, innovative, unusual and memorable pieces for display in the gallery. Local industry professionals are then invited to judge the show and select the awards. This year's judges are Kelly White, executive director of 40 North, and Matt Wiley, graphic designer at Taylor Studios.
Works in the exhibit showcase creative solutions to design problems presented to students in Parkland's Graphic Design, Interactive Design and Illustration studio classes. Expect to see traditional print media, motion graphics, logos, branding, packaging, menus, books, publications, posters, brochures, websites, video and illustration.
“Parkland's Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs are rooted in solving real-world visual communication problems,” said Graphic Design program director Paul Young. "This year's exhibition is no exception. Students are taught that design needs to fulfill a function instead of just looking pretty. They soon figure out that the best and most memorable designs have a great concept behind them and communicate the client’s message in a creative manner."
During the May 11 reception, an awards ceremony honoring 2016 Graphic Design student achievements will take place at 6:30 p.m.
"A number of these awards that we will be giving out were donated by local businesses, clients and supporters of Parkland's Graphic Design curriculum," Young said. "We really appreciate the generous support from the people at Surface 51, The Robeson Family, [co][lab], Studio 2D, Six Demon Studio, Wesley Food Pantry and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO)." Other awards are provided by the Parkland Foundation, Parkland faculty and administration.
Immediately after the awards ceremony, Illustration instructor Liza Wynette will give a special presentation titled "The State of Contemporary Illustration." Her gallery talk will feature recent student and professional art commissioned for editorial, advertising, and other commercial applications.
"Illustration is one of those professions that walk the line between fine art and commercial art," Wynette said. "Both types of art need to be aesthetically beautiful, creative, and communicate a concept visually. The only real difference between fine and commercial art is its function. Where fine artists can ask questions, commercial artists have to answer them."
Parkland College is one of the few community colleges in the US that offers a series of professional illustration courses. Students who take these hands-on studio art courses leave the class with functional commercial art samples for their portfolio.