Artist Ellie Pinzarrone looks at a 15th-century Italian altarpiece painting and is inspired … not to create another painting, but to get out a needle, thread, beads and fabric and embroider. These seemingly folk-art materials are the paint and canvas she uses to create imagery that would not be out of place in a medieval cathedral, yet, at the same time, make for an exciting piece of contemporary art.
With her unconventional use of imagery and materials, Pinzarrone has taken embroidery to a new and exciting artistic level in an exhibition opening Friday, Feb. 7, in the Kortman Gallery.
“I find inspiration through amalgamations of art historical sources … 15th-century Italian altarpiece paintings, shrines, and miniatures fascinate and amaze me,” Pinzarrone said. “I intend my modern interpretations to be playful, straightforward, engaging and pleasing to view. I would like viewers to revisit art history and other iconic images with refreshed and curious eyes.”
Doc Slafkosky, gallerist for the Kortman Gallery, said: “Ellie’s work is not only a refreshing and creative use of embroidery, but also brings a sense of humor to classical works with her choice of materials that she stitches into the images. Her works are fun and entertaining pieces of art.”
Pinzarrone is a graduate of the University of Illinois and received her master’s of arts degree from American University in Washington, D.C. She is the daughter of Paul Pinzarrone and Becky Pelley. Both of her parents are accomplished artists and well-known in the Rockford arts community.
“Stitched Shrines: Contemporary Embroideries,” works by Ellie Pinzarrone, will be on display through March 3. The Kortman Gallery is upstairs at J.R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St., downtown Rockford. Admission is free. Call (815) 968-0123 or visit www.jrkortman.com for more details.
From the Feb. 5-11, 2014, issue