The Laurent House & Frank Lloyd Wright Inspire Kortman Gallery Exhibition, opening Nov. 25

     The Laurent House, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces, embraces the landscape along Springbrook Road, right here in Rockford. It is the only building that Wright designed to be totally handicapped accessible and the only Wright house where the original owners still live in the home designed specifically for them.
     In honor of this world-class property, the Kortman Gallery is presenting a group exhibition titled “The Wright Inspiration: Art, Design, and the Laurent House.” Sixteen Rockford artists will present works inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright in a variety of media along with multi-media images of the interior and exterior of the Laurent House.
   “Mr. Wright is probably the most influential figure in architecture in modern times,” said Doc Slafkosky, Kortman Gallery director. “He is recognized around the world for his innovative and challenging designs...and to have one of his beautiful works here in Rockford is worth celebrating. Besides, he’s the
only architect I know mentioned in a song!”
   The Kortman exhibition will not only feature fine art, but functional design objects for the home such as pottery, lighting, and even neck ties. “This is more than an art show, you could almost say it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright/Laurent House experience,” said Slafkosky. “An entertaining holiday exhibition the entire family will enjoy seeing.”
        Participating artists are Frank Houtkamp, Keith Grace, Brad Nordlof, Jim Julin,
 John Verl McNamara, Jeanne Ludeke, Valerie Olafson, Javier Jimenez, Steve Pitkin,   
 Shari Grace, R. Scott Long, Jeremy Klonicki, Carmen Turner, Jennifer Mullin, Robert Sunday, and
Betsy Youngquist.
       The exhibition is presented in cooperation with Mr & Mrs. Kenneth H. Laurent,The Laurent House Foundation, The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Engine Studio, and Wallblank. 
      The opening reception for “The Wright Inspiration: Art, Design, and the Laurent House” exhibition will be Friday, November 25th from 5 to 10pm.  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: “The Wright Inspiration: Art, Design, and the Laurent House” art exhibit featuring 15 Rockford artists and multi-media images of the Laurent House.
When: Opening receptions: Friday, November 25th, 5 to 10pm. Gallery & Store open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm, and Sundays (in December) 1 – 5pm. Exhibit runds throug January 6th.
Where: Kortman Gallery, upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 
             107 North Main St.
Admission: Free 

First Friday Nov 4 @ J R sale!, art of Cherri Rittenhouse & R, Scott Long's iPod revealed.

 This First Friday @ J.R. Kortman Center for Design, save 20 - 40 % on selected items as we begin our FALL DOT SALE.  Here is your chance to get an early start on your Holiday shopping and save some money too.  The sale begins @ 5:pm Friday night come early for the best selection.  See the "25: Rittenhouse @ Kortman" exhibition, featuring paintings by Cherri Rittenhouse upstairs in the Kortman Gallery, and then relax at the Kortman Gallery Bar with your favorite beverage served by bar host Dennis Horton.  Groove to the music from  R. Scott Long's unedited  iPod playlist ..... played through a cool and contemporary sound system provided by  

Hear. More. Music.

Kortman Gallery celebrates 25 years with Cherri Rittenhouse exhibition during Fall ArtScene, Oct. 14 &15

Cherri Rittenhouse to Unveil New                   
          Painting at Kortman Gallery

Cherri Rittenhouse, one of Rockford’s most accomplished artists, will be unveiling a new painting at 7pm during the opening of her exhibition at the Kortman Gallery on Friday, October 14th. The exhibition titled “25: Rittenhouse @ Kortman” features selected works by Rittenhouse, first artist and curator of the Kortman Gallery, marking the 25th anniversary of the Gallery. Paintings in the exhibit represent works created by Rittenhouse over the past 25 years through the present.
“We’re so excited to have Cherri showing again in the gallery after 25 years,” said Doc Slafkosky, gallery director. “We thought it would be fun to have an actual unveiling of a new piece to add to the excitement.”
Rittenhouse whose works can best be described as Expressionistic Abstraction with subject matter comprised of inner visions and personal narratives that are derived from subconscious sources. 
“I never know what I’m going to do,” Rittenhouse says, “I just make an image and then respond to it and see where it takes me. It’s very freeing to work this way – it’s like uncovering a part of myself that I didn’t know existed.”
Highlights of her career as a painter include a Best of Show award at the New Horizons in Art at The Chicago Cultural Center, her time as a gallery artist with the Phyllis Kind Gallery in Chicago in the 1990’s, shows in Mexico where she now has a home and studio as well as a show at the prestigious Vida Museum in Borgholm, Sweden in 2009.
In addition to being Professor of Art at Rock Valley College, Rittenhouse owns and operates two restaurants, Josef of Barbados and Pearl, with her chef husband, Josef Schwaiger. They live in Rockford with their daughter, Sofia.
The opening receptions for “25: Rittenhouse @ Kortman” exhibition will be Friday, October 14th and Saturday, October 15th from 5 to 9pm in conjunction with Fall ArtScene.  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: “25: Rittenhouse @ Kortman” art exhibit featuring 
                         paintings by Cherri Rittenhouse
When: Opening receptions: Friday, October 14th, 5 to 9:00pm (unveiling of new painting at 7pm) and Saturday, October 15th, 3 to 9pm. Exhibits runs thru November 19th. Gallery & Store open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Where: Kortman Gallery, upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 
             107 North Main St.
Admission: Free 

