Rockford Art Museum (RAM) will open the Rockford Midwestern Biennial exhibition to the public and announce the winning artists of the juried show on Friday, October 9.

The 2020 Rockford Midwestern Biennial is the 76th presentation of the museum’s juried survey exhibition of new work by contemporary artists from across the Midwest. From more than 700 submissions, 76 pieces were chosen for the Biennial, from 70 artists residing in six states.


Original artwork in any medium created since 2018 by artists living in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin were eligible for the Biennial. Artist awards to be announced on Friday, October 9 include Best of Show and two Juror’s Choice awards—as well as the 2020 Dean Alan Olson Purchase Award, given to the artist whose work has been selected for inclusion in the Rockford Art Museum Permanent Collection.

Carrie Johnson, RAM’s Executive Director/Curator said that the Biennial showcases the best-of-the-best art that’s being made now in the Midwestern region. “The Midwestern Biennial is not only an opportunity to show the rest of the country that thought-provoking, well-executed work is happening right here in the heart of the Midwest – but offers our visitors the chance to see the diversity of work taking place across the region. I hope our visitors are moved when viewing these evocative pieces, some of which reflect the current moment we’re in as a country,” she said.


The Rockford Midwestern Biennial is organized by Carrie Johnson and juried by Jim Dempsey of Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery, Chicago; the exhibition and 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.


Admission to RAM is free for the remainder of 2020. The exhibition will be on view during the museum’s hours of 10am to 5pm Thursdays through Sundays until January 31, 2021.


The 2020 Rockford Midwestern Biennial exhibiting artists are:
Elisa Ahmer
 (Leaf River, IL); Mitzi Allen (Chicago, IL); Les Allen (Dixon, IL) ; Ange Altenhofen (Chariton, IA); Stephen Warde Anderson (Rockford, IL); Krista Anderson-Larson (Saint Paul, MN); Nelson Armour (Chicago, IL); Brian Bartlett (Sun Prairie, WI); Jennifer Bock-Nelson (Quincy, IL); Glenn Bodish (Dixon, IL); Carrie Carlson (Orland Park, IL); Eric Carlson (Fort Wayne, IN); Marian Carow (Chicago, IL); Brent Cole (Muncie, IN); Sara Peak Convery (Chicago, IL); Melinda Cook (Freeport, IL); Gina Dabrowski (Saint Paul, MN); Anita Dawson (Columbus, OH); John DenHouter (Edwardsville, IL); Janice Elkins (Oak Park, IL); Jason Erler (Cincinnati, OH); Judith Roston Freilich (Glencoe, IL); Victoria Fuller (Chicago, IL); Rhonda Gates (Rockford, IL); Aris Georgiades (Stoughton, WI); Shelley Gilchrist (Evanston, IL); Barbara Goldsmith (Morton Grove, IL); Joshua Grotto (Chicago, IL); Marcia Haffmans (Minneapolis, MN); Susan Hensel (Minneapolis, MN); Chris Hyndman (Chicago, IL); Frank Juarez (Sheboygan, WI); Stephen Kaufman (Urbana, IL); Nathan Keay (Chicago, IL); Beverly Kedzior (Indian Creek, IL); Mark Keffer (Bedford, OH); Diane Levesque (Kenosha, WI); Erin Liljegren (Madison, WI); Michael Litewski (Zion, IL); Jeanne Ludeke (Rockford, IL); Kim Matthews (Minneapolis, MN); Tom McHale (Rockford, IL); Michael Mejia (Oak Park, IL); Judith Meyer (Rockford, IL); Christine B. Miller (Whitewater, WI); Zach Mory (Glen Ellyn, IL); Scott Mossman (Chicago, IL); Ahavani Mullen (Chicago, IL); Angie Nofsinger (Rockford, IL); Dan Oliver (Chicago, IL); Denise Orlin (Chicago, IL); Deborah Orloff (Sylvania, OH); Raúl Ortiz (Chicago, IL); Suzanne Rampage (Chicago, IL); Elizabeth Rhoads Read (Cedar Rapids, IA); Gina Lee Robbins (Oak Park, IL); Renee Robbins (Chicago, IL); Mark Rospenda (South Bend, IN); Christopher Rowley (Minneapolis, MN); Jeffrey Sanderson (Chicago, IL); Philip Spangler (Chicago, IL); John Stanicek (Aurora, IL); Mary Lou Stewart (River Forest, IL); Robert Studzinski (Columbus, OH); Sharon Swidler (Skokie, IL); Michele Thrane (Arlington Heights, IL); Tom Van Eynde (Forest Park, IL); Kathy Weaver (Chicago, IL); Beth Wemmer (Loves Park, IL); Ryan Zoghlin (Chicago, IL)