Third Annual CUDO PRO SHOW Better Than Ever

It was a lovely fall evening for going downtown on Friday, November 13. Right at 5:00pm, people started coming through the doors and filling up the space inside Lola’s Brush at Indi Go Gallery for the third annual CUDO PRO SHOW’s opening reception.

The gallery came alive with the sounds of talking, laughing, lively discussion, as well as silent admiration and contemplation of great local design. The enthusiasm was palpable. Over 200 people came to enjoy the delicious appetizers, the well-stocked bar, the eclectic music by Ms. M. & The Jokers, and the variety of designs created by members and friends of the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization (CUDO).

The CUDO PRO SHOW is an annual celebration of design in the form of an art gallery exhibition. Over 100 submissions from more than 50 designers, illustrators, photographers, developers, filmmakers and other creative pros were showcased at this unique exhibition. What a wonderful opportunity to see, firsthand, the current state of commercial art in the Champaign-Urbana area.

Besides the opening reception, CUDO’s annual meeting was also held during the exhibition. Both current and prospective CUDO members were able to mingle while enjoying pizza and beer. CUDO’s President Pat East reflected on the past year with the “state of CUDO” address and led a passionate presentation about CUDO’s goals and ambitions as an organization for the future.

110The third annual CUDO PRO SHOW ran from November 13 to November 24. Those who missed the show can now see a digital gallery of all the entries online. As always, the CUDO PRO SHOW is a strong testament to the high quality design and creative talent in Champaign-Urbana and surrounding areas.

Both the amount and variety of high-quality commercial art made this an exhibition that sparked engaging conversation and admiration. Work from long-established design firms to that of newcomers and students helped make the CUDO PRO SHOW the fabulous and unique exhibition that it is and will continue to be in the years to come.

70“This show is a fantastic way for the myriad of talented local creatives to exhibit their best marketing communications work and know that it will be seen by area businesses, other creatives, and a wide variety of people interested in this type of work,” says Gloria Roubal, Co-Chair of the PRO SHOW event and Design & Marketing Coordinator at the Champaign Public Library, “It is extremely exciting to have these pieces all displayed together in this unique art gallery exhibition; it’s great for the community and fosters a feeling of unity and collaboration among professionals in these fields.”

Paul Young, Chair of the PRO SHOW event, former treasurer of the CUDO Board, and Director of the Graphic Design Program at Parkland College, stated, “Since its inception in 2013, the CUDO PRO SHOW has been the only exhibition of its kind in the Champaign-Urbana area. The importance of showing people what we as graphic designers, photographers, filmmakers, and other marketing communications professionals contribute to our community through our work cannot be understated. This year’s show promises to be innovative, diverse, and compelling.”

30The designs that lined the walls, shelves, and tables of the gallery consisted of professional work from independent creatives and agencies as well as some works created by students. These included innovative websites by McKenzie Wagner, Inc., Agrible, Inc., Studio 2D (Gretchen Wieshuber), Wolfram Research, Surface 51, Thunderstruck Design, and Liza Wynette; colorful T-shirts by Wolfram Research, Weiskamp Screenprinting, Matthew Farrell, and Scott Barber; an array of videos and animated pieces by Surface 51, David Moore, Shatterglass Studios, Gloria Roubal, Nic Mulvaney, and Jason Kohlman; brilliant branding and logo/identity designs by Eric Benson, Matthew Farrell, Becky Ponder, Studio 2D, McKenzie Wagner, Inc., Surface 51, 40 North | 88 West (Kelly White), Terri Reifsteck, Katherine Balch, and Jose Galue; amazing illustrations by Matt Wiley, David Moore, Chloe Vecellio, and Catherine Yao; beautiful letterpress type posters by Living Letter Press (John Bonadies); striking photography by Chris Brown and Della Perrone; clever packaging design by Ralph Roether, McKenzie Wagner, Inc., Liza Wynette, and David Moore; and a myriad of posters, brochures, books, and other printed works by a long list of very creative designers. Interesting and unusual entries included a skateboard by Parkland graphic design student Jordan Bidner, a board game by Cole Harkless from ISU’s School of Art and Design; and a Pocket Rain Gauge app by Agrible, Inc.

100The 2015 PRO SHOW was sponsored by Lola’s Brush at Indi Go Gallery, Surface 51, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, Pixo, Thunderstruck Design, Living Letter Press, Premier Print Group, 40 North | 88 West, Della Perrone Photography, Scott Paceley Design/Photography, Joanna Strauss Photography, Chris Brown Photography, and Fine & Applied Arts at Parkland College.

The CUDO PRO SHOW is a huge project that can only happen with the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers. A special thanks needs to go out to the steering committee members who wrote the rules, provided resources and made sure we stayed on budget. And an extra special thanks needs to go out to Chris Brown who created the amazing image on the poster. And let’s not forget Liza Wynette who was this year’s exhibition designer. If you enjoyed the layout of the gallery, give her a big round of applause.

CUDO’s mission is to cultivate a vibrant culture that engages and enriches our local community; the PRO SHOW fulfills that mission year after year. We can’t wait to see what next year’s show brings!

Missed this year’s CUDO PRO SHOW? Or perhaps you want to revisit your favorite pieces? All three years of the CUDO PRO SHOW have been archived in the cloud. To take a virtual tour of the show, please visit