Parkland College Graphic Design Student Show 2019

Parkland College Graphic Design Student Show 2019

Last student design exhibit for retiring program director Paul Young

The Parkland College Graphic Design Student Show will be on display at the Giertz Gallery Monday, May 13 through Thursday, May 30. A reception honoring the students will be held Wednesday, May 15, 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 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 2018. Parkland 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. Then local industry professionals are invited to judge the show and select the awards. This year’s judges are Evelyn Shapiro, Promotions Manager, Champaign Public Library, and Robb Springfield, Creative Director, Flex-N-Gate. 

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.

Young to retire. Professor Paul Young, Parkland's Graphic Design program director, will be retiring this spring after 20 years of teaching graphic design. He has been an integral part of the program; under his direction, user experience design, website design and interactive design were introduced into the curriculum, and students now graduate from Parkland with samples of fully developed websites in their portfolio. 

"The 2019 student show will be the last student exhibition that I will help curate," Young said. "I've met some of the most interesting and diverse people from this community in the classroom. I've challenged them as they have challenged me, and together we've grown and evolved."

Part-time graphic design instructor Liza Wynette praised Young's five-year mentorship to her. "Paul has designed Parkland's Graphic Design Program to carefully balance the creative with the functional, the artistic with the technical, and the rational with the intuitive," she said."What a great way to teach today's tech-savvy students who were born with a device in their hand."

"I've always said that Parkland is the best job I've ever had," Young added. "During the last 20 years, my students and I have met important internationally renowned designers (Carlos Segura, Massimo Vignelli, Matthew Carter), hosted several influential designers here at Parkland (April Greiman, Art Chantry), and had more than enough excitement for a lifetime."

Reception highlights. During the May 15 reception, an awards ceremony honoring 2019 Graphic Design program student achievements will take place at 6:30 p.m. "Students feel a sense of accomplishment when they see their work professionally displayed in the gallery," explained Paul Young. "It gives them the opportunity to show friends and family the results of their diligence during the past academic year." 

Immediately after the awards ceremony, Young will give a gallery talk and guided tour of the exhibition. In an informal Q&A with select award winners, Young will go behind the scenes and 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

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