J. R. Kortman premiers "Snow Palace" holiday windows by ScaryHouse for Downtown Merry & Bright celebration November 29th

You won't want to miss "Merry & Bright! Stroll on State" Saturday evening (Nov. 29) from 4 to 9pm. Make sure you stop by J. R. Kortman Center for Design and see our holiday windows designed by the creative team at ScaryHouse...Concept artists "Scary" Dan Gildea, Mari Rocha Gildea, and Sam Cornn have created "Snow Palace," a beautiful visually interactive display that will make the season Merry & Bright for all who see it. You'll see the "abominable snow monkeys" who have come to protect the Snow Palace where Santa stores all the cool gifts from around the world. Step inside J. R. Kortman and EXPLORE the colorful gift ideas that are inside the shimmering white Snow Palace!
     And then make your way upstairs to the Kortman Gallery and see the amazing "Art+Design: Converging Creativity" holiday group exhibition. See what wonderful works 40 great Rockford artists created from 5 intriguing design objects. Tim Stotz will be tending the Kortman Gallery Bar serving up "Berry, Merry Martinis" and hot Gluhwein created by Stephanie Caltagerone. Relax with holiday cheer overlooking the holiday ice rink placed on Main Street right in front of our store! Hope to see you Saturday night...Merry & Bright!

Thanksgiving holiday ideas for your table...from J. R. Kortman

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday here are some ides that can add some fun and elegance to you holiday table...starting with a holiday guest book to fill with thoughts of gratitude, elegant stainless steel serving utensils, 3-tiered food presenter, beautiful gold & silver bird salt & pepper, glass domed butter dish by Michael Graves, and hostess guide to entertaining...

J.R. Kortman Center for Design celebrates Anniversary on November 20th!

On this day, November 20th, in 1986, J. R. Kortman Center for Design opened for business. We wanted to set a positive tone for our Downtown and show how you can redefine the city center by creating an alternative retail environment with an urban and entertaining experience. Our goal has been to bring merchandise and art not available anywhere else in the city, with taste & style. We have always had high hopes for our Downtown. It's taken a generation, but the city now seems to be catching on and understanding the importance of a vibrant center city.
    We have been fortunate to have so much encouragement from so many people over the years, especially Nancy Froelich (Doc’s sister) who has worked in the store and stood by us since day one. We can’t thank her enough!
    We would also like to thank the Rockford media, especially the Rock River Times, the Rockford Register-Star, and the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau...all who have over the years helped promote our art events and unique store experience.
    Also, a big thanks to the wonderful and creative artists who have exhibited in the Kortman Gallery over the years and added so much visual excitement and cultural vitality to the  Rockford arts community.
    But most of all, a grand thank you to our loyal and entertaining customers who have shopped with us, which now spans 2 generations of adventurous, curious, sophisticated shoppers with a sense of taste & style. THANK YOU!
    (Painting of storefront by Ken Biddle, c. 1988)

Art and Design Converges in Kortman Gallery Holiday Group Exhibition featuring 40 Rockford Artists

