Rockford Public Art Redux Will Be Bigger And More Diverse

Jun 29, 2018

Suzi's Garden by Bruce Niemi
Credit photo provided by RACVB

A baker's dozen of monumental sculptures will be coming to Rockford later in June. 

John Groh, President and CEO of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said a public display of sculptures in 2015 proved to be very popular, and there seems to be an appetite for more. Groh said the Bureau and its partners had hoped to bring ten sculptures to the city – up from nine by two artists that were on display a couple of years ago. But Groh says fundraising exceeded expectations, and thirteen works by nine artists will make Rockford their home for the next two years.

“I think that means the community really appreciates public art,” he said, “these magnificent, you know, monumental pieces of sculpture being throughout the community, and they want more of it.”

The artists represented this time are all from the Midwest. But Groh said there’s a pleasing variety. He said the pieces stand anywhere from four to eighteen feet tall and exhibit a range of styles, materials and colors.

"Crown Chakra" by Gary Kulak
Credit photo provided by RACVB

“There’s stainless steel. There’s some works that are painted bright colors – bright reds and yellows,” he said. “There’s pieces that are very abstract and a bit more representational of life, and so I think people will really like the pieces as they begin to be on display.” 

Groh said installation of the works will begin June 25. Ten will be in the downtown area. One will be at the roundabout on North Auburn and two will be in the linear park near Rockford Police District 1 headquarters. Groh said the Bureau will provide maps as well as information about the pieces and the artists who created them on its website, gorockford.com.

Groh said a long-term goal is to have public art displays throughout the city.