Rockford Art Museum (RAM) opens new feature exhibition The Others on Friday, Feb. 10, with a preview for museum members that includes a gallery walk and reception from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a free public opening from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at RAM, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. The exhibition remains on view through May 29.
The Others explores 50 iconic selections by 44 seminal artists from the 200-piece Francis and June Spiezer Collection of Rockford Art Museum, critically acclaimed as the most significant collection of Chicago art that exists today. The Spiezers also amassed a brilliant grouping of studio glass from around the world.
On view are 32 paintings, prints, and drawings by Ed Paschke, Ray Yoshida, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Karl Wirsum, Nicolas Africano, Stephen Warde Anderson, Walter E. Andersons, Phyllis Bramson, Roger Brown, Susanne Doremus, Sarah Barnhart Fields, Julia Fish, Mark Sumner Forth, Michelle Grabner, Steven Hudson, Richard Hull, Jackie Kazarian, Mike Lash, Jim Lutes, Jacqueline Moses, Lorraine Peltz, Dan Ramirez, Scott Reeder, Kate Rosen, Rebecca Shore, Hollis Sigler, and Maria Tomasula; and 18 glass, metal and ceramic sculptures by Kéké Cribbs, Tom Czarnopys, Josh Garber, David Gilhooly, Nina Levy, John Littleton and Kate Vogel, Joseph Litzenberger, Joel Philip Myers, Holly Rittenhouse, Les Sandelman, Lino Tagliapietra, Tony Tasset, Janusz Walentynowicz, and Karen Zoot Wolfe.
Francis and June Spiezer were known for their passionate support of (usually emerging) artists. “Let other people who live in other cities support their galleries; we have to support ours,” she said in a 2003 interview. “Francis and I both knew we would buy primarily from Chicago galleries and Chicago artists because we could talk to them. When I see Josh Garber, he knows who we are and we know who he is, no matter how famous he gets. Even with Ed Paschke, every time he’d see us he’d say, ‘I know that Red Sweeney lives in your house.’ I love these artists and I love the artwork.”
Related educational programming includes a free lecture by Ed Paschke Art Center Chair Vesna Stelcer, and a bus trip to Paschke Art Center with a walking tour of nearby Chicago galleries like the ones the Spiezers frequented. Full list of programs, including children’s classes and registration information, at rockfordartmuseum.org.
This feature exhibition is on view at RAM in Funderburg and Kuller Galleries, on the museum’s main level. Concurrent exhibits on view at RAM in Anderson Gallery, on the lower level, include additional selections from the Spiezer Collection, with 90 pieces by 78 artists (through Feb. 20) and the 76th Young Artist Show (opens March 5).
The Others is organized by Rockford Art Museum, curated by RAM Curator Carrie Johnson. This exhibition and its related educational programming are sponsored by Anne and David Boccignone, and partially supported by a Community Arts Access Grant from Rockford Area Arts Council, by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and by the Armer Ahlstrand Charitable Foundation. RAM education programs are supported in part by Women’s Art Board.