Louis Recchia, Zoa Ace and daughter Mary exhibit exuberant works in Kortman Gallery, Oct. 7 – Nov. 12

There are lots of enthusiastic adjectives to do describe the art works of Colorado artists Louis Recchia, Zoa Ace, and Mary Recchia: Colorful, exuberant, exciting, engaging, entertaining, and accessible art. And art is all in the family with this group exhibition, titled “I’m OK So Far” presenting works by father, mother, and daughter, together for the first time in the Kortman Gallery opening Friday & Saturday, October 7th & 8th.

“Louis and Zoa have shown multiple times over the past 30 years in the Kortman Gallery,” said gallery director Doc Slafkosky. “They have created quite a following, not only here, but across the art world, with pieces in museum, corporate and private collections. They actually make their living from their art, which is quite an accomplishment!”

“Recchia and Ace will be joined by their daughter Mary who will be showing her print works, which are distinctive from her parents, however you can see the family influence in her imagery,” says Slafkosky.

Colorful themes featuring images of people, animals, pop culture, represented in mix of different media, from painting to collage to printmaking are featured in this exhibition.

“My work explores themes such as vulnerability and innocence lost, and is included in many public collections ranging from the Denver Art Museum to the Absolut Vodka corporate collection,” said Recchia. “Over the years, my paintings have been shown in many places including the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.”

Zoa Ace, who grew up in Rockford, has lived in Berthoud, Colorado for over 20 years, and has been showing and selling her colorful works in the Denver area and across the art world. “My paintings have appeared in the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria, Mosko Miller Fine Art in New York City, and in the Denver Art Museum as part of a public collection,” says Ace.

“I love drawing animals of all kinds and sharing them with lovely people at affordable prices,” says daughter Mary Recchia. “My illustrations are cute. Some are kinda weird. That's the way I like it. I hope you like them, too.”

Opening receptions for the Kortman Gallery exhibit “I’m OK So Far,” a family group exhibition will be Friday, October 7th, 5:00 to 10pm and Saturday, October 8th from 3:00 to 9pm. It will be on display through November 12th. Kortman Gallery is located upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street in Downtown Rockford. The opening reception is free and open to the public. For more information call 815-968-0123 or visit www.jrkortman.com.

Jeanne Ludeke’s realist paintings recall images of family history, relationships and home in Kortman Gallery Exhibition

After her mother passed away, Rockford artist Jeanne Ludeke, while sorting through her belongings, became interested in the cardboard boxes her mother had used to store and preserve things that were important to her. Moved by the imagery of the boxes and the memories they contain, Ludeke saw them as an intriguing subject matter for her exhibition of realist paintings.
    On Friday, August 12th, Ludeke will present these remarkable paintings in a Kortman Gallery exhibit titled “Flashlights & Other Stories.”
    “Jeanne’s exquisite paintings at first glance look like beautifully colored abstracts,” says Kortman Gallery director Doc Slafkosky. “But with a closer look you discover they are paintings of the actual aged cardboard boxes that held her mom’s treasured keepsakes. Most unusual, but unforgettable imagery that you just have to see!”
    “The history of what each box had once held was recorded with my mom’s script on the lids and sides of the boxes,” Ludeke said. “What she had saved and valued and how it was kept, spoke of her connection to our family and her relationship with the material world. For me, the boxes became a metaphor for the transience of home, family and the impermanence of things.”
    Ludeke began her studies in drawing, painting and art history at NIU and the University of Salzburg, Austria, and completed a Masters in drawing at NIU in 1983. She has worked as a commissioned portrait artist and also taught art for many years. Only recently she has returned to her personal work as an artist.
      The Kortman Gallery exhibit “Flashlights & Other Stories,” paintings by Jeanne Ludeke will open Friday, August 12th, 5:30 to 9pm. It will be on display through September 30th. Kortman Gallery is located upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street in Downtown Rockford. The opening reception is free and open to the public. For more information call 815-968-0123 or visit www.jrkortman.com.

First Friday, July 1st @ J. R. Kortman: Blue Dot Sale!...and Great Photographs by Hans Rupert @ Kortman Gallery

Start off your holiday weekend Downtown First Friday, July 1st, with shopping at J. R. Kortman Center for Design featuring our Blue Dot Sale with 25% off on selected items. Then relax upstairs in the Kortman Gallery with a refreshing wine cocktail or ice cold beer served up by master bartender Tim Stotz while enjoying the remarkable photographs of Downtown Rockford created by Hans Rupert. You won't want to miss this great exhibit which will be on display through July 31st.

Hans Rupert Captures Downtown Architecture in a New Light in Kortman Gallery Photo Exhibit

Downtown Rockford is Hans Rupert’s front and backyard, his neighborhood, his workplace, his home. And being a commercial photographer with architectural clients, Rupert has an eye and camera on buildings. With the opportunity of seeing it 24 hours a day, season after season for three decades, the unique architecture of Downtown Rockford has naturally become the subject of Rupert’s stunning and intriguing neighborhood photographs.
    On Friday June 3rd, Hans Rupert’s captivating perspective of Downtown Rockford will be presented in “Secret Scenes: Hidden icons in a different light,” an exhibition of photographs will open in the Kortman Gallery.
    “Hans starting posting his collection of these elegant photos of Downtown on Instagram and Facebook and that caught our eye,” said Doc Slafkosky, gallerist for the Kortman Gallery. “The light, the colors, and the architectural details in his photos is breathtaking. Hans has stepped out of his commercial field and into the artistic world with these photos.”
    “I was surprised when the Kortman Gallery approached me with the idea for an exhibition,” said Rupert. “I have always thought of my photography as a commercial endeavor, and not necessarily art. But, I’m excited and pleased to share my Downtown with everyone.”
    In his exhibition title, Rupert refers to “secret scenes” which, in reality, are in plain site, says Slafkosky. “However, you see them from a personal and atmospheric perspective that Rupert was able to capture through detailed familiarity and affection for his neighborhood. Most of us don’t see Downtown in this light.”
    Since the mid 1980’s, commercial photographer Hans Rupert has not only  worked, but has lived in Downtown Rockford.  Studio space was affordable as was living space. In the late ’90’s Rupert acquired the Bliss Building on Mulberry Street where he and his wife, Amy are raising their two children. He is a graduate of Rockford University and owner of noir.net, his photography business.  
    The Kortman Gallery exhibit “Secret Scenes: Hidden icons in a different light,” photographs by Hans Rupert will open First Friday, June 3rd, 5:30 to 9pm. It will be on display through July 16th. Kortman Gallery is located upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street in Downtown Rockford. For more information call 815-968-0123.

Open-mic poetry reading celebrates Earth Day, Friday April 22nd @ Kortman Gallery

The Mas Tequila Review and the Kortman Gallery present another poetry open mic in downtown Rockford on Friday, April 22nd. The theme is Earth Day. Rockford poets and the general public are invited to come together as we celebrate restoring and maintaining the planet we live on and the environment we live in. Sign up to read your favorite Earth Day related poem, and also share one of your original works. Sign-up begins at 7:30 pm. Limited to the first 15 readers, additional readers if time permits.The readings are hosted by Richard Vargas.
Free to the public. The bar will be open with Bartender Tim Stotz mixing up a special Kortman Gallery Bar wine cocktail!.