The Parkland College Blog

Open Auditions for Parkland Theatre Fall Shows

Auditions 9–noon for "Servant of Two Masters", "Musical Comedy Murders of 1940"

Parkland Theatre will hold auditions for the first two shows of its fall season Saturday, Aug. 25 at the theatre.
 
Auditions for "The Servant of Two Masters" and "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. Callbacks, if needed, will be Sunday, Aug. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.
 
Auditionees should register for an audition timeslot at parkland.edu/auditions.
 
"The Servant of Two Masters" director Michael O'Brien is casting approximately 12 actors of all genders, ages 16 and over. Auditions will consist of improv and movement exercises. Please wear comfortable clothes that allow ease of movement to the audition.
 
"The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" director Mathew Green is casting 10 actors, five male and five female, ages 16 and over. Actors will read from sides which can be found at parkland.edu/auditions
 
Performances for "The Servant of Two Masters" will run in Parkland Theatre's Second Stage Sept. 27–Oct 7. Performances for "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" will be held in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre Nov. 8–18.
 
All members of the community as well as Parkland and University of Illinois students are invited to audition; Parkland Theatre encourages diversity. Those with additional questions should email hlayman@parkland.edu.

Long Awaited "Taking Flight" Now Installed

Flock of 505 birds represent college's district number

Three years is a long time for newly hatched birds to start flying.
 
But that's how long Champaign artist Ann Coddington had to wait before her artwork, a flock of 505 black, ceramic-glazed birds, could suspend from the ceiling in Parkland College's Student Union lobby.
 
Although each bird in the piece, titled "Taking Flight," is different from the others, the flock visually moves as a collective, from east to west, across the lobby's sky. Coddington, an Eastern Illinois University drawing and design professor, called her design choice an apt metaphor for an educational experience.
 
"The students who have come to Parkland College and have formed relationships go off on their own and are individuals again, but while they are at Parkland, they are part of this really special group," said Coddington, who also taught design classes at Parkland for 10 years.
 
Installed this past Memorial Day weekend, "Taking Flight" was originally scheduled to soar summer 2015, after Student Union construction was complete. That's when Illinois legislators froze the state budget, including monies earmarked for the project under the State of Illinois Art in Architecture program. 
 
"I was three weeks ahead of installing the work when they froze the budget," Coddington said. “The piece was finished and ready to go when it was put on hold, and the 27 boxes had to be stored in my mother’s basement!” 
 
When the state finally released the funds this past November, she still had to wait until school was out for the summer to finish the project; conditions needed to be right for the delicate work of hanging the birds to begin.
 
"The installation was quite involved," she said of the work that lasted May 21 to 29. "I had my crew of five assistants. We had to lay a floor, utilize a scissor lift, have special insurance. I also had to be able to cordon off the area."  
 
If the installation phase of the project was intricate, the design and preparation phase was even more so, taking nearly a year to complete. 
 
"Monday through Wednesday I would work at my job, then from Wednesday night on, I'd work along with two assistants for 40 hours or so until I went back to work," Coddington remarked. "It was a really intense production schedule."
 
First, she had to consider the natural elements--wood, stone, sunlight--that make up the bright, airy space she would be working with.
 
"The architecture is kind of open, bringing the outside in, so I wanted to continue that concept with the work," she said. "I wanted to respect the established architecture so that the piece I was installing was consistent with design of the space." Next, she wove 10 different bird shapes in an off-loom basket-making technique called twining, made plaster molds of each shape, then poured liquid ceramic slip into the molds, crafting thin shells of clay birds. She would painstakingly retool each bird before it was fired, glazed, then fired a second time.
 
"When you open the mold and remove the shell of clay, there's a seam where the two halves come together," she explained. "I would redraw the woven texture around each seam so there's not an obvious line; I had to recreate the texture." The number of birds, 505, represents Parkland's district number within the community college system.
 
While "Taking Flight" is not Coddington's first flock of birds (she had other installations in Cincinnati and St. Louis), it is her first permanent commissioned sculptured flock, one she was happy to complete for Parkland College.
 
"I loved my time at Parkland, and many of my old friends still work in the Art Department, so I feel honored to have a piece there," she said. "I wanted to create a unique piece for this special place."

