Student work on display in the Giertz Gallery

Brittany Webb

Staff Writer

Students in Art and Design classes this year have the chance to see their work on display in the gallery from now until May 2. Faculty at Parkland juries the student exhibit, said Gallery Director Lisa Costello.

“There are typically about 400 entries and approximately 200 are included in the exhibit,” said Costello. “It is a great process for our students to experience as many professional exhibitions are juried this way.”

By having the artwork juried, students are exposed to more professional ways so when they graduate or transfer professional experience is under their belt already.

“The College Art Association recommends that colleges provide the opportunity for all students to have their work displayed in public because it enhances their understanding of personal achievement and growth,” Costello stated.

The student exhibit contains work in photography, painting, drawing, metals, sculpture, three-dimensional design, two-dimensional design, color theory and ceramics. Brittany Bengtson is a sophomore in Horticulture: Landscape Construction and Design. She entered two pieces in last year’s show.

“I was very honored that my pieces made it in the show,” said Bengtson. “I was happy I got a lot of perspective on my work and I was given very valuable feedback that helped me improve as an artist.”

Exhibits at the Giertz Gallery typically change every six weeks, but the Art and Design show is shorter to allow students as much time as possible to finish their work and submit it.

“Each piece took three to four class periods to complete,” said Bengtson. “One of the pieces I finished right before the show and the other piece was the assignment before that.”

Many of the works displayed in the art gallery received awards, which were announced during the reception on April 16, according to the press release. Awards included The Parkland President Award, The David M. and Shirley A. Jones Student Art Award, The Metals Award for Jewelry/Metalsmithing, The Fine and Applied Arts Chair Award, the Parkland Art and Design Faculty Award, The Blair Kling Memorial Art Award, and The Library Purchase Award. Art Coop also had an award for Sustained Studio Excellence according to the press release about the gallery.

Bengtson said the experience was a confidence booster for her.

“I am usually a very shy and introverted person, but when I was showing my work I felt confident and proud,” Bengtson stated. “The experience really boosted my confidence and at the same time gave me a lot of inspiration.”

There are many factors in designing and installing an exhibit. A focal point is important, says Costello, because it encourages people to stop in and see the artwork. The Giertz Gallery is not a large one, so finding space for 200 pieces can be difficult.

“The work is hung on the walls in a ‘salon style,’” said Costello. “That means that work is hung in single, double, triple and if they are small enough, even quadruple.”

Some assignments are placed together to create the thought of contrast in visitors. Pieces are also hung by content with similar subjects, such as figure drawing, hung together. The pedestals typically have functional work grouped together and sculptural work near one another, Costello commented.

“Not always though, it is a creative process and there are a lot of factors in deciding the best placement for each work,” Costello said.

Costello receives help with installation and setup from Installation Coordinator Anna Peters and Collections Coordinator Laura O’Donnel.

The Graphic Design Student Juried Exhibit is scheduled to open soon, with the reception scheduled during finals week.

The Giertz Gallery is located in the X-Wing and is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. It is closed on Fridays and Sundays. During the summer session, the gallery will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gallery tours are available by request on the website at