To see images of Cherri Rittenhouse's exhibiton click on the "Current Show" option to the left. If you are viewing this via posterous go to



First Friday, Oct. 7 @ Kortman Gallery...Sarah Stewart's art, Beth Ann Weis' iPod & Dennis Horton @ the bar

First Friday, October 7th at J.R. Kortman Center for Design you can shop 'til 9pm...then relax upstairs over a refreshing drink served to you by Dennis Horton who will be hosting the Kortman Gallery Bar. See the exciting art of Sarah Danielle Stewart, whose colorful exhibition "Flesh in Rainbows" has been extended through October 8th... and "What's on Beth Ann's iPod?"  Find out when we play the unedited playlist from the iPod of Beth Ann Weis, owner and creative director of Beth Ann Weis Salon located at 4108 Morsay  Drive in Hope to see you this First Friday at J. R. Kortman Center for Design.

J.R. Kortman Point! Bar thanks all the patrons, bartenders, and Greenwich Village Art Fair committee for a fun & successful weekend!!!

We at J. R. Kortman Center for Design want to thank everyone for a fun and successful weekend at Kortman Gallery Point! Bar at this year's Greenwich Village Art Fair. A special thank you to bartenders Michaels LaLoggia, Sr. and Jr., Eric Knox...and especially Dennis Horton who not only tended bar, but managed it. We also would like to thank D.J. Fuzz (Dan Minick) for keeping the "After Hours" party jumpin' on Saturday evening. And, of course, all of the fun patrons who supported the bar and the Rockford Art Museum. Scott Prine and the Greenwich Village Art Fair committee did a great job making this such a wonderful and premier arts & entertainment event. Also, thank you to Doug Campbell from Hear More Music for the After Hours party sound system, and Doug & Holli Connell of Engine Studio for daytime sound system. And Nancy Froelich....thanks for the iPod!  The photos capture some of the fun and relaxing moments at Point! Bar.

Kortman "Point! Bar" @ RAM's Greenwich Village Art Far, Sept. 17 & 18...Martinis, Music & Art!

The Love Lemon Martini joins the Sock Monkey Martini at the Kortman Gallery "Point! Bar" located in the middle of Rockford Art Museum's annual Greenwich Village Art Fair. The two tasty martinis were a big hit at On The, if you didn't get a chance to enjoy them at OTW...come to the Greenwich Village Art Fair, Saturday & Sunday, September 17th & 18th. On Saturday two Michael LaLoggias (Father & Son) will be manning the Point! Bar... and Sunday, Chris Doyle & Chad Hobbs will take care of all your beverage needs. And don't miss the AFTER HOURS PARTY on Saturday evening as the festival winds down. Point! Bar will be open from 5pm to 8pm with Dennis Horton hosting the bar. Relax, groove, and dance to the music of D. J. Fuzz (Dan Minick) who will keep the party going. After the AFTER HOURS PARTY head on over to Block 5 in Downtown Rockford for even more fun. A great weekend of Art, Music, and great food!  Also visit for more art fair info.



Love Lemon vs. Sock Monkey martini @ Kortman Gallery Bar during On The Waterfront!

Making its triumphant return to the Kortman Gallery outside bar after a two year absence, the Sock Monkey Martini will be battling it out with the now classic Love Lemon Martini™ to see what‘s this year’s On The Waterfront’s favorite martini. The Love Lemon Martini™ was inspired by a festival kids’ treat that was served years ago at “Beattie Is...” (back in the ’70’s) and Rockford Art Museum’s “Greenwich Village Art Fairs”. The idea was to suck the juice from the lemon through the peppermint stick. The stick not only sweetened the juice but added a cooling sensation.
But the Love Lemon Martini™ is a very adult treat...refreshingly delicious, consisting of vodka, Limoncello (an Italian lemon liqueur), and fresh lemon juice garnished with a slice of lemon pierced by a peppermint stick.
The sock monkey, Rockford’s unofficial mascot and party animal is the inspiration for this playful adult cocktail...the Sock Monkey Martini™.  A blend of coconut vodka, creme de cacao, banana liqueur, laced with chocolate syrup and garnished with a cherry, the Sock Monkey Martini will make you go bananas for another one!
Also featured at the Kortman Gallery Bar will be Miller Lite, Blue Moon, Amstel Light and Heineken beers along with a selection of wine and soft drinks.
Stop by the Kortman Gallery Bar and relax in our tent, or should we say, our Main Street lounge...see you Labor Day Weekend, On The Waterfront ’11, downtown Rockford.

