The Parkland College Blog

Biennial "State of the Art" Ceramics Invitational

Ceramic works by US, Canadian artists at Giertz Gallery through Feb. 1

"Masters of Material" curated by Heidi Preuss Grew
Exhibit: Monday, November 11, 2019–Saturday, February 1, 2020, Giertz Gallery
Reception: Thursday, November 14, 5:30–7:30 p.m., with curatorial talk at 6:30 p.m. and music by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble
Gallery Closed: November 27 (5 p.m.)–December 1 for Thanksgiving; December 20– January 12 for Holiday Break; and January 20 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Ceramic works by nationally recognized US and Canadian artists will feature in a Giertz Gallery at Parkland College exhibition next month.

Artist and educator Heidi Preuss Grew of Salem, Oregon, curates the 2019 State of the Art: Ceramics Invitational. The exhibit, with its "Masters of Material" theme, opens Nov. 11 and will run through Feb. 1, 2020.

An opening reception for the participating artists will take place Thursday, Nov. 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will feature a curatorial talk by Grew at 6:30 p.m. and music by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble. Grew will also provide a lecture about her artwork earlier that day at 11 a.m. in Room L111, just down the hall from the gallery.
"It was a pleasure to curate this exhibition with works from artists I respect for their distinctive creative output and their mastery of the material," said Grew, who teaches drawing and sculpture at Chemeketa Community College. "Each forwards their artistic vision using ceramics in a manner that acknowledges the versatility and tactile physicality of the material. There is a dominance of material in some cases and subservience of material in others; in the end, I aimed to curate a show where each piece reveals a specific and tangible presence."
Exhibit participants comprise artists and faculty from the US and Canada including Mary Barringer of Shelburne, Mass.; Thaddeus Erdahl of St. Petersburg, Fla; Robert Harrison of Helena, Mont.; Lindsay Montgomery of Toronto, Canada; Lisa Orr of Austin, Tex.; Dirk Staschke of Portland, Ore.; Shalene Valenzuela of Missoula, Mont., and Adero Willard of Chicopee, Mass. 
Cups Fundraiser. In tandem with the Ceramics Biennial exhibition, Giertz Gallery will host its biennial fundraiser, "Coffee & Tea: Cups & Dessert," on Thursday, Dec. 5, 4 to 7 p.m. in the gallery lounge. Ticket includes a ceramic cup by Parkland College Ceramics faculty and students. Delicious desserts, tea, coffee, live music and a silent auction are part of the event’s festivities; the auction items make perfect holiday gifts. Tickets are $30 each or two for $50, with advanced purchase recommended; guests will choose cups on a first-come, first-serve basis. For tickets, contact the Giertz Gallery office at 217/351-2485, go to, or email us at Tickets are limited, and proceeds will support Giertz Gallery at Parkland College. 
Giertz Gallery fall hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery will be closed from 5 p.m. Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 for Thanksgiving Break; Dec. 20 through Jan. 12 for Winter Break; and Jan. 20 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
To find the gallery when classes are in session, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through any door 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.
Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution; for accommodation, call 217/353-2337 or email
For more information on the invitational, please call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit

[Image: Robert Harrison; Goose House; combination of handmade clay and vintage manufactured ceramic pieces, glaze and decals; 2017; 9” x 10” x 6”]

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Sing-A-Thon Nov. 3

Seven high school ensembles join Parkland in joint benefit concert

The Parkland College Chamber Singers will join seven high school choral ensembles in a joint benefit concert for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Nov. 3.

The 3 p.m. concert at St. Patrick Church, 708 W. Main St., Urbana, will also feature selections by the Monticello High School Madrigals, the Argenta-Oreana High School Choir, the Tuscola High School Honors and Concert Combined Choirs, the Maroa-Forsyth High School Concert Choir, Champaign Centennial High School Expressions Choir, the Rantoul Township High School Chamber Choir and the Urbana High School A Cappella Groups.

Groups will perform more than 20 selections covering different genres. Selections will range from "Can’t Buy Me Love" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney to "Cantate Domino" by David L. Brunner to "Kwela Kwela" an arrangement of Sotho & Zulu songs.

The event is co-sponsored by Parkland and St. Jude Runs. Donations of any amount will be accepted at the door to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. For more information, contact Franklin Gallo at 217/351-2217 or

Parkland College Ensembles Offer Free October Concerts

Concert Band, Wind Ensemble Oct. 20; Orchestra, Guitar Ensemble Oct. 27

Parkland College's fall concert season opens with October performances by several ensembles.

"The British are Coming": A Joint Concert by the Concert Band and Wind Ensembles
Sunday, October 20, 3 p.m.
Harold and Jean Miner Theatre
Parkland October Concerts
The Parkland Concert Band, directed by Larry Stoner, will perform "The British Eighth March" by Zo Elliot; "Seasongs" by Ralph Vaughn Williams; and the "William Byrd Suite" by Gordon Jacob, among others.

Parkland's Wind Ensemble, directed by Jonathan Beckett, will perform "An October Sky" by Barry Milner; "Pinnacle" by Michael Kamuf; and "Riverside Overture" by Robert Sheldon.

