Local talent filled Rockford during the third annual ArtCapsule event in downtown Rockford, and voters picked the winners in each of three categories as well as Best in Show. Local photographer Stacy Niedzwiecki was the overall winner with her photograph earning her Best in Show. In the Photography category Paul Willis, whose work was on display at Sassy Pants Boutique, received the most votes. Winning in the category of Three-Dimensional was Lois Carpenter, whose work was on display at the Frame and Mat Shop. Best Two-Dimensional artist was Kelly Bennor, whose work was on display at Kimberly’s Boutique. “We had outstanding publicity for the event this year, with articles in The Rockford Squire in March, June and [on the front page in] August,” said Jeff Lewis, chair of the Rockford Area Arts Commission, organizers of the event. “Our website traffic reached its highest levels of the year last week, and hundreds downloaded the smartphone app. Over 1,200 people read our Facebook posts and Heart of Rockford and Ada Arts Council and shared the event with their fans. WZZM13 and a number of other local organizations and businesses also included the event on their community calendars.” Lewis offered thanks to the many volunteers who sat in the 95+ degree heat to pass out ballots, sell tickets, give directions, babysit bicycles on the White Pine Trail and make the event possible, the business venues that gave up retail selling space to make way for beautiful artwork, the restaurants who raised the funds to award the artists through their donation of Taste of Rockford food and time, the Frame & Mat Shop for hosting the afterglow, Tom Scott for the artist photographer and, belatedly, T-Square, for their 2011 material donations to enrich ArtCapsule. “A special thanks goes to Arts Commission member Jeannie Gregory for her work in organizing the event again this year. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes footwork and last-minute maneuvering needed to pull off an event like this,” Lewis continued. “In addition to the dozens of hours registering artists, signing up venues, printing forms, collecting money and organizing Taste of Rockford, Jeannie became a grandmother twice the week of the event and moved her mother into a new apartment. And, to rest […]
Jeff Lewis, chair of the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and the idea guy who came up with Rockford’s Art Capsule event, said more people voted on the 30 local art displays in 2011 than in the first year. “We had a thousand votes, which was more than last year,” Lewis said. This year’s event, designed with the theme of Rockford for the art submissions, culminated on Saturday, August 8 with voting and sampling fare from Rockford restaurants in the second annual Taste of Rockford. Art Capsule voting also took place all week long with art offered in a variety of categories and venues all around downtown. Ten restaurants took part in the Taste event, with all money going to RAAC. A total of $1,300 was raised. Local restaurants participated by offering samples from spring rolls to sliders and tasty treats to top off the edible tour of downtown. Lewis said the restaurants were very generous, providing quality and quantity of impressive proportions for just a dollar or two per sample. Art Capsule was also a popular success. Best of Show was taken by Connie Kuhnle for her “Faces of Rockford.” Best Two-Dimensional Art went to local painter Linda Bassford, who presented “Watermelon Kids.” Best Three-Dimensional Art was won by Lois Carpenter with “The Dam Fish.” Best Photography was a tie between Dan DeWard with “Dream, Believe, Perform, Achieve” and Stacy Niedzwiecki with her work “Wash – Rinse – Repeat.” “It wasn’t bad for a wet, rainy day,” said Lewis.