One Last Time: UD’s senior art exhibit pays tribute to beloved student

Photo of Jill Parker, who the exhibit “One Last Time” is dedicated for. Photo courtesy of the showcase.

Tori Miller

Staff Writer

One Last Time, a showcase intended to highlight the incredible work and accomplishments of UD’s Department of Art and Design,  is an interactive, virtual reality experience tour that allows viewers to have full control over the features and to see various pieces of artistic contributions. The intent of this showcase is to highlight the incredible work and accomplishments of UD’s Department of Art and Design graduating seniors. 

This experience doubles as a dedication and tribute to the memory and creations of Jillian (Jill) Parker.

Parker was a Visual Arts Major with minors in Human Rights and Spanish. Along with focusing on her studies, she dedicated her spare time to photography, hiking, making music, running and rock climbing. 

Sometimes God picks the most beautiful flowers for his garden and we don’t know why. Parker was an absolute blessing on UD’s campus, but tragically passed at the beginning of last fall semester.

While Parker is no longer here, she will continue to be remembered by UD students and faculty through her artwork.

The One Last Time showcase includes anything from pencil sketches, to portrait photography, to pottery, and even includes personal footage for short films. One Last Time scatters these pieces of art across various virtually accessible showrooms that make the viewer feel as if they are in-person. 

Drawing Portfolio Selections by Jill Parker, Spring 2020.

The different showrooms include: Radial Hall, Radial Hall One, and Radial Hall Left.

There is an exhibit in Radial Hall Left that has participants scan a QR code through their phone camera. This allows the viewers to access a completely different website that features a collection of “Glitches” by senior Lydia Kladitis. The website claims that these creations were the direct result of combinations of cigar pinhole cameras, black and white photo paper, misuse of a scanner, photoshop, and “her weird brain.” 

Other unique pieces in this showcase include a hand-crafted pottery piece with flowers and other plants that dangle a few feet from the ceiling, Rick and Morty themed sneakers by Matty Spicer, a stop motion animation short film (also created by Lydia Kladitis), and even a book title Influence Inspiration Invention written by Brian Bollinger. 

In Radial Hall One, there is a video tribute to Parker. She is singing a charismatic song that she wrote on the keyboard accompanied by various video clips recapping her very human adventures while being at UD. This short clip includes various classmates and roommates that Jill knew personally and made fun memories with. 

Jill also has portfolio selections in the digital pigment media, various sketches and photographs, and video clips she recorded and directed herself. 

If you ask anyone who knew Jill during her time on earth, they would have nothing but positive things to say. She was the embodiment of positivity, equality, and radiance that most people wish they could have achieved. In the way that she carried herself, you could tell she was beyond happy with how she was living her life. 

Jill had the presence of a natural born leader; you could tell by her caring smile and welcoming tone of voice. Her ability to make anyone and everyone feel like they mattered in the world was truly spectacular. She was someone who found and captured beauty in everything. It breaks my heart that the light behind her eyes was taken too early in her story. 

It was an absolute honor to know Jill personally through UD’s Running Club. She was the officer who encouraged me to continue coming for runs, to keep trying hard, and to take everything in strides. She was such a positive influence for her peers and she will be missed in all of her clubs on UD’s campus. 

One Last Time is an innovative and modern way to preserve the work of UD’s 2021 graduating seniors and to keep the memory of Jill alive for friends, family, and future Flyers. Parker can continue to inspire future generations with the mark she made at UD. May she rest in peace. 

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