Parkland College > Fine & Applied Arts > Giertz Gallery > History
Giertz Gallery – An Introduction
Parkland Names Art Gallery for Trustee Donna Giertz! Click to read the article.
Parkland’s Art Gallery officially opened its doors in 1981 through the foresight, interest and enthusiasm of the college faculty, administration, students, and the community. Centrally located in the main building on the north side of the beautifully landscaped campus, the Giertz Gallery overlooks an outdoor fountain on the exterior and faces a main thoroughfare of foot traffic and can be viewed through floor to ceiling windows on the interior with easy access from inside the building. Parkland College was established in 1967 and the permanent campus, built in 1973 was designed by the award-winning California-based architect Ernest Kump, was featured in an exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art to highlight outstanding architectural designs. Born of the concept that the campus was an "educational village" and was designed to welcome the community and provide a relaxed feeling and easily accessible resources.
The Giertz Gallery features a professionally designed space but maintains the feeling of the original architectural intent, situated in the main part of campus and remains central to student life and is readily available to the community.
Open to the public and free of charge, the Giertz Gallery is a teaching gallery, striving to serve the educational and cultural needs of our diverse community. The gallery's exhibitions and educational programs are free and open to the public. Each year through its exhibitions and programming, the gallery seeks to promote the development of artists’ talent and aesthetic awareness while at the same time expanding the audience's appreciation of various art forms. Exhibits are selected to illustrate a wide range of traditional and innovative work. The gallery presents exhibition by contemporary artists of regional and national status.
Open year round, the Gallery has an extensive exhibition calendar that includes seven exhibitions per year and includes solo and group exhibitions. The Gallery hosts the State of the Art: National Biennial Ceramics Invitational on alternating years and engages a guest curator so that the exhibitions continue to reflect current viewpoints from many different perspectives. An exhibition catalog accompanies the biennial exhibit that include background information on the participating artists and a scholarly essay by the guest curator. To complement and support the educational mission of the Fine Arts Program an annual Art and Design Faculty Exhibition takes place to highlight the talent of the Faculty at Parkland College in Art and Graphic Design. Two juried exhibitions of work by Parkland College students in the Art and Design program and the Graphic Design Program are also part of the yearly schedule and provide practical professional experience to our students and allow our community to see the talents and efforts of these emerging artists.
Artist receptions, gallery talks, "For Art's Sake" videotaped interviews with artists aired on Parkland College Television Station, and other special programs are presented to interpret many of our exhibitions and enable us to broaden our audience. High School Art Seminar, Gallery Tours, High Noon with the Artist lecture series, gallery talks, Bring Sons and Daughters to Work activities, and other special events. Programs are offered to school groups between kindergarten and twelfth grade, college classes, teachers, and community members. Class tours encourage students to develop critical thinking and communication skills while expanding their understanding of art in the gallery. In the studio, students learn to prepare their work and understand the professional requirements of exhibiting their work in a professional space. Our unique location on the Parkland College Campus allows students the opportunity to visualize college life and imagine a possible career in the arts beyond school. The gallery completes the circle by teaching college students to become educators in the arts. By introducing significant visual arts close to home in the Parkland Community, these programs can lay the foundation for a lifelong interest in the arts.