55th Annual Juried Student Art and Design Exhibition

55th Annual Juried Student Art and Design Exhibition

Student work in 10 art categories on display

Exhibit: April 10 to May 6 at Giertz Gallery at Parkland College
Reception: Thursday, April 13, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Gallery Lounge; awards ceremony at 6:15 p.m. with welcoming remarks by Dr. Pamela Lau and music by DJ Silkee
Parkland College's annual juried Student Art and Design Exhibition for 2023 will be held April 10 through May 6 in the Giertz Gallery.
Audiences will enjoy an impressive body of student work in photography, painting, drawing, figure drawing, metals, three-dimensional design, two-dimensional design, color theory, graphic design, and ceramics. Parkland Art and Design faculty will select approximately 180 works from among 350+ entries for this year's student exhibit, the college's 55th. Students taking art classes in the current academic year, beginning with summer 2022, were eligible to submit artwork.
Many of these works earn artistic awards, which will be announced during the exhibit's opening reception Thursday, April 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the gallery lounge. DJ Silkee will provide the music.
Art faculty and Photography program manager Peg Shaw is among many Parkland Art and Design faculty who look forward to this event each spring, along with students.
"The student art exhibition is such an exciting time for the students, and actually for all of us at the college who have been teaching them, challenging them, and supporting them in their effort to learn and grow in the arts," Shaw said. "It's quite an accomplishment for them to have their work selected, and quite a thrill I imagine for them to see their work exhibited in the Giertz Gallery. This moves the work out of the realm of the classroom and gives them a very professional experience. 
"For many of them, and the families, friends, and community members who come to see the work, it may be eye-opening to see all the possibilities offered through our classes in the art program," Shaw added. "It's exciting to see people find something new they’d love to try and to know they can do it here at Parkland."
For students planning on a profession in the arts who begin their career path at Parkland, 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.
"The exhibit 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 in their career program or transfer to a four-year college."
During the April 13 reception, an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. will recognize students whose artwork shows distinction. Several 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 Arts, Media, and Social Sciences Chair Award, the Parkland Art and Design Faculty Award, and the Blair Kling Memorial Art Award. In addition to these awards, there will also be newly minted awards presented. These includes the Chris Berti Award for Excellence in Ceramics and two awards provided by a local art group, Comrades in Arts. Their awards, called Melissa's Gift, is given in memory of former Parkland College art student Melissa Lynch. Melissa’s Gift awards and the long-standing Art Coop Award for Sustained Studio Excellence allow students to purchase art supplies to continue making their artwork. The Art Coop Award is generously provided by the Art Coop, a local independent art supply store.
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.
Boneyard Arts Festival. In addition to hosting the reception and award festivities, Giertz Gallery will participate in the 2023 Boneyard Arts Festival, which holds events April 14–16. The gallery will hold extended hours on Saturday, April 15, noon–4 p.m. in collaboration with the festival; these hours will include light refreshments and an artist meet-and-greet from 2 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 terrific that Giertz Gallery can participate by highlighting our student success and their artwork at Parkland."
Spring gallery hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 2 p.m. To locate 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 217/353-2338 or email

For more information on Giertz Gallery, call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit

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