Do the Calimacho!...First Friday @ J. R. Kortman....AND...Downtown 2 Block Party...August 10th

First Friday, August 2nd....a great way to start off a great Summertime weekend in Downtown Rockford and J. R. Kortman Center for Design! Back by popular demand from July's First Friday are Calimochos...the refreshing beach drink from Spain. Everyone loved this cool blend of red wine and Coke so much that we thought, since we're still in the middle of Summer, why not feature them again for this First Friday. Dennis Horton will be on hand to mix up one just for you...or pour your favorite summer drink. Shop the store until 9pm and meet friends upstairs in the Kortman Gallery and enjoy "Kaleidoscopic Visions" an exhibition of new works by Jav & Lisa Jimenez. Come Downtown for City Market and stay Downtown for more shopping, art, and drinks at J. R. Kortman Center for Design & Gallery and many other shops,  galleries, and restaurants.

 Don't miss Main Street District's  2 Block Party, Downtown Rockford, coming Saturday, August 10th...featuring live music from MIles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts, Mike & Joe, and Stendek.
Tickets are $10 at the gate or save by ordering in advance on line:
or stop by our store and purchase tickets in advance.

Ancient & contemporary arts and crafts fuse for distinctive & decorative collectables @ J. R. Kortman

Just returned from the Panjia Yuan Market in Beijing where we found ancient imagery recreated with contemporary materials and colors. Four-faced Buddha heads in shiny metal...bright red resin sculptures influenced by Chinese artist Yue Minjun...quirky coconut jewelry from provincial China...even a Xian tomb warrior sculpted with a unique polymer in an elegant blue...for you to discover here at J. R. Kortman Center for Design.

First Friday, July 5...Art of Jav & Lisa Jimenez, Marcia Mueller's iPod, Michael La Loggia @ the Kortman Gallery Bar

    Happy Birthday America! A great time of the year to celebrate anything with sunny days and romantic Summer evenings. The 4th of July fireworks are just the beginning of a great weekend in Downtown Rockford. On First Friday, July 5th we will be celebrating with a great evening of refreshing beverages and a new featured playlist upstairs in the Kortman Gallery surrounded by the contemporary colorful art by Javier & Lisa Jimenez. Uncle Sam (Michael) La Loggia will be serving up a refreshing summer drink at a special price...Calimachos...a blend of red wine & Coca Cola (yes, that's right). The Calimacho (Kalimotxo in Spanish) is a summer beach and festival drink which has its origins in the Basque region of Spain. And we'll be revealing the personal playlist from the iPod of Marcia Mueller, a prominent personality in Rockford's art scene. Marcia's tune will be played through a great sound system from Hear.MoreMusic.
     So enjoy Friday's City Market and stop by and shop 'til 9 @ J. R. Kortman Center for Design and celebrate our nations 237th birthday up in the Kortman Gallery with art, music, and a cool drink!

SummerTime...a cool watch for those hot summer days from J. R. Kortman!

J. R. Kortman Center for Design has an intriguing selection of unique watches from some of the world's greatest designers that will not only tell you the time, but entertain your wrist with something beautiful and elegant. Make a cool fashion statement with a watch from Alessi, Lexon, Projects, and Tokyo Bay. Suit your personality with a contemporary timepiece that's architectural, or whimsical, or even eye-catching kinetic. Mention you saw this on our website or our Facebook page and receive 10% off the watch of your choice. While shopping with us...don't miss "Kaleidoscopic Visions" an exhibition of new works by Javier & Lisa Jimenez upstairs in the Kortman Gallery.