"Illinois at 200" Art Exhibit

Statewide working artist exhibit celebrates Illinois bicentennial; through Aug. 8

Exhibition: Illinois at 200
June 18 to Aug. 8, 2018, Giertz Gallery at Parkland College
Closing Reception: Wednesday, Aug. 8, 5:30–7:30 p.m.; gallery talk at 6:30 p.m. with exhibition juror Doug Stapleton, Associate Curator of Art, Illinois State Museum
 
To celebrate the Illinois bicentennial, Giertz Gallery at Parkland College is collaborating with 40 North: Champaign County Arts Council to host a summer exhibition highlighting the achievements of contemporary working artists from across the state.
 
"Illinois at 200," which will run June 18 to Aug. 8 at the gallery, comprises works by 44 artists and reflects the high quality and unique variety of art currently being created throughout the state of Illinois.  
 
Doug Stapleton, associate curator of art at the Illinois State Museum, served as the exhibition juror. He has curated a number of exhibitions and has written numerous essays relating to the work of Illinois contemporary artists. His selections for this exhibition include a strong representation of work from the entire state, with many artists from mid-central Illinois and the Chicago metro area as well as individuals from the southern and western regions.
 
An opening reception for the artists will take place Thursday, June 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Kelly White, director of 40 North, and Lisa Costello, director of the Giertz Gallery, will provide brief remarks. A closing reception Wednesday, Aug. 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. will feature a gallery talk by Stapleton at 6:30 p.m.
 
Costello said she was both impressed with the artist submissions and excited to present the works Stapleton has chosen.
 
"He took his responsibility very seriously and selected a wide range of works that reflect the scope of creative output in our state," Costello noted. "I'm looking forward to both receptions: The opening reception is really a celebration of the artists and the many creative people who live in Illinois. The closing reception will be interesting because Doug will be coming from Springfield to discuss the work in the exhibition. He has been energetic throughout the whole process of jurying the exhibit, and I am eager to hear his insights. Both Kelly and Doug are a valuable resource to our community."
 
Participating artists include Jan Ellyn Adams (Champaign), Aviva Alter (Chicago), Kelly Anderson (Ottawa), Wallace Bowling (Chicago), Saxon Burns (Urbana), Jenny Chi (Champaign), Glen Davies (Urbana), Larry Davis (Knoxville), Michael Dinges (Oak Park), Sabrina Donnelly (Danville), Hale Ekinci (Chicago), Thomas Foley (Galesburg), Jeanette Habash (Skokie), David Hauptschein (Chicago), Siti Mariah Jackson (Champaign), Sara Jahn (Champaign), Jeff Little (Bloomington), Nika Lucks (Champaign), Paula McCarty (Champaign), Cammie Meerdink (Seymour), Ingrid Melief (Urbana), Charlie Mitsdarfer (Tolono), Patricia Monigold (Champaign), Scott Mossman (Chicago), Raul Ortiz (Chicago), Darby Ortolano (Murphysboro), Natalie Pivoney (Dekalb), Megan Rivera (Elgin), Kimberly Rodey (Chicago), Ann Rund (Champaign), Heather Sandy (Olney), Rosalyn Schwartz (Urbana), Kathryn Scott (Chicago), Shaheen Shorish (Champaign), David Smith (Champaign), Lynn Smith (Champaign), Judie Spencer (Urbana), Robb Springfield (Champaign), Bonnie Switzer (Urbana), Gina Szulkowski (Chicago), Paul Torgus (Skokie), Mohan Tracy (Champaign), Juliann Wang (Chicago), and Charity White (Chicago).
 
Stapleton said he was pleased to jury the "Illinois at 200" exhibition for several reasons.
 
"I was again reminded of the artistic vitality and creative energy present in Illinois," he remarked. "Having spent many years as an artist and curator in our state, I was happy to see superior work, some by artists with whom I was familiar but also a number of gorgeous and noble works that were fresh to my eyes. The works chosen for this exhibition provide a snapshot of the high caliber of artistic achievement in Illinois today."  
 
Giertz Gallery is located on the Parkland College campus at 2400 W. Bradley Ave. in Champaign. Summer hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. To find the gallery, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through door X7, turn left, 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. All events in the accessible gallery are free and open to the public. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2337 or email accessibility@parkland.edu.
 
Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. For more information, call the Giertz Gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit www.parkland.edu/gallery.

