The Parkland College Blog

51st Annual Juried Student Art and Design Exhibition

Enjoy student work in photography, painting, drawing, metals, sculpture, more

Exhibition: Monday, April 8–Saturday, May 4
Reception: Thursday, April 11, 5:30–7:30 p.m., with awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and music by Parkland Guitar Ensemble
(Extended Gallery Hours: noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 6, in participation with Boneyard Arts Festival)
Parkland College's Juried Student Art and Design Exhibition for 2019 will be held April 8 through May 4 in the Giertz Gallery.
Audiences will enjoy an impressive body of student work in photography, painting, drawing, metals, sculpture, three-dimensional design, two-dimensional design, color theory, and ceramics. Parkland Art and Design faculty will select approximately 180 works from among 350+ entries for this year's exhibit. Students taking art classes in the current academic year, beginning with summer 2018, were eligible to submit artwork.
Many of these works earn artistic awards, which will be announced during the exhibit's opening reception Thursday, April 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the gallery lounge. The Parkland Guitar Ensemblewill provide music.
Denise Seif, art faculty and program manager of the Art and Design program, is among many Parkland College art and design faculty who look forward to this event each spring, along with students.
"I am always so impressed when I see all the student work in the gallery," Seif said. "It is such a celebration of all the hard work and talent of the students, and it is important for our students to be a part of a gallery exhibit like this! It is different than experiencing the work in a hallway or during class critiques. It puts the work on another level and allows the student to take a step back and recognize what they have accomplished. It is also important for gallery visitors and community members to see what has been going on in the art department classrooms. We are fortunate to have the Giertz Gallery as venue to highlight the great work that is being done."
As students who plan on a profession in the arts begin their career path at Parkland College, this exhibition allows them to showcase their extensive talent as well as the exploration processes they have experienced throughout their studies in art and design, according to Giertz Gallery Director Lisa Costello.
"It introduces them to professional practices they will encounter in their field as well, such as working with a gallery, preparing their work for exhibition, and engaging in the jurying process that is essential for an emerging artist," Costello said. "This is a necessary component for resume building and establishing themselves as practicing artists once they graduate or transfer to a four-year college."
During the April 11 reception, an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. will recognize students whose artwork shows remarkable distinction. Student artists will receive monetary awards including the Parkland President Award, the David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award, the Metals Award for Jewelry/Metalsmithing, the Fine and Applied Arts Chair Award, the Parkland Art and Design Faculty Award, and the Blair Kling Memorial Art Award, and the Louis Ballard Memorial Award. In addition, an Art Coop Award for Sustained Studio Excellence, which allows students to purchase art supplies, will be presented.
Parkland Art and Design students are eligible to earn scholarships, which are also announced during the reception; these include the Don Lake Art Scholarship, the Underwood-Alger Scholarship, and the Robert Ralph Ford Memorial Art Scholarship.
Merit awardees, scholarship recipients, and certificate winners retain possession of their work, while purchase awards become part of the Parkland College Student Art Collection.
Arts-Related Events. Along with the reception and award festivities, the college will hold two other arts-related events. First, the gallery will offer extended hours during the Boneyard Arts Festival. In participation with the festival that holds events from April 4 through April 7, The Giertz Gallery will have a sneak preview and hours on Saturday, April 6, of noon to 4 p.m.
"It is great to be a part of the county-wide celebration that 40 North, the Champaign County Arts Council, organizes each year," Costello said. "Many of our alumni participate in the Boneyard Arts Festival, and it's nice that the Giertz Gallery can be a part of it also by highlighting our student work at Parkland."
The second event, the Parkland College Fine and Applied Arts Open House, will include demonstrations, performances, classroom visits, and tours of the Art and Design Student Juried Exhibition at Giertz Gallery. Seif explained the timing of this event.
"We are participating in the Fine and Applied Arts Open House while the student exhibit is in the gallery," Seif said. "This makes it convenient for potential students to see the facilities, meet the faculty, and view the work that our students make while taking classes at Parkland College." The open house will be held Thursday, April 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information about the open house, please visit
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 invitational, please call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit

