Penny McGuire and Summer Wagner exhibit ‘photography reimagined’ in Kortman Gallery, now through April 15th!


 Rockford artists Penny McGuire and Summer Wagner capture their images through the lens of a camera. However, their creative energy goes beyond the subsequent photograph. They both reimagine their photographs and create images that offer a unique perspective that defines their art.
    The engaging images from each these photographers will be presented in the Kortman Gallery in “Photography reimagined,” an exhibition opening Friday, February 10th in the Kortman Gallery, Downtown Rockford.
    In her photographs, Penny McGuire is drawn to architecture, landscape and still life images.
    “I started experimenting with different settings on my 12 yr old Sony Cybershot to find different ways to record the images I saw”, says McGuire. “I am drawn to architecture, outdoor art and odd things as they relate to their natural environment and to each other.  Many of my photos are several different photos of the same shot in different modes.”
    Most of McGuire’s images in this show are primarily Rockford-related with a few eccentric still life’s and historic sites around the Midwest artistically enhanced to interject her expressive perspective to the photograph.
    After living in Los Angeles for ten years, the pandemic brought Summer Wagner back to Rockford, where she had spent much of her childhood.   
    Wagner’s images offer an extraordinary departure from what can be seen through the lens of a camera alone. Her photographs are ethereal fantasy of people in romantic, yet provocative settings that she visually creates.
    “My work contemplates the spiritual and psychological threads of everyday life and the blur of poetry that is our society's collective dreamscape,” writes Wagner in her artist’s statement.
    Doc Slafkosky, Kortman gallery director says these two artists were chosen because of the entirely different approaches they bring to photography.
    “Not only do Penny and Summer represent different generations, but their artistic vision also represents a different kind of photographic imagery,” said Slafkosky. They both, in some way, reimagine their photographs, but their style and subject matter are so different, that the contrast makes for an engaging and visually entertaining exhibition.”
    Meet the artists at the Kortman Gallery opening reception for “Photography reimagined,” featuring works by Penny McGuire and Summer Wagner Friday, February 10th from 5:30 to 9pm.  The gallery is located upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street in Downtown Rockford. The exhibit is free, and open to the public. The exhibition will run though April 25th, 2023. For more information call 815-968-0123 or visit