From larger than life urban murals to whimsical reverse paintings, Rockford artist and musician Brett Whitacre’s career is flourishing. His feel good works have been brightening walls on buildings, galleries, and homes across the country for two decades.
After living in Chicago as an artist and touring Europe as a drummer with the band Legendary Shack Shakers, Whitacre has returned to Rockford and the Kortman Gallery is presenting his latest small scale paintings. The show titled, “Plant-based Material” is opening Friday, July 9th.
“During the shelter in place order, we filled our living space with an inflated amount of natural plants and imagery to bring the outdoors in,” says Whitacre. “A healthy obsession with house plants inspired a fun exploration of their form and setting in good fodder for art.”
The result is Whitacre’s almost abstract, mater of fact modern paintings of plants!
“The graphic nature of Brett’s verdant, simple images are at once whimsical and sophisticated,” says Kortman Gallery director Doc Slafkosky. “His bold, colorful art just makes you feel good. The paintings are no nonsense works that just fit in wherever they are!”
Whitacre had an exhibit in the Kortman Gallery back in 2007. The show, “Hearts & Helicopters” featured his pop images painted on window panes hung on the gallery walls and his painted suitcases displayed in the baggage claim at RFD.
Besides this Kortman exhibition Brett’s work can soon been seen in Loves Park in a large scale mural on the side of CD Source Records (the old Park Theater Building), and on a wall in Pecatonica. Both are part of the CRE8IV urban art project spearheaded by Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s placemaking and public art efforts designed to enhance our region for both residents and visitors.
The “Plant-based Material” exhibit will also feature small scale original work which is a sneak peak of a mural set to be painted on a State Street building in Downtown Rockford.
And if that isn’t enough, you can hear drummer Brett Whitacre performing with the band Prairie Smoke throughout the region and beyond.
Opening reception for “Plant-based Material,” featuring new works by Brett Whitacre is Friday, July 9th from 5:30 to 9pm. The Kortman 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 exhibit will run though August 31st. For more information call 815-968-0123.