Community artworks to be featured in upcoming Giertz exhibit

Image provided by Lisa Costello | Art and Design

Image provided by Lisa Costello | Art and Design

Peter Floess

Staff Writer

Through Friday, April 29, the Giertz Gallery of Parkland and the Champaign County Arts Council will be collecting online submissions to be displayed in “Around the Block II: Artists from Our Neighborhood.”

“Around the Block II” is a show of local artists aged 18 and over from around Champaign County or the 505 Community College district. District 505 includes, along with Champaign County, Ford, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Iroquois, Livingston, Moultrie, McLean, and Vermillion counties.

Artists can submit up to three pieces of work, but only one piece will be accepted. There is a $20 entry fee. Pieces including frames cannot be larger than 36 inches in any direction and pieces made for a Parkland class will not be accepted. Parkland arts faculty cannot apply, but non-art related Parkland faculty and staff can. Work cannot have been completed before January 2014, however.

The works included in “Around the Block II” will be selected by Gisele Atterberry, an art history faculty member at Joliet Junior College. In the past, Atterberry has taught at the University of Illinois and Illinois State University. She has also been a curator at the Krannert Art Museum.

Giertz Gallery director Lisa Costello enjoyed “Around the Block I” when it took place two years ago. She liked the excitement and talent that she got to see in the show. Costello says the idea behind “Around the Block I” was to invite regional artists to Parkland, since a community college should support the local community. She got to see many works she had been unware of in the past.

Costello said “Around the Block I” had 56 works, representing a wide variety of media from wood-carving to painting, drawing, prints, ceramics, and sculpture, and had a lot of works by Parkland faculty and alumni. Costello believes Giertz Gallery is stronger when it works in collaboration with 40 North: Champaign County Arts Council.

“We are always thrilled to help support opportunities for local artists to display their work and the Giertz Gallery is such an amazing venue,” says executive director and Art History Instructor at Parkland Kelly White. “We also help with promoting the exhibition itself and I assist Lisa Costello in laying out the exhibition once the guest curator has chosen the selected pieces.”

White says she also enjoyed “Around the Block I.”

“It was such a remarkable display of the quality and astounding diversity of artistic talent we have in this community,” White says. “The reception was packed and it was so inspiring to see all the artists together, some who had known each other for years and others meeting for the first time.”

White is enthusiastic about “Around the Block II.”

“I always look forward to seeing what pieces the guest curator selects for the show and working with Lisa to lay out the show is a wonderful chance to experience the work first hand,” White says. “I have taught classes at Parkland for more than 10 years and Giertz Gallery is such an important resource for this community. ‘Around the Block’ is such a great way to celebrate and enjoy the long-standing relationship of local art with Parkland College!”

Costello says the Giertz Gallery tries to reach local artists to spread the word through Facebook, news releases, the U.S. mail, email, and different arts organizations in the area.

Costello is encourages community members to come out and see the exhibition, June 19–August 9.

For more information and to find the application form for “Around the Block II, ” visit the gallery’s website at and click on the “call for entries” bulletin on the homepage.