Yesterday evening at the 2018 Parkland Graphic Design Juried Exhibition opening reception, six students split $1,100 in cash awards for exhibiting excellent work.

Every spring, the students in Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs showcase their best work in the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. 177 entries were received this year and a jury of Parkland’s design faculty selected 130 of those for inclusion in the show.

This year, we had $1,100 in prize money available. Most of the awards were donated by local businesses and supporters of Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs. These friends include Surface 51, The Robeson Family, [co][lab], the Champaign County Stormwater Partnership, and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO), who all donated cash awards. CUDO was also the co-sponsor of the opening reception.

Two industry professionals were invited to come in to select the award winners. This year’s judges were David Michael Moore, a freelance graphic designer, illustrator & facilitator; and Natalie Fiol, a graphic designer at the University of Illinois’s College of Fine + Applied Arts and resident photographer of Dance at Illinois. Natalie was also an alumni of Parkland’s Graphic Design program from 2012. Their task was to find the 11 best pieces in the show and then select the one piece that would receive the coveted “best of show” award.

“I felt creatively rejuvenated and inspired after judging the 2018 Parkland College Graphic Design Student Show,” said Natalie Fiol. “Overall, the work features a nice mix of playful, classic, and contemporary styles and the illustration work was particularly strong this year. It was an honor to have a voice in the selection of this year’s awards.”

“I was very impressed with the selection for this year’s show,” added David Michael Moore. “I’m excited for this next wave of design coming from Parkland College!”

More than 200 industry professionals, alumni, friends, family, and students attended the reception. At 6:30 p.m., each of the winners were acknowledged with a round of applause, a certificate, and a check.

Here’s who won (clicking on an image below will open a larger image in a new window):

• Graphic Design Best of Show

Coloring book by Kristy Lau

Coloring book by Kristy Lau


• Illustration Best of Show (sponsored by The Robeson Family)

Illustration by Abby Eichstedt

Illustration by Abby Eichstedt


• President’s Award of Excellence

Poster by Brooke Armstrong

Poster by Brooke Armstrong


• Surface 51 Award of Excellence

Album cover by Abby Eichstedt

Album cover by Abby Eichstedt


• Surface 51 Excellence in Typography Award

Brand promotion by Brooke Armstrong

Branding Campaign by Brooke Armstrong


• [co][lab] Award of Excellence

Logo by Arnie Lack

Logo by Arnie Lack


• CUDO Award of Excellence

Poster by Kristy Lau

Poster by Kristy Lau


• Electric Pictures Award of Excellence

Website by Justin Klett

Website by Justin Klett


• Champaign County Stormwater Partnership Environmental Stewardship Award

Branding Campaign by Kristy Lau

Branding Campaign by Kristy Lau


• David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award

Poster by

Poster by Miriam Tworek-hofstetter


• Fine & Applied Arts Department Chair Award

Menu by Brooke Armstrong

Menu by Brooke Armstraong


The 2018 Parkland Graphic Design Student Juried Exhibition will continue in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery through May 31. Summer gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 10am–7pm (closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

To see more examples of student work from Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs, please visit our virtual galleries.

[Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.]

Pros Give Back at Parkland’s First Gig Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp

Pro musicians pitch in to teach kids the ins-and-outs of music performance

By Aaron Geiger, Marketing Manager for Business Training & Community Education

Champaign-Urbana is really good at promoting the arts in so many capacities: we capture the magic of film with Ebertfest; food culture and cuisine with the farmer’s market; visual and textile arts at the Boneyard Arts Festival; and we see the arts represented with so many good businesses like Cracked Glass and Art Mart.

There is a lifeblood of music that connects all of these artistic threads, and this history of music transcends many generations living in and around the area. Each year, some of these musicians give back in a summer program called First Gig Rock 'n' Roll Camp, hosted by Parkland College for tweens and teens and directed by around 20 local musicians who offer their expertise and experience to kids.

Jeff Markland, marketing director for the Palmer Arena in Danville, is one of the musicians who donates his time, money, and energy toward First Gig. He’s been a professional musician for almost 30 years, playing on both national and local stages, exploring genres such as Motown, reggae, soul, and rock 'n' roll. He is a current member of the Chicago Blackhawks Band, the official band for the NHL team.

"Being involved in First Gig Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Kids has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my musical career," he said. "I believe this rings true for all of our band leaders and camp directors that have been part of the First Gig camp experience since we started it seven years ago. Above and beyond the musical aspect of the camp, we are teaching the kids how to work together as a team, often tapping into and crafting their natural abilities that they may not otherwise have been aware of. That is really where the magic happens."

The kids often start the summer camp off being unsure of their skills and they generally lack an awareness of their own energy and enthusiasm, but by the end of the week they perform, on stage, in front of a sizeable, public audience. Markland thinks that part is "the absolute best."

"I was that kid, unsure of myself with a passion for music, and like many of my peers I had to figure it out on my own," he said. Now that First Gig is involved, however, musicians like Markland give back to the kids that echo his own childhood. But this time they have professionals in their corner, receiving opportunities, he says, "to learn in one week what took the rest of us years to learn."

If you have a child, or know of a child, who loves music and could benefit from this amazing arrangement of professional musician-mentors, please consider signing them up for this summer's session. Watch them grow creatively in a team mindset as they practice in a band and ultimately perform in a live show.

Register your child at, or call Parkland Business Training and Community Education at 217/351-2235 to learn more about First Gig Rock 'n' Roll Camp. Thisi year's session is June 11–15 (Monday through Friday), from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The camp includes lunch, "lunch talks" with guest speakers, conversations with local and regional artists in the field of music, lots of practice sessions, and lots of learning about studio and live performance.

Fire Alarms and Evacuations

Parkland College never performs fire drills, so any and all fire alarms that go off in our facilities are to be treated seriously. If an alarm goes off, safely and quickly find the nearest exit and proceed a safe distance from the building. Exterior speakers will advise when it’s safe to return inside.

Parkland has volunteer faculty and staff Floor Coordinators spread throughout our buildings and wings, who can be identified by their safety vests and flashlights. These individuals can assist you in locating the closest exit, as well as pass on information to emergency personnel if you require additional assistance.

Additionally, there are several Rescue Assistance Areas spread throughout the college that act as gathering points for individuals who need evacuation assistance in the event of a campus emergency. If you require assistance evacuating the campus in the case of an emergency, go to one of the following designated areas. Rescue personnel will check these areas in the event of a campus evacuation. If necessary, use the emergency phone to dial 911:

  • A wing: 2nd floor near the elevator
  • B Wing: 2nd floor, men’s restroom
  • C wing: 2nd floor near the C-3 stairway (West side)
  • D Wing: 2nd floor, restrooms
  • L Wing: 2nd floor, women’s restroom
  • M wing: 2nd floor near M109
  • X Wing: 2nd floor, men’s restroom
  • X Wing: 3rd floor, restrooms
  • U wing: 2nd and 3rd floors (East stairwells)
  • Library: Main floor (2nd Level), restrooms

[Ben Boltinghouse is a sergeant with Parkland’s Department of Public Safety.]

[Photo by Bill Friedrich for Champaign Fire Department.]