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I have many memories of the Rockford Art Museum as far back as the Burpee Art Museum days. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the exhibited artists for the Young Artist show circa 1979. I can assure you that the competition must have been much less back then, having just seen this years impressive entries. That opportunity had a lasting impression on me, so much so that the cra-pas piece titled Thistles has just been reframed to hang in my office at Shumway Market. I am not an artist, the proof is in the piece, but I was given a chance to have a piece of my artwork hang on a museum wall, a tremendous honor.
The Rockford Art Museum continues to impress me with their exhibits. Screw City and 20/20 Visions gave local artists a chance to express their views on the past, present and future of Rockford. Mike Buglers piece had pencils with great Rockford slogans, my favorite, Rockford its better than nothing. That was a statement about the past; Mr. Bugler sees a bright future for Rockford now.
Opening May 20 and running through July 31 is a two-part exhibition Cloth Culture, which features the exhibits of Tribal Textiles from the Collection of Suzanne Dryer Kaufman and Selected Southern Quilts from the Hager Collection. Tribal Textiles includes pieces from Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Africa that span a wide range of materials, weaving techniques, bright colors and sophisticated patterns. Selected Southern Quilts includes pieces from the American South and features impressive works from the now-famous Gees Bend area of Alabama. All are invited to a free opening reception Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m.
RAM brings the art to life with fantastic lectures throughout the run; I encourage you to check it out.
Anne E. OKeefe is executive director of the Rockford Area Arts Council.
From the May 18-24, 2005, issue