Animals invade Kortman Gallery

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Friday, Nov. 24, 27 artists will present works inspired by the theme of “The Peaceable Kingdom: Animals in Art” in the Kortman Gallery in downtown Rockford.

The invitational group exhibit is curated by artists Robert, Marlene and Robin McCauley. “The Peaceable Kingdom” is in reference to an 1834 painting by Edward Hicks depicting domesticated and wild animals posing peacefully side-by-side.

The McCauleys wanted to create an exhibition featuring the animals in art because of the lack of animals as subjects in contemporary art.

“Our culture is saturated with animals and animal imagery, yet when you search recent art history and contemporary art, the use of animal imagery may be seen as out of vogue,” said co-curator Robert McCauley. “We hope that by giving artists the opportunity to indulge in creating creatures, a wellspring will be tapped. And what better time to borrow a title from Edward Hicks as relevant commentary on current world events?”

Artists selected to be in the show represent a variety of media, but were limited to size restrictions of 12 inches in any direction. A group themed art exhibit has been a holiday tradition for 20 years in the Kortman Gallery.

Participating artists include Steve Pitkin, Bob Nugent, Lynda Nugent, R. Scott Long, Jim Julin, Cherri Rittenhouse, Matt Vincent, Lee Sido, Amanda McGough, David Menard, Molly Carter, Phillip Soosloff, Laura Soosloff, John Deill, Betsy Youngquist, Brent Jones, T. Boehle, Lynn Fischer, Mark Knie, Laura Knie, John Slavik, Kristine Allen McMahon, Vonn Sumner, Maggie Eytalis, Robert McCauley, Marlene McCauley and Robin McCauley.

“The Peaceable Kingdom: Animals in Art” will open with a champagne reception from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 24, in the Kortman Gallery, upstairs from J.R. Kortman Center for Design at 107 N. Main St. Info: 968-0123 or

From the Nov. 22-28, 2006, issue

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