Note: The Kortman outside bar and upstairs gallery will be open Friday evening at least ‘til midnite and Saturday & Sunday from 2pm at least ‘til midnite or later depending on demand. Due to the festival, store hours may vary...please phone ahead 815-968-0123 for more information.

Opening Friday, August 26th...Sarah Stewart @ Kortman Gallery and John Deill & Jim Julin @ RAM...don't miss them!

Sarah Danielle Stewart exhibits 
vibrant, colorful work at Kortman Gallery

Seeing the works of Rockford artist Sarah Danielle Stewart is like getting a flash vision into the workings of her imagination. Her complex, colorful works will be on exhibit in the Kortman Gallery opening on Friday, August 26th. The exhibition titled “Flesh in Rainbows” presents mixed-media, dynamic works that are influenced by the Stewart’s boundless imaginative view of nostalgia, kitsch, cartoons, pulp illustration, plus pattern, fabric, and vibrant colors.
“The show title ‘Flesh in Rainbows’ speaks directly to the way I see and think about everything,” says Stewart. “ Memories spur to me in hues, the reflection of light translates color and vibration, and color not only represents, but emanates emotion. Colors can be comforting, but also jarring. They can be offensive and ridiculous, yet they can be beautiful and strong. With this body of work, I strive to achieve all of the above.”
  Kortman Gallery director, Doc Slafkosky says Stewarts work is “amazingly intricate and beautifully executed, but at the same time a little whacky. You really have to spend some time looking at her pieces to see everything that’s going on in her vibrant paintings. These works are eye-catching entertainment.”
The opening reception for Stewart’s “Flesh in Rainbows” Kortman exhibition will be Friday, August 6th from 5:30 to 9pm  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: “Flesh in Rainbows” art exhibit
            featuring new mixed-media works by Sarah Dnielle Stewart
When: Friday, August 26th, 5:30 to 9:00pm. Exhibits runs thru October 1st. Gallery & Store open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Where: Kortman Gallery, upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 
             107 North Main St.
Admission: Free 
To see images of Sarah Danielle Stewart's exhibiton and photos of opening night click on the "Current Show" option to the left. If you are seeing this via posterous go to

 Just a few blocks up Main Street, at the Rockford Art Museum (also starting Friday, August 26th) see the works of two of Rockford's most prolific and celebrated artists John Deill and Jim Julin. Works include pieces created over several decades. Friday evening: RAM members only...Saturday open to the public. For further information visit  .




Rockford themed postcards, notecards, and mugs add to summer fun @ J.R. Kortman Center for Design

The Rockford Sock Monkey and the world class "Symbol" sculpture by Alexander Liberman in Sinnissippi Park are the stars of these fun summer postcards, notecards, and mugs now available at J.R. Kortman Center for Design. Perfect for your visiting friends and relatives who want to fondly remember their stay in the Forest City...or, send to those who've moved away...or, maybe, you want to add to your own collection of Rockford memorabilia. The cards & mugs are original J. R. Kortman photos and designs and are a great keepsake as well as our Rockford Landmark ornament collection, featuring hand-painted images of the new Nicholas Conservatory, vintage Sinnissippi Lagoon, Burpee Natural History Museum, Anderson Gardens, including "Symbol", the Rockford Sock Monkey and many more.



Phonetography exhibit First Friday, August 5th @ Kortman Gallery + Alessi sale, Nancy Froelich's iPod, Dennis Horton hosting the bar & Leslie Arbetman's art

Looking forward to this First Friday, August 5th when we will be featuring an exciting new exhibition in the Kortman Gallery called Phonetography. Multiple digital displays will show slide shows from a cutting edge group of artists who take their mobile phone cameras seriously and the result is some pretty fantastic photographs, or should we say, Phonetographs. This special exhibit is being presented by Engine Studio & Ryan Davis Photography. Also in the gallery, you can still see the works of Leslie Arbetman whose show has been extended through August 15th. Shop in the store 'til 9pm this Friday. The special 20% off sale on selected Alessi design pieces was to end July 31st...but in honor of First Friday we are extending the sale through this Friday. Dennis Horton will be hosting the Kortman Gallery Bar and we will reveal the unedited playlist from the iPod of our very own Nancy Froelich.
Hope to see you soon!