Artists celebrate Rockford landmarks in Kortman Gallery holiday exhibition

“Viewing House,” by Jeanne Ludeke, one of Kortman’s hand-painted Landmark Ornaments.

Staff Report

For 15 years, Kortman Center for Design has been featuring hand-painted ornaments depicting Rockford landmarks. To celebrate this milestone year, the Kortman Gallery will present a group holiday exhibition simply titled, “Landmarks.” Twenty-four of some of Rockford’s most accomplished artists will show works inspired by landmarks featured in the Rockford Landmark Ornament Collection.

Each artist was given a blank 7-inch by 7-inch shadow box and assigned an ornament representing a local landmark. The artist was asked to create a piece of art, inspired by the landmark, that would fit within the 7-inch by 7-inch space.

Since this is a special holiday show, we wanted this exhibit to feature small scale art, so the shadow box constrains the size of each piece,” said Doc Slafkosky, gallery director. “Each work of art will be displayed next to the corresponding Rockford Landmark Ornament creating two very special holiday treasures.” Whoever purchases the art will also receive the ornament that inspired the art.

“Shine: A Star is Born” by Betsy Youngquist.

Landmarks that inspired the artists include Sinnissippi Lagoon, the Faust, Symbol, Anderson Gardens, the Coronado and Midway theaters, Nicholas Conservatory, and more.

The exhibit is the final in a series of art shows influenced by local architecture,” Slafkosky said. “Last holiday season, we presented ‘The Wright Inspiration’ with art inspired by the Laurent House, and our previous show, ‘Urban Treasures: Renaissance through Imagination’, presented works influenced by four historic downtown buildings.”

Participating artists include Leslie Arbetman, Sarah Bell, Michael Bugler, Jesus Correa, Ryan Davis, Joseph Goral, Keith Grace, Shari Grace, Karen Harding Drew Helge, Matt Herbig, Margret Hesler-Hynes, Javier Jimenez, Lisa Jimenez, J. Patrick Jones, Jeremy Klonicki, Norm Knott, R. Scott Long, Jeanne Ludeke, Cherri Rittenhouse, Sarah Danielle Stewart, Robert Sunday, Kyle Wolfe, and Betsy Youngquist.

An opening reception for “Landmarks” will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 23. The art will be on display through Jan. 5, 2013. The gallery is upstairs at J.R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St. For more information, call (815) 968-0123 or visit

From the Nov. 21-27, 2012, issue

“Coronado Marquee” by Jeremy Klonicki.

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