The merger of the imaginative worlds of art and design challenges artists to create original and expressive works of art in an innovative holiday group exhibition opening Friday, November 21st in the Kortman Gallery.
“Art+Design: Converging Creativity” presents multi-media works by more than 40 Rockford artists invited to be inspired by 5 inventive, unembellished functional objects designed to be enhanced by someone else.
    “Our store has always featured products with an emphasis on good design, and the gallery has consistently shown fantastic art by local artists,” said Doc Slafkosky co-owner of J. R. Kortman Center for Design and the Kortman Gallery. “We thought we would merge the creative works of both artists and designers into one stimulating and invigorating exhibition for this holiday season.”
    The artists were invited to choose among a “paper” watch, a stuffed toy monkey, a “house” candle holder, a cardboard radio, or a wooden robot puzzle figure, and transform these designer products into works of art.
    Ceramic artist and art professor at Rock Valley College Lynn Fischer Carlson chose the toy monkey designed by SUCK UK of London. “The designer provided me with an whimsical form that gave me a foundation to tell my own artistic story using the materials and techniques I normally create with,” said Fisher Carlson. “This was not only challenging, but great fun!”
    Artist David Menard, who chose the robot puzzle figure called Cubebot designed by David Weeks Studio of New York City said this exhibit has given him the opportunity to break some rules.. “The world of design is more restrictive than art,” said Menard, art professor at Rockford University. “There are no rules in art, which is a distinctive difference between these two creative disciplines. But what’s most exciting is being a part of the community of artists that are exhibiting in this show.”
    Participating artists include: Jeremy Klonicki, Sarah Bell, Michelle Dorr, John Deill, Kyle Wolfe,  Brian Hierstein, Joanne Gustafson, Matt Herbig, Corey Hagberg, Sarah Danielle Stewart, Una Ryan, Jesus Correa, Paul Pinzarrone, Drew Helge, Norm Knott, Becky Pelley, Margret Hesler-Hynes, Shari Grace, Keith Grace, Javier Jimenez, Lisa Jimenez, Maggie Thienemann, R Scott Long, Betsy Youngquist, Joe Goral, Jennifer Johansson, Lynn Fischer Carlson, Dave Menard, Molly Carter, Pam Kehoe-Peterson, Sarah Reed-McNamara, Valerie Olafson, Craig Olafson, Karen Harding, Cherri Rittenhouse, Jarrod Hennis, Britney Lindgren, Steve Pitkin, Michael Bugler, Leslie Arbetman, and Matt Vincent.
    To celebrate this exhibition the holiday windows at J. R. Kortman Center for Design will be created by ingenious concept artists Dan Gildea and Mari Rocha Gildea using the five designer objects featured in the gallery exhibit along with other store products.
    The opening reception for “Art+Design: Converging Creativity,” a holiday group exhibition of works by more than 40 artists will be Friday, November 21st, 5:30 to 10pm, The exhibit will run through January 3rd, 2015.
      The Kortman Gallery is located upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street, Downtown Rockford. For more information call 815.968.0123

"Velvet Realms" installation by Hot Dose! continues through November 15th in the Kortman Gallery

Here are some images of the "Velvet Realms" installation by Hot Dose! a.k.a. Corey Hagberg & Sarah Danielle Stewart. See this fantastic exhibition now through November 15th on the Kortman Gallery. Enjoy this exhibition with a relaxing drink this First Friday, November 7th...master  bartender Dennis Horton will be hosting the Kortman Gallery Bar all evening. We will also be unveiling 2 new hand-painted landmark ornaments to the Rockford Landmark Ornament Collection this Friday. The store will be open until 9pm and the gallery even later. 

"Velvet Realms" a collborative installation by HOT DOSE! opens Friday, October 3rd @ Kortman Gallery


  The eye-popping art works of Corey Hagberg and Sarah Danielle Stewart can be experienced together in a collaborative installation titled “Velvet Realms” opening Friday and Saturday, October 3rd and 4th in the Kortman Gallery. Hagberg and Stewart work under the pseudonym of Hot Dose! when they collaborate their individual sophisticated street art styles into one visually dynamic exhibition.
    As expressed in the artists’ statement, the “Velvet Realms” exhibition explores the visual schemes imagined by the artists that fill a void that occurs in the mind during “transformations in life...the threshold from a nightmare to being awake, child to adult, sick to healthy.”
    Hot Dose! began creating art together in 2013. The two artists approach their work from two different artistic techniques.
    “Sarah has a very painterly style with her work,” said Hagberg. “I paint very graphically, just like I draw. I feel like our styles create a certain harmony or balance between the graphic and the more rendered imagery.”
    “Creating a collaborative work is kind of like a dance or a game of chess, where one person’s move depends on the other person’s move, and so on,” says Stewart.  “We share very similar sensibilities as far as our aesthetic preferences are concerned, which helps the process move fluidly.”
    Both Hagberg and Stewart had featured solo shows in the Kortman Gallery, but this is the first time they will be showing together in the gallery.  
    “When these two energetic and very creative artists come together they bring an excitement to art that makes for a really entertaining experience,” said gallerist Doc Slafkosky.
    The opening receptions for “Velvet Realms,” an installation by Hot Dose! (Corey Hagberg & Sarah Danielle Stewart) will be both Friday, October 3rd, 5 to 10pm, and Saturday, October 4th, 3 to 9pm.  The opening is in conjunction with Fall ArtScene weekend. The exhibit will run through November 15th.
      The Kortman Gallery is located upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street, Downtown Rockford. For more information call 815.968.0123 or visit jrkortman.com.
What: “Velvet Realms,” a collaborative installation by Hot Dose! (Corey Hagberg & Sarah Danielle Stewart).
When: Opening receptions, Friday, October 3rd, 5 to 10pm and Saturday, October 4th, 3 to 9pm  The exhibition runs through November 15th. Gallery & Store open Monday through Saturday, 10am – 6pm.
Where: Kortman Gallery, upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street, Downtown Rockford
Admission: Free