Javier & Lisa Jimenez exhibit "Kaleidoscopic Visions" @ Kortman Gallery

“Kaleidoscopic Visions” opening Friday, June 7th in the Kortman Gallery is an exhibition of new works by artists whose art is not only connected visually but personally. Husband and wife, Javier and Lisa Jimenez converge their creative works connected by color and kaleidoscopic imagery...blending two distinctive styles of art into an imaginative and elegant show.
    “The focus of these works is on repetition and on how repeating a somewhat simple form over and over can create something complex and beautiful,” says Lisa Jimenez. “It’s a modern interpretation of a kaleidoscope.”
    Both of these born and raised Rockford artists gather influences from everyday imagery often from popular culture references with an emphasis on bright colors and the use of repetition.
    Javier Jimenez, know for his screen prints, just returned from London where his collaborative works with 2 other Rockford artists, Dave Menard and Jarrod Hennis, were a smashing success at the “Pick Me Up” print show at Somerset House arts center.
    This new body of work from Lisa Jimenez combines screen-printing and acrylic painting techniques to create whimsical compositions.
    “I enjoy putting images together that at first glance do not seem to relate but after further viewing begin to ‘make sense.’” says Lisa. “This work draws from my funny, unique, and at times strange imagination.”
    “Both Javier and Lisa have a keen sense and alertness to the contemporary art scene in Rockford and the world,” said Doc Slafkosky, Kortman Gallery director. “Their work is fresh, vibrant, and visually entertaining. It’s an artistic coup for the gallery and art lovers to have them together in one exhilarating exhibit.”
    The opening reception for “Kaleidoscopic Visions,” new works by Javier and Lisa Jimenez, will be Friday, June 7th from 5:30 to 9:00pm in the Kortman Gallery, upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street. The show is part of First Fridays Downtown. DJ Slick Vick will be spinning vinyl and the gallery bar, hosted by Dennis Horton, will be open during the event. “Kaleidoscopic Visions” will be on display through July 31st. For further information call 815/968-0123 or visit
What: “Kaleidoscopic Visions” an exhibition of new works by Javier & Lisa Jimenez
When:  Opening reception for “Kaleidoscopic Visions” will be Friday, June 7th from 5:30 to 9:00pm in conjunction with First Fridays Downtown. The exhibition runs through July 31st. Gallery & Store open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm.
Where: Kortman Gallery, upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design,
             107 North Main Street, Downtown Rockford
Admission: Free

Weddings & Graduations: The Season of ‘Congratulations’…say it with a gift from J. R. Kortman

Spring is the season for new beginnings and landmark life events. It is the season for Weddings & Graduations…and a great way to celebrate and commemorate these new beginnings is with a great gift from J. R. Kortman Center for Design. Find lasting treasures for the Bride & Groom or the graduate…something memorable or practical or both. Beautiful heirloom quality hand-polished stainless steel objects of design & function from Alessi for the wedding couple or cool Lexon computer briefcase, backpack, or travel alarm for the graduate. And if your getting married…treat your each member of your bridal party with a personal gift from J. R. Kortman. We also provide bridal registry services. “Register for things you need at a department store…register for things you want at J. R. Kortman Center for Design.”

J. R. Kortman storefront, owners featured in RAM photo exhibit by Nels Akerlund

We are honored to be the subject of a large scale (6′ x 4′) photograph by internationally recognized Rockford based photographer Nels Akerlund. The Rockford Art Museum exhibition titled, “Exposed” features beautiful photos, not only by Nels, but also Brian Hampton and Brad Nordlof. Nels photographed more then twenty people who have made significant contributions to the business, political, or cultural life of the city of Rockford. These grand and colorful photos by all three artists need to be seen in person at the museum to be truly appreciated. Pay a visit to RAM and see this show. It will be an enjoyable time well spent!


Artist Barry Treu sees lines and shapes and their relationship to each other in every day common objects that happen to be arranged by chance. It is these “found” visual compositions that are the inspiration for his abstract acrylic paintings.
On Friday, April 5th “Abstractions–observed, recorded and found,” an exhibition of recent paintings by Barry Treu opens in the Kortman Gallery in Downtown Rockford.
“My artwork often begins with photographing ‘found’ compositions, such as chance arrangements of theater props, dismantled and placed against a wall with no regard for color, shape or design,” said Treu. “Once photographed, they are printed out, drawn and transferred to canvas with charcoal. From there my work evolves through the layering of texture and color with paint.”
According to Kortman gallery director Doc Slafkosky, 

Treu’s art is a “breath of fresh air.” “It is refreshing to see work that is contemporary and elegant,” says Slafkosky. “Barry is a serious painter whose timeless works can be mesmerizing and visually challenging, yet would fit in any environment.”
Barry Treu recently returned to his Midwest roots by accepting the position of Director of Education at the Freeport Art Museum in Freeport, Illinois. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Treu has taught university level classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and computer arts, worked as a sculptor in a mint, and has thoroughly enjoyed the museum education field for the past 7 years.
The opening receptions for “Abstractions–observed, recorded and found,” paintings by Barry Treu will be Friday, April 5th, from 5 to 9pm and Saturday, April 6th from 3 to 9pm.The opening coincides with First Fridays Downtown and the Rockford ArtScene weekend. The art will be on display through May 18th.. The gallery is located upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street. For further information call 815/968-0123 or visit

What: “ Abstractions–observed, recorded and found” an exhibition of paintings by Berry Treu
When: Opening receptions: Friday, April 5, 5 to 9pm (featuring music from DJ Slick Vick) and Saturday, April 6, 3 to 9pm. The exhibition runs through May 18th. Gallery & Store open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm.
Where: Kortman Gallery, upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design,
107 North Main Street, Downtown Rockford
Admission: Free