[Image: Aviva Alter, Watchman, wire, glue, found objects, thread, pigment, fabric, 2017]

David Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest Winners

Six students earned top honors at 15th annual event

Six students earned top honors among the 15 persuasive speakers who recently presented at the 15th annual David Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest. The contest spotlights the speaking styles and skills of students who have taken a communication class at Parkland College. 
 
The May 3 competition also gave students the opportunity to speak in support of their favorite charity. Local as well as national and international charities were represented.
 
Earning first-place honors in this year's competition was Clayton Maupin of Mahomet, whose speech supporting The Trevor Project earned him a $500 scholarship. The Trevor Project will also receive a $500 donation from the Communication program faculty. Maupin explained how participation in the contest benefited him.

"What I am feeling since winning is that I am on the right path in my life," he said. "I knew I wanted to help organizations like them for years now, but I wasn't sure speaking about them would warrant any tangible help. Now, before I have even earned a degree, I am helping in meaningful ways. So what I gained was a renewed sense of purpose along with a confidence boost."
 
Gayle McDonald of Champaign came in second with her speech for the Wesley Food Pantry. She will receive $250. Derek Schneider of Champaign was third, with a speech asking the audience to support Heifer International. He will receive $100. The 4th- 5th- and 6th-place awards of $50 each went to Emma Gray of Urbana, who supported Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA);  Madlyn Stevens of Madison, Wisconsin, who spoke on behalf of Arts at Large; and James Tackett of Hudson, who spoke on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
 
Each year, the Communication staff chooses finalist judges who represent communication professions within the community and the campus. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Parkland College’s radio station, 88.7 WPCD FM, the staff was honored to have three judges with close ties to the formation of WPCD: Steve Brown, professor emeritus at Parkland College and one of the founders of WPCD; Gerry Brock, a Parkland College alum and the first voice to be heard on WPCD; and Dan Hughes, a longtime manager of the station. Other honorary judges included Mike Trame, Parkland's vice president of student services and Ellen Zimmerman, dean of counseling at the college. 

[Image: Jones Speaking Contest winners, from l. to r.: Madlyn Stevens, Emma Gray, James Tackett, Clayton Maupin, Derek Schneider, and Gayle McDonald.]

 

Graphic Design Student Show 2018

Juried exhibit through May 31; reception/award ceremony May 16, Gallery Lounge

The Parkland College Graphic Design Student Show will be on display at the Giertz Gallery Monday, May 14 through Thursday, May 31. A reception honoring the students will be held Wednesday, May 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the gallery lounge, with an awards ceremony scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

As with all events in the handicapped-accessible gallery, the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The juried exhibit highlights work completed by students in the current academic year, beginning with summer 2017. Parkland College 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, invited to judge the show, then select the awards.

This year’s judges are Natalie Fiol, graphic designer at the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and David Michael Moore, freelance graphic designer, illustrator, and facilitator. 

Works in the exhibit showcase creative solutions to design problems presented to students in Parkland’s Graphic Design, Interactive Design and Illustration studio classes. Gallery visitors can expect to see traditional print media, motion graphics, logos, branding, packaging, menus, books, publications, posters, brochures, websites, video and illustration, according to Professor Paul Young, Parkland's Graphic Design program director.

"Graphic design, interactive design, web design, user-experience design, communication design, digital design—yes, we know 'graphic design' is hard to define," Young explained. "But it doesn't have to be this complicated. The bottom line: students who want to create art for commerce are creative people with visual communication training. This is what we teach at Parkland College and this is what you'll see at our annual student exhibition.

"It's true: Students who want to be a creative designer in 2018 will need to wear a lot of hats," he added. "This is especially true in Champaign-Urbana, where employers are asking for generalists who can do it all. And they're eager to hire people who are curious, eager to learn and enjoy solving problems. Curious to see what Parkland Graphic Design and Interactive Design majors are showing in their portfolio? Come check out this show."

During the May 16 reception, an awards ceremony honoring 2018 Graphic Design program student achievements will be announced starting at 6:30 p.m. Immediately after the awards ceremony, Young will give a gallery talk and an informal Q&A with select award winners. Young and his students will reveal how Parkland's Graphic Design and Interactive Design programs teach creative problem solving and design thinking.  

Giertz Gallery summer hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. To find the gallery when classes are in session, use the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through door X7, turn left, and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. 

This exhibit is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. For more information, call Giertz Gallery Office at 217/351-2485 or visit parkland.edu/gallery

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