Colorlab custom cosmetics brings it's creative magic to Kortman Gallery, First Friday, April 6th

        Colorlab, the internationally known cosmetic company founded in Rockford, will present a complimentary tester bar in the Kortman Gallery on First Friday, April 6th from 5 to 9pm. This is a great opportunity to try customizing your cosmetics with the help of the expert make-up artists from Colorlab...all while enjoying a glass of wine from the Kortman Gallery Bar and listening to cool music from Carrie Johnson Breitbach's iPod through a great sound system from 
"The Colorlab tester bar is kind of like a 'play station' for women," says Colorlab representative Annalise Berman. "This will be a fun and glamorous evening for everyone...even guys, who can enjoy watching women at play. The make-up bar will be set up right in the middle of the gallery, so you will be surrounded by the colorful and alluring art of Shannon Blosser-Salisbury."

      Shop at J. R. Kortman Center for Design until 9pm. The Kortman Gallery Bar, hosted by Dennis Horton, will be open even later.  Carrie Johnson Breitbach, education director at the Rockford Art Museum, was lead singer with the Carriers. Hear her unedited iPod playlist all evening in the Kortman Gallery. "What's on your ipod?"™ 



J.R. Kortman Center for Design reacts to the Midway's partial roof collapse

It is a sad day for all of Rockford with the collapse of part of the Midway Theater roof. Let's not panic. This could be a wake up call to becoming proactive in saving the building. Having restored our 1920's Barloga building we (J.R. Kortman) understand the challenge. We faced  asbestos, tuck pointing, roof issues, etc. but they are all things that can be done. The Coronado had a lot of these same issues...but still more cost effective than building a new performing arts center.  Most importantly, to save old buildings from the wrecking ball is such a wonderful thing for our city...especially for future generations. They tell so much about our history and our past appreciation for beauty...which is something we seem to have lost here. Speaking of the Coronado, Westlake Assocs. (the architects for the Coronado) said that the Midway has excellent "natural" acoustics and would be an ideal setting for smaller acoustic concerts. Downtown Rockford has such an interesting array of performance venue's including the Times Theater, Rockford Theater, Sullivan Center, and the beautiful Midway theater, plus Davis Park, Memorial Hall and the BMO. All is in place to become a grand entertainment district. We don't need to build anything new...just take what we have and make them all come alive again! Combine this with a casino and hotel and now you have a real reason for Chicago folk to take the train to Rockford!

The colors of Spring welcome in the month of March @ J. R. Kortman

As the dreariness of winter fades, March brings the promise of Spring with the soft airy hues of this breezy time of the year. Waving Queen Elizabeth, celebrating her jubilee year, stands in front these charming ceramic vases from Middle Kingdom that take design cues from household utility bottles and presents them as little functional works of art. Soft colors and soft texture are a sweet look for this time or any time of the year. Also pictured is a light yellow "Anna" corkscrew from Alessi and a delicate art glass vase from German glassmaker Michael Schwartzmueller.

Daniel, Jennifer & Shannon bring Big Fun, First Friday, March 2 @ J.R. Kortman

      X is for Gen X and we can’t think of two cooler & authentic Xer's who can make a party a party than Jennifer Langworthy past manager of Cafe Esperanto and Dan Minick a.k.a. DJ Fuzz. Jen will be mixing it up at the Gallery Bar while Dan does the same at the iPad turntables. 
Great sound from Great art from Shannon Blosser- Salisbury.
      First Friday, March 2nd @ 6pm at J.R. Kortman Center for Design

"The Polyanna Society" works by Shannon Blosser-Salisbury opens Friday, Feb. 3rd @ Kortman Gallery

Shannon Blosser-Salisbury exhibits   
 ‘strange’ digital images at Kortman Gallery

