Thom Whalen, professor of art, was recently honored by the American Association of Community Colleges with the 2020 Dale P. Parnell Faculty Distinction Recognition.
This recognition, named in honor of former AACC President and CEO Dale P. Parnell, honors individuals making a difference in the classroom. Recipients of the honor demonstrate passion for and willingness to support students, inside and outside of the classroom, and go above and beyond what is required to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavors.
We congratulate Professor Thom Whalen on this outstanding national honor,” said Charlotte Warren, Ph.D., LLCC president. “His talent, creativity and commitment to teaching and students are reflective of LLCC’s excellent faculty.”
In addition to his excellence in teaching, for which he was recognized with the 2010 Drs. Raymond and Ann Pearson Master Teacher Award, Whalen is a renowned studio artist and freelance graphic designer. He has exhibited his work nationally and designed signage, exhibits and promotions for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, and clients such as Planet Hollywood, Extra TV, Hard Rock Hotel and Las Vegas casinos.
“My paintings are loud and proud,” says Whalen. “The use of design in my work is often ambiguous with shifting perspectives, non-local color and an emphasis on the absurd. I create environments which immerse the viewer into a world of creatures that rehearse a frenzy of dramatic situations. It is my goal to create a body of work that engages the viewer to curiously explore and to experience a visual and private interpretation.”
Professor Whalen holds an associate of arts degree from LLCC, a bachelor of arts in studio/art history from Eastern Illinois University and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Kansas. He joined the LLCC faculty in 2001.