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Artists create maps of historic Rockford neighborhoods

Picture of the Coronado Performing Art Center
Peter Swanson
Picture of the Coronado Performing Arts Center

Historic neighborhoods in a northern Illinois city are being highlighted in a creative way.

Rhiannon Yandell is the curator for the Mapping Rockford Through History Exhibition. This display shows artistic renditions of maps for historic Rockford neighborhoods. Yandell said artists were given creative freedom, but they were asked to film themselves visiting the neighborhoods.

“Capturing, you know, parts of that experience that you find meaningful,” she said. “Like what aspects of that neighborhood really say, 'this is the neighborhood' to you. If you go to Seventh Street commercial district, what captures the essence of that.”
Yandell said the creation isn’t a literal map.

“Although the map aspect of it should definitely come into play,” she explained. “We wanted them to be able to just do what they wanted to do with it.”

The artists were filmed by Neil Bloom of Future Memory Media when they dropped off their pieces. Photographer Peter J Swanson also captured pictures of each neighborhood.

The show is now open at City Hall. A closing reception will take place Oct. 6, the opening day for the city’s Fall ArtScene.

Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.