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Historic architecture inspires group exhibit at Kortman

October 3, 2012

Staff Report

Four historic and architecturally significant buildings in downtown Rockford are the inspiration and focus of “Urban Treasures: Renaissance through Imagination,” a group exhibition opening in the Kortman Gallery Friday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 6 (ArtScene weekend).

Twelve Rockford artists were invited to create art inspired or influenced by four prominent, yet endangered, buildings: The Midway Theater, The Armory, The Elks Club and the Ziock/Amerock Building. Multimedia works are influenced by each of the buildings’ unique design characteristics, historic stature and imaginative future.

According to Gallery Director Doc Slafkosky, each of the four buildings was selected not only for its unique and historic architectural style, but also for its prominent location in downtown Rockford.

Most importantly, these endangered treasures also have a great amount of potential in the future to be something very special,” said Slafkosky. “Each of the buildings serves a very different purpose, but they all could be a very important part of the cultural life of our city, since their future use will most likely involve the general public.”

Participating artists include Ryan Davis, R. Scott Long, Doug Connell of Engine Studio, Robert Sunday, Shari Grace, Keith Grace, Kyle Wolfe, Michael Bugler, Jeremy Klonicki, Matt Herbig, Margret Hesler Hynes, Betsy Youngquist and Gary W. Anderson Architects.

An opening reception for “Urban Treasures: Renaissance through Imagination” will be from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5, and 3 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, which coincides with Fall Rockford ArtScene weekend. The art will be on display through Nov. 17. The gallery is upstairs at J.R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St. For more information, call (815) 968-0123 or visit www.jrkortman.com.

From the Oct. 3-9, 2012, issue

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