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2016 State of the Art: Drawing Invitational opens November 14th

When: Monday, Nov. 14, 2016–Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017

Where: Giertz Gallery at Parkland College

Reception: Thursday, November 17, 5–7 p.m., gallery lounge, with curatorial talk by Shelby Shadwell at 6 p.m. and music by Parkland Guitar Ensemble

Additional artist lecture: Shadwell, Thursday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m., gallery

Contemporary drawing artists from across the U.S. will exhibit artworks during the “2016 State of the Art: Drawing Invitational” opening Monday, Nov. 14 at the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College

Curated by University of Wyoming Associate Professor of Art Shelby Shadwell, the exhibit will run through Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. A reception Thursday, Nov. 17, 5–7 p.m. in the gallery lounge will feature a curatorial talk by Shadwell at 6 p.m., music by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble, and refreshments. Both the drawing exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

Exhibiting artists include Tamie Beldue, Susan D’Amato, Alison Denyer, Erin Fostel, Christopher Ganz, Michael Hook, Seth Marosok, Jeremy Plunkettt, John Sabraw, Christopher Troutman, and Hong Chun Zhang. States represented include Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

A two-time recipient of the Visual Arts Fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council, Shadwell actively exhibits across the nation. He earned his BFA from Washington University School of Fine Art in St. Louis, where he studied printmaking and drawing as a Kenneth E. Hudson Scholar. He accepted a full fellowship to attend Southern Illinois University Carbondale and went on to graduate with an MFA in printmaking and drawing in 2006. 

In his curator’s statement, Shadwell explained his rationale for the works chosen for this national invitational.

“I started with an assumption that, to the extent it can be observed, quality in visual art, including drawing, consists in the creation of objects that inspire a sense of awe and wonder through their expressed form and content,” he said. “I believe the pieces in this show succeed at that on every level. 

“In terms of form, the artists demonstrate great ability to construct a convincing plasticity of space and the illusion of volumetric forms that encourages me, and hopefully all viewers, to marvel in sublime satisfaction at Homo sapiens’ ability to translate what are essentially abstractions (observed lines, shapes and values) into highly organized representations in the mind.” 

Giertz Gallery at Parkland College hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery will close Nov. 23 (5 p.m.) for Thanksgiving and reopen November 28, and will close Dec. 12 for Holiday Break and reopen Jan. 17.

To find the gallery when classes are in session, we suggest using 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. 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 handicapped-accessible gallery are free and open to the public. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2802 or email

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

Image: Hong Chun Zhang, Twin Spirits #3, charcoal on paper with scrolls, 42″ x 100″, 2015

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