Art, design student work displayed at Giertz Gallery exhibition

Photos by David Saveanu | Ceramics 1 student Aspen McGehee’s piece “Moon Goddess” is seen in front of other students’ works at the Giertz Gallery.

Photos by David Saveanu |
Ceramics 1 student Aspen McGehee’s piece “Moon Goddess” is seen in front of other students’ works at the Giertz Gallery.

David Saveanu

Staff Writer

On April 13, Parkland held an annual art show at the Giertz Gallery showcasing the art of students involved in Parkland’s many art related courses.

Parkland has held these art shows ever since the Giertz Gallery’s opening in 1981 to give students an opportunity to experience art shows with their own art.

Chris Berti, an art faculty representative and art professor, says the event usually happens in April and lasts until the end of the semester.

“Once a year in the spring, we have a culmination of the best work,” Berti says. “It’s representative of the quality of work we do here.”

Submissions to the show can only be from students in Parkland art classes.

“Students are asked to submit work while they were at Parkland,” says Joan Stolz, an art faculty representative and art professor, “and it has to be within the last year, and it has to be a piece done from a specific class [at Parkland].”

The pieces are chosen out of hundreds of pieces according to Stolz. The pieces are selected in such a way that each category is represented equally.

“There’s literally hundreds of pieces of work, and we sort them out, then we hang what we think is the best work. [They come] from every category,” Stolz says.

The show gives students the ability to have their achievements recognized.

“We give awards, we buy pieces, just being in the show is an accomplishment, it recognizes quality work,” says Berti.

There are monetary awards given out at the end of the show, which are meant to help student artists buy art supplies, merit awards, which are to congratulate great work, scholarships which are larger monetary awards used for furthering students’ education in art, and purchase awards, which is a symbol that Parkland has bought the art for their permanent collection.

The show motivates students to work harder to be able to show off their handiwork.

“[The show sparks] students beginning to discover their vision as artists,” Berti says. “It demonstrates skill and craftsmanship, and good design.”

The show also allows art professors to see what students outside of their classes are creating.

“It’s a very long process” Stolz says, “but one of the things that’s really fun about it is that I get to see the work that I never get to see from other classes, I know what my own students do, but this way I get to meet others.”

Getting art seen by people other than their classmates and professor is important for student artists according to Stolz.

“They have to get their work out at some point,” Stolz states, “their work has to be shown.”

The show gives students the opportunity to experience what it’s like professionally, showcasing art, and participating in an art show.

The show is important to all art students, even those not participating in the show according to Stolz. All students are taught how to prepare pieces for shows professionally regardless of if their pieces are chosen.

“[Their pieces] may not be hanging in the show, but they do learn how to present [their art and] how it looks professionally,” Stolz says.

Parkland does not require that students be art majors to take classes and make use of Parkland’s resources for the different types of art. Any student can take an art class, and ultimately participate in the art shows.

“We do professional level classes for people who just want to find out if they like art,” Stolz says.

For Berti the show is a magical experience.

“There’s something that happens when all the work is brought together,” Berti says, “it’s like the sum of parts idea, these pieces individually are beautiful, but when brought together there’s this energy, a magic, that happens when seeing it all together.”

For more information visit artgallery.parkland.edu/2017/student-exhibit17.html.