Creative Combination: ARTaste and First Fridays Art Walk

The Rockford Area Arts Commission invites you to celebrate local brilliance downtown Rockford this weekend. On Friday, August 2, Rockford will host its initial First Friday Art Walk, followed by ARTaste of Rockford on Saturday, August 3rd from 10am until 2pm. Live ARTaste music performances on the Garden Club Park Stage will be provided by 13-year-old Greta Kruse singing originals and covers with her guitar, Rockford High School freshman Tate Radaz on guitar and vocals, the Rockford Community Choir and Rockford High School sophomore Harrison Witt. The Rockford Community Choir will be performing Greek, South African, Lingala and a cappella ARTaste-choirtunes at noon.

In the Rotary Pavilion, a 1pm debut demonstration will be provided by The Rockford Ballet, a new school of ballet moving to Rockford in 2013. Audience participation will be welcomed by Flat River Dance Company instructors, Miranda and Joseph Curry and Amber Haywood.


ARTaste-TomScottPhotographer and First Friday Art Walk participant, Tom Scott, will be stationed in front of the Welcome Center as a working artist from 11am-2pm. He will be taking photos of ARTaste participants and providing visual documentation of ARTaste 2013.

As a collaborative effort, the RAAC, Rockford Brewing Company, Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Rogue River Artists Association and numerous local businesses are launching a year-round event known as First Friday Art Walk-Rockford. It is similar to other art walks around the country where every month, local artists will have work on display in participating venues. The display will change prior to the first Friday of each new month. A bi-annual brochure will be published to guide art enthusiasts through the downtown venues to experience the creativity of local artists. August venues include Aunt Candy’s Toy Company, A Charmed Life Nail Salon, Diana’s Café, The Edge, Great Northern Trading Company, LBD Exchange, Open Mind, Reds on the River, ReMax United, Rockford Brewing Company, Rogue River Tavern, Sage & Roses, Thought Design and WAR Chest Boutique. August art encompasses many mediums including acrylic, oil, pastel, watercolor, graphite pencil, photography and pottery.

In addition to the existing exhibit of Brad Nielsen’s photography, Diana’s Café will feature an acrylic painting by Mary Myszka. Oil paintings by Nancy Liszewski will be found on the upper floor of the Rockford Brewing Company. Other artists to be featured for August’s Art Walk include Linda Bassford, Kellie Bennor, Mari Golub, Linda Humbert, Patti Mollema, Carole Nielsen, Shirley Pische, Elise Schierbeek, LeAnne Sowa, Chris VanderHart and Ruth Westrate.

A full schedule of weekend events can be viewed online at and will be available at RAAC information tables from 10am-2pm during ARTaste. The RAAC will be selling ARTaste tickets for $1. Due to a 2013 matching grant, tickets sales will support local businesses, artists and performers in addition to benefiting the RAAC. Tickets may be exchanged at the Corner Bar, Custard By the Dam, Dam Dogs, Diana’s Cafe, Grand Cakes, Grill One Eleven, Marinades Pizza Bistro, Poindexter’s Specialty Marketplace, Reds on the River, Rockford Brewing Company and Twisted Vine Deli for samples from their special ARTaste 2013 menus, for Make It and Take It activities in Garden Club Park, and to encourage street performers and artists stationed throughout the city.

The Frame and Mat Shop is currently selling $1 tickets on behalf of the RAAC. Taste, see and hear the artistry of Rockford this weekend!

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.