Cutting-edge video art featured at Rockford Art Museum

“Nanoscapes” by Joan Truckenbrod. Photo provided

From press release

The opening exhibition of 2011 at Rockford Art Museum (RAM), Pause and Affect, features cutting-edge video by painter/photographer Gregory Scott and digital art pioneer Joan Truckenbrod. These Chicago artists create interactive stories that force the viewer to question visual reality. What is actually present, and what is implied? Technologically savvy, stimulating and powerful, this art transports the viewer to another place.

Pause and Affect: Gregory Scott and Joan Truckenbrod opened to the public Jan. 22. Curated by Patty Rhea of RAM and sponsored by Art in the Garden, the exhibition remains on display through Saturday, April 23, at Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford.

RAM Curator Patty Rhea offered the following statement about the exhibition: “Gregory Scott masterfully combines painting, photography and video. At first glance, the viewers are unclear what they are seeing. Scott’s storylines are revealed through the use of cleverly introduced animations that include a cameo of the artist himself. Technically seamless, these thoughtful narratives draw their viewer into the picture plane. Universal emotions—joy, loneliness, futility, insecurity, desire, disappointment—are woven into the storylines. Witty titles are a charming and integral part of the communication. Indeed, humor is a cohesive element that binds Scott’s work.

“Taxi” by Gregory Scott. Photo provided

“From Magritte to Cassatt, the work of other artists is often a starting point for Scott’s impish creations. In Attemptuous (2008), Manet’s renowned figure Olympia reclines in glorious splendor, unimpressed by the artist’s romantic antics behind her. She responds to his offer of gifts with a slight wiggle of her toes. The work is friendly, lighthearted and just plain fun.

“An early pioneer of digital media, Joan Truckenbrod creates dynamic installations that are an amalgam of sound, sculpture and video. Her interactive video sculptures explore natural forces that unite living things. An underlying pulsating energy dominates her compositions; themes of flow, struggle, submersion and transformation abound. The hypnotic rhythm of water and the journey of the Pacific salmon are magically captured in the 2002 work Quantum Realities. The viewer’s experience is heightened by acoustically-amplified sounds of moving, splashing and trickling water. Truckenbrod’s extensive study of coastal estuarine habitats (where freshwater joins ocean water) gives her work authenticity. Water, earth’s essential resource, is a poignant metaphor for life’s transience and vulnerabilities.”

Exhibition details

Children’s classes—Children’s classes are offered at $8 per class or $20 for all three classes. All supplies are included. Call (815) 972-2874 to register. The three classes include the following:

→ “Master of Disguise!” from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Feb. 12 (ages 6 and older): Ever see yourself in a masterpiece? Now it’s your chance to become a part of history! Begin the class by choosing a masterpiece that you want to be in. Re-paint the picture as you see it and incorporate a photo of yourself to top it off!

→ “The Floating Heads,” from 2 to 3:30 p.m., March 19 (ages 5 and older): Display your understanding of colorful imaginary images by taking a cue from artist Joan Truckenbrod to create a unique figure. Start by designing a body that expresses movement and color. Add a unique head to your figure to make it float!

→ “Go Fish!” from 2 to 3:30 p.m., April 9 (ages 5 and older): You will start this exciting class by taking a tour of the exhibition Pause and Affect. After the tour, head to the RAM Art Annex to create your own recycled fish. Shape plastic bottles into fish and use paint techniques to make it look like stained glass.

Workshop for teachers—“A Night at the Museum,” 4:30-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26. Free for teachers, and includes a private, docent-guided tour and hands-on activity. Participants will receive a take-home packet containing supplemental materials for classroom use. Snacks, coffee and water will be provided. CPDUs are available for the two-hour session for Rockford Public School District 205 staff; RPS 205 teachers can sign up for the session on the district website at Registration is required by calling (815) 972-2874 or e-mailing

For more information about the exhibition and its related educational programming, call (815) 968-2787 or log on to

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