Rockford Art Museum (RAM) opens new art exhibition Cheryl Pope: Not Without a Fight on Friday, February 8, with a free gallery walk with the artist from 5 to 6 p.m. and free public opening until 8:30 p.m. at RAM, located inside the Riverfront Museum Park at 711 North Main Street in downtown Rockford, Illinois. The exhibition includes free admission every day for ages 18 and under, and artwork information is presented in both English and Spanish; it remains on view through Memorial Day, May 27. 

Not Without a Fight surveys mixed media, video, sculptures and installations by Cheryl Pope that question and respond to issues of identity as it relates to the individual and the community, specifically in regards to race, gender, class, history, power and place. With a background in fashion and boxing, Pope frequently collaborates with young artists from neighborhoods across Chicago. Her projects use unexpected pairings—such as sports with spoken word—to foster dialogue, creating safe spaces for their peers to speak up about tough subjects, including violence and its impact on youth, in order to document the felt experience of a community. Pope received her BFA and Master of Design degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago and Galleria Bianconi in Milan. Pope currently lives and works in New York and Chicago, where she teaches at her alma mater.


Cheryl Pope: Not Without a Fight is organized by Rockford Art Museum Curator Carrie Johnson. This exhibition and its related educational programming are sponsored in part by the Ahlstrand Family Foundation, Anne and David Boccignone, Jean and Dan Clark, and Women’s Art Board, with in-kind support from Event Floral. This program is partially supported by a Community Arts Access grant award from the Rockford Area Arts Council, and by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.


CHERYL POPE: NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT
FEB 8–MAY 27, 2019
| ROCKFORD ART MUSEUM
SPONSORED BY AHLSTRAND FAMILY FOUNDATION, ANNE + DAVID BOCCIGNONE, JEAN + DAN CLARK, WOMEN’S ART BOARD AND ROCKFORD AREA ARTS COUNCIL, IN-KIND SUPPORT FROM EVENT FLORAL      

FREE ADMISSION FOR AGES 18 + UNDER DURING THE EXHIBITION
ARTWORK INFORMATION PRESENTED IN BOTH ENGLISH + SPANISH

GALLERY WALK WITH THE ARTIST
| FRI, FEB 8, 5–6 PM
FREE PUBLIC OPENING
| FRI, FEB 8, 6–8:30 PM

PROGRAMS + EVENTS:

MOVIE + DISCUSSION WITH CHERYL POPE
THE JOURNEY OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN ATHLETE
MON, FEB 18
, DOORS OPEN 6 PM, FILM BEGINS AT 6:30
FREE ADMISSION (DONATIONS APPRECIATED)
Chicago artist and Golden Gloves boxer Cheryl Pope joins us to watch and discuss this Peabody Award-winning documentary that continues to earn accolades for its portrayal of the pioneering struggles and triumphs of African Americans in sports as diverse as horse racing, bicycling, boxing, tennis, and baseball. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. (PG, 1996, 1 hr 59 min)

FIGHT NIGHT HOSTED BY CHERYL POPE
FRI, MAR 1, 6:30–9 PM, $5 COVER
CASH BAR BY PRAIRIE STREET BREWING CO
DJ VIC MONSTA, DJ BISU, FOOD TRUCKS ON SITE
Fight Night features sparring bouts from Patriots Boxing Club with spoken word intervals. Hosted by exhibiting artist (and Chicago Golden Gloves boxer) Cheryl Pope. First fight starts at 7 PM. Presented in partnership with Patriots Gateway Community Center.


COFFEE WITH THE CURATOR
FRI, MAR 15, 10—11 AM, FREE
COFFEE PROVIDED BY ROCKFORD ROASTING COMPANY
Get a behind-the-scenes look into the process of curating the feature exhibition with RAM Curator Carrie Johnson.

ART BATTLE
FRI, APR 5, 6:30–9 PM, $5 COVER
PARTICIPANTS MUST REGISTER BY MAR 29
Local artists are invited to apply to participate in RAM’s first-ever Art Battle. Twelve artists can enter but only one will win a solo show in the RAM Art Annex! First round starts at 7 PM. Spots are limited, to register call RAM, (815) 968-2787. 

NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT: COMMUNITY DAYSAT, MAY 25, 10 AM–3 PM, FREE
This outdoor event will be held in the museum’s parking lot and feature music, food, art activities and more. Presented in partnership with the YMCA of the Rock River Valley.


Concurrent exhibitions of work from RAM Permanent Collection include: Stand Up, featuring Kerry James Marshall, Carrie Mae Weems and many more; prints and paintings by the legendary Ed Paschke; Women of Chicago, highlighting female artists who share ties to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with Cheryl Pope, including Phyllis Bramson, Michiko Itatani, Jackie Kazarian, Gladys Nilsson, Frances Whitehead; and Chicago Photography, with Harry Callahan, Barbara Crane and more. Also on view at Rockford Art Museum will be the 78th Young Artist Show student exhibition (opens March 3).

About Rockford Art Museum:
Founded in 1913, Rockford Art Museum exists to help make life in Rockford better for people of all ages through a permanent art collection, frequent art exhibitions, and lifelong art education. RAM is located inside the Riverfront Museum Park at 711 North Main Street in downtown Rockford, Illinois. Learn more at rockfordartmuseum.org.