Rockford Art Museum

Connie Kuntz

Mixed Media Artist Norm Knott lives with his partner Steve Beard in Rockford. On a grey day in May, I drove to their neighborhood in northwest Rockford, parked my car, and walked up to their house. From the street, the rambler seemed ordinary, but the closer I got to the front door, things changed.

Delightful statues and artifacts frame the path. With each step, I could feel myself relax. As nice as that was, it was nothing like the moment of stepping into their home. I felt like Dorothy stepping into the magical land of Oz, except Norm and Steve’s house is more vibrant.

SteuartPittman.com

People donate art to museums from time to time. But a really large donation – a whole collection – can help define a museum's very identity. 

Laura and John Fraser, both artists, have collected contemporary art together for decades. Over the years, they amassed a large set of pieces rich - if that's the right word for so subtle a collection – in abstract images and shapes, with the occasional bit of whimsy.

Rockford Art Museum

When is a house not just a home? When it's the subject of an exhibition, called "Dwellings," at the Rockford Art Museum.   

 

Guy Stephens/WNIJ

Museum curators usually build an art exhibition around a particular artist's work or on a theme. But the Rockford Art Museum's Midwestern Biennial has an outside judge, lots of different artists and no theme. So how do you curate that? 

As Museum Curator Carrie Johnson explains, the Midwestern Biennial poses particular challenges. Normally, she spends up to two years vetting artists, assembling works, and picking a theme.

Leonard Bernstein at 100

The Rockford arts community will celebrate musical icon Leonard Bernstein during the month of April.

The festival, "Leonard Bernstein at 100," is being led by the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. RSO Education and Community Engagement Director Margo Stedman said Bernstein’s many accomplishments as a composer, conductor and music educator are reason enough to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Stephen Pitkin / Rockford Art Museum

When the Rockford Art Museum decided to start “Art in Bloom” a couple of years ago, David Boccignone was excited by the opportunity to serve as its chair.  He sees the event as a way to make the community aware of the amazing artworks in the museum’s own collection by highlighting certain pieces from it by recreating them through floral designs.

RAM Halfway Towards Fundraising Goal

Mar 23, 2016
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The Rockford Art Museum launched a half-million dollar endowment campaign Tuesday and is already halfway toward its goal.

The I AM RAM campaign already received gifts totaling a quarter million dollars from the Lon and Dick Behr Foundation and the Funderburg Foundation.

This is only the second fundraising campaign for the endowment since it was created in 1997.

The museum says it put off launching another campaign until the economy recovered.

The museum was founded in 1913. It houses nearly 2,000 works of art.

Rockford Art Museum

Rockford Art Museum is wrapping up its 100th year in a number of big ways. Saturday, the museum hosts its 25th annual Evergreen Ball. Patrons will dine and dance among two-hundred of the museum’s greatest works, which are showcased in the on-going centennial exhibition. There’s also a new book highlighting the stories behind the museum’s growth from a sketch club to a community institution.