Cherri Rittenhouse returns to Kortman for 25th anniversary show

Cherri Rittenhouse’s “Taboo,” acrylic on canvas.

Staff Report

Cherri Rittenhouse, one of Rockford’s most accomplished artists, will unveil a new painting at 7 p.m. during the opening of her exhibition at the Kortman Gallery Friday, Oct. 14.

The exhibition, titled “25: Rittenhouse @ Kortman,” features selected works by Rittenhouse, first artist and curator of the Kortman Gallery, marking the 25th anniversary of the gallery. Paintings in the exhibit represent works created by Rittenhouse over the past 25 years.

We’re so excited to have Cherri showing again in the gallery after 25 years,” said Doc Slafkosky, gallery director. “We thought it would be fun to have an actual unveiling of a new piece to add to the excitement.”

Rittenhouse, whose works can best be described as Expressionistic Abstraction, works with subject matter composed of inner visions and personal narratives that are derived from subconscious sources.

I never know what I’m going to do,” Rittenhouse said. “I just make an image and then respond to it and see where it takes me. It’s very freeing to work this way — it’s like uncovering a part of myself that I didn’t know existed.”

Cherri Rittenhouse’s “Zoology,” acrylic on canvas.

Highlights of her career as a painter include a Best of Show Award at the New Horizons in Art at The Chicago Cultural Center, her time as a gallery artist with the Phyllis Kind Gallery in Chicago in the 1990s, shows in Mexico where she now has a home and studio as well as a show at the prestigious Vida Museum in Borgholm, Sweden, in 2009.

In addition to being an art professor at Rock Valley College, Rittenhouse owns and operates two restaurants, Josef of Barbados and Pearl, with her chef husband, Josef Schwaiger. They live in Rockford with their daughter, Sofia.

The opening receptions for the “25: Rittenhouse @ Kortman” exhibition will be from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14-15, in conjunction with Fall ArtScene. Admission is free.

The gallery is upstairs at J.R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St. Call (815) 968-0123 or visit for more details.

From the Oct. 12-18, 2011, issue

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