‘Artists Fabricating a History of Rockford’

Artists, politicians and celebrities are invited to submit proposals for an exhibition delving into Rockford’s diverse (if not controversial) history. For a city like so many others in this country, this exhibition will explore the various aspects of Rockford’s identity crisis: Education; Midwest expansion; downtown; the River District. Using materials made in Rockford or any other media, entrants are encouraged to delve into the poignant and ironic facets of our city—its splendor to its not-so-glorious moves. “Screw City: Artists Fabricating a History of Rockford” will open our eyes and imaginations Aug. 13 to Oct. 31.

To enter, just submit a brief description and a sketch of ideas for your artwork (one to three per artist) due at the Rockford Art Museum by March 19. Artists are asked to consider Rockford’s legacies from sock monkeys to screws, from cheap housing to high property taxes, from golf courses to an ever-shifting town center. We exist in the shadow of Chicago and the suburbs—and face becoming a “burb” ourselves. We have declared ourselves the “Forest City” (Dutch elm disease took care of that), the “Screw Capital of the World” (overseas competition and recession took care of that) and “A Different Kind of Greatness” (sanity took care of that slogan).

Art is a different territory in which to formulate our diverse opinions. During the course of this exhibition, there will be numerous talks by politicians, developers to discuss the past, and the hope and future of our city. But what do the artists have to say? The end result is to make people think—honestly and perhaps with a little tongue-in-cheek.

About 20 artists will be selected to take part in this exhibition. Please enclose three photos or slides of work representative of your art, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and how to contact you (e-mail, phone, etc.). All entrants will be notified by March 26. Brainstorm, riff, dream up ideas and creative ways of realizing them. Rockford Art Museum wants to hear from you.

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