By Anne E. O’Keefe
Rockford Area Arts Council
Rockford Public Schools’ All City Art Show will be up through Saturday, check venue for hours. Venues this year include Ascension Art Studio, 323 W. Jefferson; CNVR/Conveyer, 317 W. Jefferson; Octane Interlounge, 124 N. Main; and Kortman Gallery at J.R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main. The show is organized by RPS 205 art teachers from Auburn, East, Guilford, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Wilson Aspire. Some work will then go on to regional and state shows, including Rockford Art Museum’s juried Young Artist Show. Additional support for the show comes from Bonnie Spurling, Fine Arts Director and Emily Tropp, Project Coordinator of RPS.
The show was started in 2006 by LuAnn Widergren, then the Fine Arts Coordinator, with the help of local artist Lisa Frost. Each school selects their “best of the best” work to showcase. Because there are four venues this year, more students work can be shown.
“We are proud to prepare and show off what is happening in our classrooms with the community and even more excited about partnering with downtown businesses and arts advocates who work with us to exhibit our talented and hardworking young artists. The students are excited to see their work in new spaces, art galleries and venues that specifically focus on featuring artists and creative work,” said Lynn Stockton, Jefferson Art Teacher and BAMIT Academy Leader.
Stockton went on to say that every school was invited to exhibit 20 plus works at each site, 10 at Kortman’s due to work being 3-D work and the venue size. There is a total of 350 pieces in the show.
Doc Slafkosky and Jerry Kortman are happy to open up their gallery space.
“This a great opportunity for students to show their creative works in an actual gallery environment where it can be seen by the general public, who may not usually attend school events. It’s so important for our city to recognize and encourage the creative spirit in our young people, since creativity, imagination and vision are key elements in transforming Rockford.”
This is the second year Pablo Korona has opened CNVR (Conveyer) for the show.
“Expression, specifically through art, is the most important thing these young people can do to help define themselves – I want to support people finding their voice in any way I can. Art is the greatest resource we should be investing in, and showcasing these young people finding their voice through expression is my way of doing that.”
“Octane has always believed in supporting the arts. When we were asked to do this a number years ago we said yes immediately. Octane saw an opportunity to help the students get exposure to their wonderful artwork that they normally wouldn’t have. It’s great to see the excitement on the students’ faces when they see all of the different people coming to admire the work,” said Dan Minnick.
The work comes down on Sunday so see it today.