Having her "name in lights" is taking on new meaning for Parkland College Associate Professor Peggy Shaw, one of six area artists being honored on billboards across Champaign-Urbana.
Six new, custom 10' by 30' Sky Gallery billboards displaying local artistry were unveiled April 10. A promotional effort sponsored by Champaign County arts council 40 North/88 West and Adams Outdoor Advertising, Sky Gallery was
created to build community interest in the arts and provide a unique opportunity for local artists to share their creativity with the community on a whole new level.
Shaw's work "Hover," a photography and mixed media piece, was selected from among more than 95 images submitted. The billboard now containing her artistry is currently located along US Route 45, 200 feet north of Curtis Road in Champaign.
Shaw teaches photography/video at Parkland and recently curated Parkland Art Gallery's "Shift: Contemporary Photography Exhibition." Her "Hover" series of portraits explore "the physical and spiritual presence of a person in solitude, and the threshold between the observer and the observed. With the selective clarity of deep ice, these anonymous portraits are a membrane that absorbs the coming together of fact, imagination, and memory," according to a 40 North statement.
Other winners included Vanessa and Doug Burgett's "The Intruder" (digital photograph, 304 W. University); Audra Ziegel's "Roadside Vista" (oil on canvas, 705 W. Marketview Dr.); Beth Darling's "Tea Party" (oil on canvas, 1102 N. Cunningham Ave.); Melissa Mitchell's "Aloft" (digital photograph, US 45 330ft south of College Park Ct.); and Holly Birch Smith's "American Wedding" (digital photograph, 304 W. University). The first five winners were selected by a panel of judges, while Smith's imagery was chosen by online public vote.
The winning artistry will be rotated among the Sky Gallery billboards for a year. All billboard space was donated by Adams Outdoor Advertising; production costs were provided by 40 North.