"Don Lake: A Watercolor Retrospective" Opens June 17

"Don Lake: A Watercolor Retrospective" Opens June 17

Exhibit of master watercolor artist runs through Aug. 8

Exhibit: Monday, June 17–Thursday, August 8, 2019, Giertz Gallery at Parkland College
Reception (with cash bar): Thursday, June 20, 5:30–7:30 p.m., gallery lounge, with Gallery Talk at 6:30 p.m. by Don Lake, Opening Remarks by Dr. Tom Ramage, and Music by The Derick Cordoba Trio
Additional Artist Lecture by Don Lake: Tuesday, June 25, 6 p.m., C118 Auditorium
Gallery Walkthrough by Gisele Atterberry: Tuesday, July 23, noon

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — "Don Lake: A Watercolor Retrospective," a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by local artist Don Lake, will open June 17 at Giertz Gallery at Parkland College.

The exhibit runs through Aug. 8. The reception on Thursday, June 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. features a gallery talk by Lake at 6:30 p.m. with opening remarks by Parkland President Dr. Tom Ramage and music by The Derick Cordoba Trio. Lake will provide an additional lecture on Tuesday, June 25, at 6 p.m. in lecture hall C118. A gallery walkthrough with commentary by faculty artist Gisele Atterberry will occur on Tuesday, July 23 at noon.

As with all Giertz Gallery programs, the exhibit, reception and lecture are free and open to the public.

A master of transparent watercolor, Lake has produced a body of realistic paintings that share an inclination towards complex patterns, texture, and plays of light and dark. His works feature landscapes, seasonal changes, and industrial sites. Of his pieces, Lake says, "I look for views that are unexpected and, perhaps until I have recorded them in a painting, uninspected. Sometimes I walk along hoping to find a distinctive view, but really, the view finds me."

This retrospective presents 30 years of Lake's work. 

"I am seeing my work as a diary of sorts," he explains. "The paintings record my interests over time, and I'm reminded not only of the big shifts in my focus but of how the separate groups of work came into play."

Lake grew up in Wichita, Kansas and studied painting at Wichita State University (BFA '68 and MFA '70). He had a successful career as an art educator—influencing Parkland College art students for over 30 years before retiring in 2004. He has also taught workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, Tennessee). Lake recently received the Watercolor Honor Society Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in Mahomet, Illinois, and his work is included in collections worldwide. Lake is represented by Cinema Gallery in Urbana, Illinois.

Summer gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 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

[Image Info: '57 Airstream Caravanner, transparent watercolor, 20 ½” x 28”, 2013].

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