"Autumn Classics": A Joint Concert by the Orchestra and Guitar Ensemble 
Sunday, October 27, 3 p.m.
Harold and Jean Miner Theatre 

The Parkland Orchestra, directed by Rodney Mueller, will perform "Music for the Royal Fireworks" by George F. Handel; "Overture to Poet and Peasant" by Franz von Suppe; "Danse Bacchanale" from "Samson and Delila" by Camille Saint Saens; and the Concert Suite from "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

Director Young Kim will lead the Guitar Ensemble in performing "My Heart Ever Faithful" and "Air on G the String" by Johann Sebastian Bach; "La Paloma" by Sebastián Iradier; and "Morning Dew/Drowsy Maggie/Taproom Guitar" a traditional medley. 

For more information on Parkland College music performances, visit

"Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future" Film Screening

Planetarium, gallery to co-host documentary of "Father of Modern Space Art"

Film Screening: Wednesday, October 9, 7 p.m., William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Free theremin performance featuring Gloria Roubel and Jason Finkelman: October 9, 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., planetarium lobby
Trailer: Available at

What do the Chrysler Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the film "Destination Moon" and America's space program all have in common? They were each touched by the creative vision of a little known artist named Chesley Bonestell.

The William M. Staerkel Planetarium and Giertz Gallery at Parkland College will present the film screening "Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future" Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at the planetarium. This award-winning documentary about the "Father of Modern Space Art" explores Bonestell’s impact on America’s enthusiasm for space that began as early as the 1940s and grew into a national phenomenon in the 1950s and 1960s.

Bonestell (1888-1986) inspired us to get to the moon by the use of his paintbrush. His mesmerizing depiction of "Saturn As Seen From Titan" became known as "the painting that launched a thousand careers." His visionary paintings and illustrations in science magazines, books and science fiction movies inspired and continues to inspire scientists, artists, architects, engineers and sci-fi enthusiasts alike.

This documentary chronicles the extraordinary, nine-decade life of this quiet, artistic visionary, whose beautiful paintings continue to inspire us to reach for the stars. It includes interviews with people who were influenced by or knew Chesley personally and is punctuated with rare interview footage of Chesley. 

Adult admission is $10 and children, students, and seniors are $8.

The planetarium is located on the west side of Parkland College's campus; the M1 parking lot is closest to the planetarium. A drop-off circle drive is located south of the M1 parking lot between the theatre and the planetarium. Call 217/351-2446 for a current schedule or visit the planetarium website. 

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency and through Student Life at Parkland College. Partial funding also provided by Student Life and the Division of Arts and Sciences at Parkland College.

Parkland is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2338.

[Chesley Bonestell paintings courtesy of Bonestell LLC]

"Enterprising Machines" Exhibit at Giertz Gallery, Sept. 30–Nov. 2

Solo exhibit features works created using hand, mechanical approaches

Exhibition: Monday, September 30–Saturday, November 2, 2019
Reception: Thursday, October 3, 5:30–7:30 p.m., gallery lounge, with Gallery talk at 6:30 p.m. by Jessica Gondek and music by Derick Cordoba Trio
Additional artist lecture: Thursday, October 3 at 1:15 p.m. in lecture hall L111

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — "Enterprising Machines," a solo exhibition of works on paper by Chicago-based artist Jessica Gondek, will open Sept. 30 at Giertz Gallery at Parkland College.
This exhibit runs through Nov. 2 and includes an artist reception Thursday, Oct. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The reception features a gallery talk by Gondek at 6:30 p.m. and music by the Derick Cordoba Trio. Gondek will provide an additional lecture earlier that day, at 1:15 p.m. in lecture hall L111.
As with all Giertz Gallery programs, the exhibit, reception and lecture are free and open to the public.
Jessica Gondek often incorporates current technology, using both hand and mechanical approaches to develop her work. Stemming from an interest in geometry, machine aesthetics, architecture and nature, her recent body of work is sparked by machines from the early part of the 20th century, old trade catalogues, domestic utilitarian objects, Da Vinci’s inventions and war machines, Duchamp and contemporary art movements. Marrying both traditional media and digitally mediated computer approaches to the work, she blurs the line of distinction between the hand and the machine.
"I use a range of computer programs to create images; 3D modeling software has direct engineering applications and allows me to construct images in a manner that brings me to a sculptural understanding of the forms I create on the desktop," Gondek explained. "Photoshop subsequently allows me to investigate appropriation, transparency and layering, and the manipulation of imagery. These works are comprised of charcoal and pastel drawings on paper developed on top of digital print substrates, as well as oil and digital print on canvas."
Gondek is an associate professor at Loyola University Chicago and teaches drawing and painting in the Department of Fine and Performing Art. Solo exhibitions include A.I.R. gallery in Brooklyn, the Phoenix Gallery in New York, the Northern Illinois University Art Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art Beecher Center in Youngstown, Ohio, and the Abdijhoeve Ten Bogaerde Cultural Art Center in Belgium. Gondek has received a number of awards including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant, a Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Grant, and a Mid-America Arts Alliance National Endowment for the Arts Grant. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a member of ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation and Woman Made Galleries in Chicago. 
Fall gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 2 p.m.
To find the gallery we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of campus. Walk past the gym and the fountain area, enter through Door X7, turn left, and follow the ramps up to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor fountain area.
Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 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
For more information on the exhibit, please call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit the gallery web page.

[Image: Enterprising Machines, charcoal, pastel, and digital print, 46"x29", 2016 ]