Shannon Blosser-Salisbury, as an artist, does not leave well-enough alone. Normal people from vintage photos are digitally fused with her own photography to create strange and compelling images.  These intriguing and improbable pictures can be seen Friday, February 3rd when “The Pollyanna Society,” an exhibit of new works by Blosser-Salisbury opens in the Kortman Gallery.
Blosser-Salisbury approaches her work with a sense for the peculiar and outlandish and with a sense of humor.
“I first began torturing antique photographs in 2007,” says Blosser-Salisbury. “At first, I did it for my own amusement, but when I started showing the finished pieces to friends, I heard comments along the lines of, ‘You’re sick!’ Well, there is nothing I could do but make more.”
Her images can take between several days and weeks to complete. The result is digital collages composed of antique photos and contemporary elements that become their own little fantasy worlds.
“There’s a little bit of darkness in each of these worlds,” says Blosser-Salisbury. “but I’m a Pollyanna, so the good side always triumphs.”
According to Doc Slafkosky, gallery director, Blosser-Salisbury’s work is hard to describe. “You really have to see Shannon’s strange and eccentric works,” Slafkosky said. “They seem weird at first glance, but when you take a longer look at them, they become even weirder...but at the same time, lots of fun! If anything, they are highly visual, colorful, and best of all, oddly entertaining.”
The opening reception for “The Pollyanna Society” exhibition by Shannon Blosser-Salisbury will be Friday, February 3rd 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: “The Pollyanna Society” an exhibition of new works by digital artist
             Shannon Blosser-Salisbury
When: Opening reception: Friday, February 3rd, 5:30 to 9pm. 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 

If you're seeing this on our website, you can see more images of works by Shannon Blosser-Salisbury by clicking on the "Current Show" option under Kortman Gallery or visit



"The Wright Inspiration: Art, Design, & the Laurent House" continues in the Kortman Gallery

The Kortman Gallery is pleased to extend "The Wright Inspiration: Art, Design, and the Laurent House" through Saturday, January 28th. "The positive response to this exhibition has been overwhelming," said Doc Slafkosky, gallery director. "Frank Lloyd Wright has lots of fans. People seem to be drawn to his work and very intrigued and beguiled by the Laurent House. And when you combine that with art inspired by Wright's design sensibility you have something worth experiencing."According to Slafkosky the exhibit is the most attended art show in the gallery's 25 year history. The exhibit features works by 16 Rockford artists, plus images and background information on the Laurent House, Rockford's only Wright designed residence.
This is the second extension of the "Wright" show. The gallery is slated to be painted sometime in January. Until that painting time is scheduled we will keep the "Wright" show in place. For details you can call us at 815.968.0123 or email A new exhibition featuring the works of artist Shannon Blosser-Salisbury will open Friday, February 3rd.

First Friday, Jan. 6...Laurent House celebration, Jeremy Klonicki's iPod & Dennis Horton @ Kortman Gallery Bar

 This First Friday, January 6th come celebrate the acquisition of the Laurent House by the Laurent House Foundation which will maintain it as an architectural treasure for all of us to enjoy into the future. We will keep the bar open late and really make it a party with music from artist Jeremy Klonicki's unedited & random iPod playlist. Jeremy's music will sound great being played through a cool sound system from! And we'll keep the store open so you can shop 'til 9pm and still enjoy the party upstairs in the gallery as Dennis Horton keeps the Gallery Bar jumpin'. See you First Friday!


Happy New Year! J.R.Kortman will close 12/31 @ 4pm...reopen 1/3/12 @ 10am

All of us at J.R. Kortman Center for Design would like to thank you for a fun and fantastic holiday season! We will close for a New Year's break @ 4pm on Saturday, December 31 and take a much needed long holiday weekend. We will reopen to normal hours of Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm on Tuesday, January 3.
Stop by then for the final days of "The Wright Inspiration: Art, Design, and the Laurent House" in the Kortman Gallery. We will celebrate the successful acquisition of the Laurent House on First Friday...the bar will be open and we will reveal another unedited playlist of some interesting personalty...maybe even Frank Lloyd Wright's iPod...if we can locate it!
HAPPY NEW YEAR...have great 2012!