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Block party: Parkland showcases community art

The Giertz Gallery at Parkland College recently debuted a summer exhibition called Around the Block: Artists from our Neighborhood, a showcase of local artists from Champaign-Urbana.

Around the Block will be featured at the gallery until August 6th. The gallery is located in the central commons area of Parkland College, open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Admission is free.

Here are a few examples of the excellent pieces on display:

The Choice by Glen C. Davies

Collage with Colored Pencil, Ink, and Acrylic on Toned Paper

Glen C. Davies received a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting from the University of Illinois. His work has been featured locally at Krannert Art Museum and in previous Parkland installations.

Regarding his process, Davies describes sketching in diaries since the early seventies.  He strives to give the viewer an entry point into each piece by offering an example of the mundane, combining it with a visceral image beyond personal experience, hoping to make associations with a gut feeling in order to create a “complex psycho-drama”.    

Going Out on a Limb by Heather Dent

Paper Cut-out

Heather Dent is a freelance illustrator whose work has appeared in children’s books and on book covers, as well as on posters and t-shirt logos. She hopes to connect her art emotionally to the audience by creating a sense of movement through the posture and color of her cut-out images. Knowing that raw emotion can be evoked through the simplest aesthetic, Dent keeps her art minimalistic.

Guise: Abraham Lincoln by Billie Theide

Plate, Cotton & Synthetic Fabrics, Sterling Silver

Billie Theide is a Professor of Art at the University of Illinois. Since 1978, Theide’s work has been featured in over 450 invitational, competitive, group and one-person exhibitions, including the Luce Foundation Center of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Finding beauty within the ordinary, Theide’s metalwork exhibits her interest in humanity’s desire to ornament itself and the propensity for excess, fueled by her own passion for collecting.

Skype Dinner Date by Roberta Bennett


Roberta Bennet is a doctorate candidate of Philosophy in Art Education at Syracuse University. Her work has been featured at the Art Theatre in Champaign’s 2013 Feminist Film Festival and the Boneyard Arts Festival of 2008 and 2010.

The cell phone sized paintings in Skype Dinner Date are watercolor translations of digital photographs the artist received via text. Bennet’s depictions of them contemplate “the role technology [serves] in mediating a long distance relationship.”

These four pieces are among a plethora of various styles and mediums on display this summer at Parkland’s Giertz Gallery. With over 50 artists participating, there are pieces that will appeal to all. You won’t regret taking the time to explore the talents of our “neighborhood” artists and appreciate our truly extraordinary community.

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