Romance + art = Heart art

Romance + art = Heart art

By Leslie Nautival, Freelance Writer

Aah! Love! It makes the world go around. That one word has been the source of inspiration for writers, singers and poets for thousands of years, yet it somehow eludes one crowning definition. When we are confronted with it, we scratch our heads and ask ourselves, “What’s it all about, Alfie?” Love confuses; then lures us into a sublime state of mental cloudiness. It beguiles us with its warm shroud of tenderness until we hide from it when it becomes too hot to bear. Sometimes we need it—but not too much of it. Love causes great pain when it ends, only to soothe our souls with an unexpected visit. We can’t have it unless we give it. We can’t take it, or it will disappear. This four-letter word remains liquid to stimulate artistic responses and in the process provide for the rest of the world a renewed sense of appreciation.

Rockford College Art Gallery, under the direction of Philip Soosloff, will be addressing the many themes of love, romance and Valentine’s Day with the exhibition of “Heart Art.” The opening is one night only on Feb. 7. “Heart Art” is a silent auction of artworks produced by 75 artists not only from Rockford and nearby vicinities, but also from various states ranging from coast to coast. These artists have donated their artwork to be used as a fundraiser for the College Gallery. Friends of the Gallery is a fund that is used to pay guest speakers and printing costs for education materials. Most recently, money from this fund was used to support shipping costs for a sculpture piece of Deborah Butterfield’s, which the college has on loan for two years. This was part of the prestigious “Uncommon Lives Series” that Rockford College presents during Women’s History Month.

According to Soosloff, this is the 7th biennial Heart Art Auction. Chairman Robert McCauley brought the idea to Rockford College in the early 1990s after participating in a similar event in California. On Feb. 7, bidding will begin at 7:30 p.m. and continue until 9:30 p.m. There will be a bid sheet below each piece of artwork. This will allow bidders to continually monitor their favorite pieces. Bern Sundstedt will once again take on the duties as master of ceremonies as the evening progresses. Music will be provided by Dan Voll. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served as well as a dessert bar for all of those chocolate lovers. Major credit cards, cash and/or checks will be accepted as forms of payment. Some of the local artists include Robert McCauley, Maureen McCauley, Jim Julin, Matt Herbig and Robert Sunday.

Soosloff ended by saying, “What delights me most about this exhibition is seeing the various ways artists respond to the Valentine theme. I see how it pushes them beyond their comfort zone in working creatively, and forces them to think out of the box. Heart Art Auction promises to be a night of fun for all.”

Who knows—maybe Cupid will spice up the air and create a little of his own magic.

Location: Rockford College Art Gallery, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E. State St. Date & Time: Feb. 7, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets: At the door or box office, $10/person, $3/students.

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