New Parkland Theatre Show Season Announced

Fantasy, comedy, drama part of next season's lineup of performances

Parkland College Theatre announced its 2019-2020 performance calendar.
Elephant Graveyard
The Sparks World Famous Circus had finally arrived! It rolled into the muddy humdrum town of Erwin in East Tennessee via the railroad, carrying all the trappings of the spectacular—a Ring Master, a Ballet Girl, a Strongman, an Elephant on parade—and the town was filled with fervent enthusiasm. But, by turns horrific, the fervor turns in on itself when a tragic death leads to a staggering resolution in 1916 Americana. Directed by Latrelle Bright.
Performances Oct. 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13. Audience, cast and crew talkback on Oct. 3.
Peter and the Starcatcher
"Peter and the Starcatcher," adapted by Rick Elice from the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, introduces us to the young orphan who would become Peter Pan, as well as some dastardly pirates, some lost boys, and a very brave girl named Molly. A dozen actors will portray a hundred characters in sea battles, jungle adventures, and other exciting escapades. It's a wildly theatrical journey into the imagination for kids, grownups, and those who will never grow up. Directed by Mathew Green.
Performances Nov. 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24. Audience, cast and crew talkback on Nov. 14.
How I Learned to Drive
Our 29th Annual Student Production will feature a student director and all-student staff. Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize, "How I Learned to Drive" explores the surprising, sometimes comedic, and devastating tale of survival seen through the eyes of a troubling relationship between a young girl and her uncle. Lil' Bit's story shows the strength it takes to steer through the chaos, no matter how challenging it may be, and how to drive through life in spite of the pain and damage encountered along the way. Directed by J'Lyn Hope. All ticket sales directly fund the Parkland College Theatre Scholarship Program.
Performances Feb 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16. Audience, cast and crew talkback on Feb 6.
Accused murderess Roxie Hart has convinced her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap, that is, until he finds out he has been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie uses her charm and the ego of esteemed lawyer Billy Flynn to try and prove her "innocence." Set in the roaring 1920s, "Chicago" is the winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. Get ready for jazz, prohibition, sequins, feathers, and a show full of songs you know and love! Directed by Abby Gailey.
Performances April 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26. Audience, cast and crew talkback on April 9.
Season ticket information

  • Purchase 2019-2020 Season Vouchers now and save! New prices go into effect June 1.

  • Please email for more information.

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Parkland College Spring Concerts in March

Four campus music ensembles to perform in joint concerts

As a welcome to spring, the Parkland Chamber Singers and the Parkland Wind Ensemble will perform in concert Sunday, March 3, followed by a concert by the Parkland Orchestra and Parkland Concert Band on Sunday, March 10.
Both concerts will be held in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre on Parkland College’s main campus at 3 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
Chamber Singers, Wind Ensemble "Musical Voyage" Concert
Selections by the Parkland Chamber Singers will include an American folk hymn, "Wondrous Love" and the African-American spiritual "Wade in the Water." Other selections include "Movements from Mass in G" and "Ave Maria." Franklin Gallo is director for the Parkland Chamber Singers.
The Parkland Wind Ensemble, directed by Jonathan Beckett, will perform "Fantasy on a Gaelic Hymnsong," "An Irish Suite for Band" and "Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon."
Orchestra, Concert Band "Parisian Bonbons" Concert
The Orchestra, directed by Rodney Mueller, will perform "An American In Paris Suite," "Orpheus in the Underworld," and "March Militaire Francaise," with selections from "Carmen."
Larry Stoner will direct the Concert Band's performance of "Polka and Fugue," "Black and White Rag," "The Falls," and "A Southern Hymn."

"Come Blow Your Horn" at Parkland Theatre

See the hilarious comedy that launched Neil Simon's career

Neil Simon’s comedy "Come Blow Your Horn" comes to Parkland Theatre's Second Stage Feb. 7–17 as the 28th Annual Student Production, featuring a student director and all-student staff. 

"Come Blow Your Horn" is the story of Alan and Buddy Baker, two brothers who could not be more different. Younger brother Buddy longs for the playboy lifestyle his elder brother Alan leads. However, as Buddy transforms into the swinging mirror image of Alan, Alan finds himself falling in love for the first time. This hilarious comedy launched the career of its internationally famous playwright.

Melissa Goldman directs a cast that includes David Katz, Thom Billam, Celia Mueller, Lizz Morris, David Laker, and HeatherAnn Layman.

The Parkland Theatre will be holding a talkback immediately following the Feb. 7 show. Goldman and members of the cast and crew will be on hand to discuss the show and answer audience questions.

Performances are Feb. 7, 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. All tickets are $10.

To make reservations, visit or call the show hotline at 217/351-2528.

The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation and Parkland College will join community, regional and state partners to celebrate February as Career and Technical Education Month®, or CTE Month®, which recognizes the value and accomplishments of career and technical education programs in the U.S. 

Throughout the month of February, area entities will participate in this national celebration, created by the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE), chiefly by disseminating information on CTE programs and opportunities in and around Champaign County through the social media campaign, #CTEinIL

#CTEinIL is designed to promote CTE programs and career opportunities in Champaign County and throughout the state of Illinois. Participating organizations, schools, and employers will use the #CTEinIL hashtag throughout the month of February to build awareness about their own initiatives, while also helping to tell the story of CTE opportunities within the state.  

Participating organizations include: 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
Champaign County Economic Development Corporation
Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
Champaign Unit 4 School District
Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation
Early College & Career Academy
Education for Employment System #330
ICATT Apprenticeship Program
Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3
Parkland College
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 149
Rantoul Township High School
Urbana School District #116 

What is CTE? Career and technical education, or CTE, is education that directly prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers. CTE covers many different fields, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and management and many more. 

CTE encompasses many different types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom. 

For more details on CTE Month®, as well as partnering companies and organizations celebrating #CTEinIL, visit