ARTscene: So much to see, so little time…

The Sixteenth Annual ARTscene has a special theme this year: The Symbol, the somewhat controversial objet d’art that looms over the Rock River along the Sinnissippi bike path. No matter what you think of the loopy-looking orange structure, it’s a part of Rockford history and is turning 25—proving that it’s going to be here for a while. Personally, I think it’s a perfect symbol of Rockford and its citizens. ARTscene is presenting 30 exhibit areas, so to cut things short, let’s get started. 317 Market Street Gallery (at 317 Market Street)—The Landscapes featuring many guest artists plus open studios of Deborah Newton, Richard Novak, Julie Ekstram, and many, many others. A Moveable Feast, 1676 N. Alpine Rd., will present Mirka Hokkanen and Mary Tousman Recent Works, a self-explanatory exhibit. The Art Cooperative in Stewart Square, aka The Village art Gallery is getting Up Close and Personal with three well-known artists including Mark Adamany, Russ Blahnik, and Matthew Myhre. ArtSpace Gallery at the Clock Tower Resort will show works by Diana Garrett Karen Harding, Gary Hartsfield, and many others in a multi-media showing titled Good Art Does Not Have To Match Your Sofa. Bacchus Wine Bar, 515 E. State St. is joining the parade by displaying Color and Form, which features works by well-known local artists Nancy Von Lugossi and Margret Hesler Hynes. Bennie’s Cleaners, 126 N. First St., will have an expo-style exhibit called Mixing It Up, which will have drawings, greeting cards, pottery, paintings and more by Casie Lenee Wedige, Barb Santucci, Wanie Reeverts, Norm Knott and more. The Brick House Gallery of Art, 620 N. Church St., joins ARTscene this year to display Setting the Scene, which will include the owner’s (Gail Zernia) Celtic-inspired drawings and Don Fuch’s and Laura Graessle’s ceramic pieces. The Brown Loft Apartment, 226 S. Main St., will show I’m Just a Painter Man, which will be works by Wilfredo Ccala’s on large canvases. The Church Street Gallery, 835 N. Church St., will make a big production with Big Art by Jean Apgar, Molly Dillon, Karolyn Downer and others. Diversity of Rockford, 117 S. Third St., will feature multi-emotional works on canvas by Jason Marshall Geiger. Eau Gallie Gallery, the new gallery at 101 W. Main St., Rockton will have its Grand Opening Exhibit with original art by Jean Apgar, Allison Gregory, Sandi Uram and many other area artists of the Rock River Valley. Ingrid Neuhofer Dohm’s Studio, 1432 Myott Ave., will, of course, be featuring an open studio of recent works by Dohm. LuLa’s Vintage Boutique, 221 E. State St., #A, will show Dressed to the Hilt (acrylics by Lia Frost). Medicine Man Design Studio, 510 E. State St., will display Beyond Gen-X , which will include works by some of Rockford’s most well-known artists and community-involved people such as Dawn and Susan Smolinski, Jessi Grose, Frank DiGiovanni and others. Mendelssohn Club, 415 N. Church St., will not only feature works by David Anderson (Anderson Gardens), but also music by guitarist Ed Gerhard, Saturday at 8 p.m. North Downtown Mall will have a public art exhibit with works by Jim Julin, John Verl McNamara and others. The North End Neighborhood Coffee Bar, 1508 N. Main St., will have a photograph showing by Charlie Sturm entitled It’s a Black and White World and also live music both evenings. Octane, 124 N. Main St., will have Pop Culture Gods to Hang Above Your Bed by Jason Farris. Paragon on State, 205 W. State St., will show POP Goes the Sculptor, which features assembled paintings and sculptures by Jim Julin. Pranayama Yoga Studio, 517 E. State St., will have Recent Works by Steve Coogan. The Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St., will feature art created by the summer 2003 ArtsPlace apprentices and lead artists Lisa Lamm, Bruce McDonald, Maya Simmons and others. The Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main St. will be showing the ongoing exhibit The Art of Containment: From High Concept to High Craft, which shows two works in progress Christo and Jeanne Claude. The Rockford College Art Gallery, 5050 E. State St., will also have a continuing exhibit, Crossroads, a one-person show by Ron Mazanowski. Something So Special, at the Edgebrook Center on N. Alpine, will show recent works by Diane Azaria-Tureson titled Miniatures and More. Studio 451, 2500 N. Main St., will display John Lamar’s Fire and Paper NB. As Studio 451 is in the old Atwood Building, you must enter via RAW Art Studio where you can check out Tattoos Optional before you see Lamar’s stuff. Studio 1001, 1001 E. Jefferson St., will have Deco, Sexy & Chic, silk screen prints and photos by Parry and Mike Donze of Saturn Studio. Also, The Art of Stained Glass by Ron and Lynne Belles. The Tin Whistle, 1414 N. Main St., will feature Fabulous Fibers which, obviously, will have fiber art by many artists. Underground Gallery & Studios, 2110 11th St., will be showing The Joy of Colors, works by owner Roni Golan and others. And finally, coming in at number 30, University of Illinois College of Medicine, 1601 Parkview Ave., will show Artrageous—Diverse Media by Rockford-area artists such as Barbara Berney, Diane Dailing, Diana Garrett and many others. Whew! With all these exhibits, plus the music, Rockford should be fairly busy this weekend. ARTscene runs Oct. 3 – 4, from 5-9 p.m., Friday and 3-9 p.m. Saturday. Call the Rockford Area Arts Council at 963-6765 for more information.

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