End of Summer Sale finale! Presenting special storewide savings...ends Spetmber 30th

Our "End of Summer Sale" will be ending soon...and from now until September 30th, we're offering a special opportunity at storewide savings. When you spend $25 or more on 50%-off sale items, receive 10% off any other store puchases! A chance for big savings on some fun and colorful items on sale and throughout the store. Hurry, since this is a limited time offer.
Coming up October 3rd & 4th is Fall ArtScene. Kortman Gallery will be presenting "Velvet Realms," by Hot Dose!, a collaborative installation by Corey Hagberg & Sarah Stewart. This is an exhibition you won't want to miss!

J.R. Kortman thanks everyone for making RAM's Greenwich Village Art Fair a great success!

We would like to thank everyone who helped make Rockford Art Museum’s  2014 Greenwich Village Art Fair and Kortman Gallery’s Point! Bar a smashing success! First of our all, a big thank you to our bartenders who kept the party going all weekend: Dennis Horton, Michael LaLoggia, Tim Stotz, and Dan Swanson. And our After Hours Party DJ’s Fuzz & Nof, aka Dan Minick & Eric Nofsinger...and for Point Bar lighting... Jeremy Kloinicki...sound system from Doug Campbell of Hear.More.Music.  Also, thanks to the Better Business Bureau for sponsoring our emerging artists venue...and the emerging artists Eric Fuertes, Meico Gowan, Jonathan Kuss, and Carmen Turner. A special thanks to fair chairman Scott Prine, executive director Linda Dennis and the most accommodating and enthusiastic RAM staff...and the wonderful hospitality of all the great volunteers who worked tirelessly to help keep the festival an enjoyable and exciting weekend in Rockford! And, of course, thank you to the participating artists for their creativity, colorful imagination, and passionate work.

Kortman Gallery presents Point! Bar @ Greenich Village Art Fair, Sept. 13 & 14 @ Rockford Art Museum

This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, September 13 & 14, see you at the Rockford Art Museum’s Greenwich Village Art Fair! This will be the biggest fair in GVAF’s 66 year history...yes, since 1948! When you come to the fair stop by Kortman Gallery’s Point! Bar...a refreshing and relaxing cocktail bar located right in the middle of the fair on the grounds of the Riverfront Museum Park. Featured bartenders include Dennis Horton, Michael LaLoggia, Tim Stotz, and Dan Swanson. They will be mixing up Love Lemon Martinis (a GVAF classic) and Bellini Martinis along with other favorite drinks, beer, and wine.
    On Saturday evening from 5pm to 9pm, you and your friends are invited to our After Hours Party at Point! Bar...starring great music from DJ’s FUZZ & NOF. (Dan Minick & Eric Nofsinger) Art!, Music!, Cocktails!...let’s Dance! See you at the FAIR!
        Proceeds from Point! Bar benefit the Rockford Art Museum.