Guest Column: An open letter about a new art gallery in Rockford

By Roni Golan

As some of you already know, on May 3, 2013, I am planning to open “State of the Art”, a contemporary art gallery. It will be located at 218 E. State St. in downtown Rockford. This will be my fourth gallery in 15 years, and I can’t seem to learn. It’s either I am crazy or naïve. I would like to think the latter, but maybe both are right. Opening an art gallery in Rockford, based on my experience, is not a for-profit venture like any other business (though, it might be in the future), and there are a few reasons for that. Among them: a limited market, a tough economy, and sometimes a lack of appreciation of the value of art.

Knowing all that, I find it almost impossible to understand why I am investing time and money opening one more gallery. But I would like to give it one more try, as I am, after all, an optimist.

First, I would like to believe that most, if not all of you, agree with me about the importance of a vibrant cultural life to the health of our community. We need the arts (dance, visual, literature, music) in the same way the arts need us. Without it, we take the risk of becoming automatons. The arts help us think, see, and hear different things. Therefore, the more books we read, the richer we become as a societyand more interesting and diverse as individuals.

With this understanding in mind, I turn to YOU to become involved as a partner and not only as a spectator.

On my part, I commit to organize professional, intriguing and thought-provoking shows, lectures and classes offered by professionals in the arts. But in orsder for the gallery to survive, I need YOUR help and support, and that may be expressed in different ways. The first step is to come to art show openings, spread the word and share ideas. Buying an ORIGINAL art piece from local artists would be another way of showing your support. If you have no more room for art, alternaten your collection; if you can’t alternate, give original art as a present to your kids, best friends, or just buy it for your business.

I am both hopeful and realistic. The ingredients are there; the location ios promising, the space is beautiful, the landlords are supportive, and the time is right. The success of this gallery may encourage the opening of other galleries.

If we see eye to eye regarding then content of this letter, I need your help, and therefore, I am presenting the following “Wish List”.

Wish List

1. Used upright/baby grand pIano in goog condition — for performances; 2. Track lighting and help in installing (electrician); 3. Light and comfortable furniture for seating area; 4. Office table for lobby; 5. Donations to help performing artists directly and to help artists who can’t afford to rent a wall space for a show; 6. We need people with passion for the arts and good social skills to occasionally man the odffice and gallery store; 7. We need help in promotion and advertising; 8. We need artists interested in showing their work (we rent space and offer full-scale assistance; advertising, performers and more).

If you or anybody you know can support us in one or more ways, please contact Roni directly at:

Thank you for your support. “State of the Art” Contemporary Art Gallery

Posted May 1, 2013

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