Rockford Art Museum (RAM) opens the Rockford Midwestern Biennial exhibition on Friday, June 8, with a preview reception for museum members and exhibiting artists from 5 to 7:30 p.m. that includes a gallery walk with 2018 Juror Aron Packer and an artist awards ceremony, followed by a free public opening until 8:30 p.m. at RAM, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. The exhibition remains on view through September 30. 

The 2018 Rockford Midwestern is the 75th presentation of Rockford Art Museum's juried exhibition, which began in 1913 as an annual showcase of local artists, then expanded eligibility and was known as the Stateline Vicinity Show through 1998. 
Now a biennial show that surveys new work by contemporary artists across the Midwest, the competition was open to original artwork, in any medium, created since the last biennial by residents of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  

Juror Aron Packer selected 68 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures, mixed media works, and more by 69 artists from seven states for this year’s Rockford Midwestern Biennial. Packer is a longtime Chicago gallerist known for curating compelling shows in various genres. “It’s a stellar showcase of the incredible talent of Midwestern artists today,” RAM Curator Carrie Johnson said.  

Awards will be presented at the preview for members and exhibiting artists on Friday, June 8, including the prestigious Dean Alan Olson Purchase Award ($2,000) plus Best of Show ($750), and two Juror’s Choice awards ($500 each). 

The Rockford Midwestern Biennial is organized by Carrie Johnson and juried by Aron Packer. This exhibition and its related educational programming are sponsored by the Dean Alan Olson Foundation and Women’s Art Board; and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and by the Armer Ahlstrand Charitable Foundation.  

Concurrent exhibitions on view at RAM include ongoing selections from the Rockford Art Museum Collection and a traveling exhibition by Estonian photographer Terttu Uibopuu (July 27–November 11).