“I graduated with a B.F.A. in Printmaking from Northern Illinois University in 2010 and have been a self-employed artist ever since. I’ve been printing my hand carved woodblock prints with an old Conrad Dickerson Machine Press – great for saving my hands from having to rub each print with the back of a wooden spoon, but occasionally I will still print by hand.
My studio resides in two locations: the big printing press is out at my in-laws’ farmstead in the Shirland, IL area in an old converted cow barn. It now hosts my father-in-law’s art studio for his printmaking, paper making, and painting work. The second location is the majority of my basement at home in Rockford, IL. I draw and carve all my woodblocks there and even print my cards there with a small metal hand press.
The original owner of the farm where my printing press is located was from the early 1800s and he was one of the first settlers in the area and a prominent figure in the local community. His name was Lemuel Fisk. The farm is out in the country, away from the busyness of the city. Some of the plants in my prints are inspired by native prairie plants that I’ve been able to find in the back wild field at the farm. Connecting my business name to the original owner of the farm, with a little feminine flare to it, allows that peacefulness to be communicated through my work. When you hang my prints on your wall or send one of my greeting cards, they will bring a little bit of that natural-space and peaceful feeling to your home and to your correspondences.”
I am a collage and textile artist who has lived in the Northern Illinois area for the past thirty years. A lifelong love of textiles has led to exploration into weaving, spinning, dye applications, art quilts and collage. As an art educator I have taught spinning, weaving and surface design at Rockford College, textile workshops in fabric printing and felt making and Artist in Residencies in area schools. The imagery portrayed in my work reflects a love of the natural world and a passion for nature. Each wall piece is an original design carefully executed in fabrics and papers from around the world. Currently my work can be seen at select times in The Prairie Street Gallery at The Brewhouse.
Barbara R. McNamara is a Rockford artist who has been a painter for many years. She has studied under Katherine Lord, Dorothy Bock and Robert McCauley. Barbara graduated from the College of New Rochelle, New York with a Bachelor of Arts, and Loyola University in New Orleans with a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry. She has taught primary grades, and music and art classes. Her work has been shown at “Art on the Lawn” at Rockford College, Greenwich Art Fair and Fall/Spring Arts Scenes, Lakeshore Arts Festival, Evanston and Arts Fesitval in Grand Detour, IL.
Deborah is a painter of original and large paintings on canvas. She works in acrylics on raw canvas and her abstract expressionistic style is sensual and celebrative.
She ‘paints what she feels’ using no references other than her own personal cache of symbols and metaphors….about healing…growing…learning…and mostly about loving.
Deborah Newton paintings are in over sixteen hundred collections nationally…private and public, and in many Rockford landmarks and living rooms. She began exhibiting work in the 1970’s and now represents herself in the area from her studio.
Deborah, in the fall of 2007, is also expanding her art presence in the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area at an invitation only opening at her residence/retreat in the country two miles south of Geneva Lake. Patrons can call for an invitation.
Usually, there are three or four colorful canvases fresh off the easel. Please call her anytime directly to see new and current work available.
Valerie Olafson received her BFA (Interior Architecture & Photography) from Northern Illinois University in 1994. She continued her education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, finishing her MS in Historic Preservation in 1996. Her career has spanned the arts from Theater to Architecture to Photography. Teaching at Rock Valley College gives her the opportunity to share her love of art with younger (and older) people. Raising awareness of the arts is a primary goal in her teaching.
Olafson began exhibiting her photographic work in 1993. Since that time she has created several solo shows and participated in group shows. She had the privilege of collaborating on a dual show with painter and friend Keith Grace called Same Soucre in 1996. In 2002 she and dancer/choreographer Margaret Rennerfeldt created Bare Stage, which consisted of a photographic exhibit and a coordinating performance.
In February 2005 Valerie had the adventure of a lifetime. She was a member of the installation crew of the Christo/Jeanne Claude “Gates” project in Central Park. This was such a rewarding experience that she is not so patiently waiting for the “Over the River” project to be approved and to vie for a spot on that crew as well.
My name is Brock Pieper. I am exploring fears and afflictions that bind our psyches. I am interested in how each of us feels out of control in our own lives, my work comes from personal struggles. I create my drawings with attention to detail, while exaggerating reality. In my process I utilize many photographs as reference for my initial idea. In the process of my work, the idea begins to take form portraying psychological anxieties and fears.
While I do work with photos, I do not strive to create the appearance of a particular person or a perfect resemblance to the original image. I make it my own to fit the end result of what I am thinking and the implied emotion attached to each drawing. The attention to detail, in my drawings is my own interpretation and reflection of my thoughts and ideas. Essentially these drawings are our anxieties and psychological stresses exposed. These anxieties depicted through my drawings are essentially what makes us human.
More than a photographer, Sherry Pritz combines distinctive images with artistic enhancements to create her signature contemporary style. Working in both black and white, and color, she highlights certain aspects of an original photograph, with results resembling a painting. By selecting and skillfully layering a palette of colors, her subjects take on a surreal, sometimes abstract feel and a completely unique perspective emerges. Her work, with an urban appeal, commands attention in business and private settings – as an organic backdrop or a shining focal point. And a diverse range of subjects takes viewers from the simplest location in nature to exotic landmarks.
Her work is compared by many to Maxfield Parrish’s paintings, “known for their distinctive saturated hues and idealized neo-classical imagery.”
Sherry’s talent has been the focus of regional and national interest. ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition selected her vibrant piece Sunflower for a 2009 episode. Her next project involves synchronizing iconic images of her home town for a symphony performance, Mussorgsky/Ravel’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”