FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — The Freeport Art Museum will open two distinct exhibitions in August. In the Newell Gallery, Intricacies features work by three Rockford area artists whose time-consuming technique and passionate dedication to detail renders pieces that present the viewer with visual marvels of complex compositions. Betsy Youngquist’s mixed media beadwork reflects a fascination with the intersection of humans, animals, and mythology. Stemming from a life-long love of all creatures great and small, Betsy’s work weaves together the human and animal spirit through a surrealistic lens. When creating her embellished objects; Betsy collaborates with sculptor R. Scott Long in designing and constructing the forms. Each piece starts as a unique carving. The surfaces are encrusted with beads and found materials in a mosaic process, often incorporating fragments of old porcelain dolls. During the past dozen years, Youngquist has exhibited her work at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C., the VIDA Museum in Borgholm, Sweden, and the International Doll Show in Kiev, Ukraine.
Lisa Goesling microscopically examines nature and abstracts for their aesthetic value. She creates hyper-detailed renderings of her observations on black scratchboards that are composed of Kaolin Clay covered with India ink. Exquisitely meticulous visions unfold through her painstaking technique. Using an X-ACTO knife, she etches her design on the black surface through which the image bursts forth from the white clay. When she likes, colored inks are added to give luster and depth to her ecological subject matter. The passion for making art came early for Ms. Goesling. She began taking art classes at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago at the age of twelve. Before devoting herself full-time as an artist, she ran her own graphic design firm. Over the past decade she has won prestigious awards and fellowships, and her work has been requested for countless exhibitions throughout the country.
Airbrush artist-turned-digital painter, Paul Pinzarrone works on metallic film on the back side of plexiglass and on high gloss aluminum. He begins with photographs taken in his studio, which he laboriously layers and interleaves with digital designs created with CAD, fractal and paint software. The results are beautiful, candy – colored sensual puzzles. Paul started off playing classical piano, studying biology and pre-medicine chemistry. He played keyboard in various rock & roll bands, playing piano for musicals, singers and dancers while also working as an orderly in a trauma center emergency room. He studied art history and painting at the University of Illinois, earning a BFA in painting and has since taught drawing and design at Rockford and Rock Valley Colleges and has exhibited work at juried contests and galleries in Chicago, Miami, Louisville, Muskegon MI, Ohio and New Orleans.
In the Ferguson Gallery, Be Bold, features work by member artists from the Momentum Art Guild based in Freeport. MAG is a regional organization dedicated to enhancing interest in the visual arts, and supporting the development of individual artists. Their members recognize the needs of artists and foster opportunities that help meet those needs. Through monthly meetings and regular workshops, they provide mutual support and work for the general promotion of art and the advancement of those who create it.
This year, MAG artists challenged themselves to step outside their comfort zone to create works that push boundaries in subject, media, scale or technique. Some of the ways this can be seen is in Roger Goodspeed’s untitled political piece, which portrays two current leaders as masked harlequins. Although he would like for viewers to be able to discern the work’s subtext for themselves, he admits the composition refers to what he sees as a dangerous game being played with our world’s ecology. Ellie Bartels’ large, four-foot square oil painting on panel “Drawn to the Void” is aptly named. All but two lines of color appear at the edge of an otherwise inky black, tar-like expanse. “I challenged myself to make a work of art that breaks all the rules. It is advised that you place the focal point according to the golden mean, to never use black from the tube, to never have the area of interest near an edge, to repeat colors, shapes and patterns to create eye movement and harmony. In this work I have done the opposite of all that, creating a feeling of unease and discomfort.”
In total, eighteen MAG artists have contributed work for the Be Bold exhibition including: Michael Baker, Ellie Bartels, Phyllis Bergagna, Lutricia Clifton, Bettina Corbitt, Diana Garrett, Jane Goodspeed, Roger Goodspeed, Ann Haag, Faye Sanders Hughes, Donna Burton Klapp, Barbara Larsen, Nanette Mosher, Larry McCoy, Patricia Parshall, Robert Parshall, Ethel Schroer, Sheila Kelly Welch, and Kathy Wilken.
About the Freeport Art Museum
Established in 1975, the Freeport Art Museum’s mission is to create experiences that spark imagination and engagement in the arts for all people by presenting exhibitions and cultural events, advancing art education, and excelling in collections stewardship. The museum’s collection contains nearly 4,000 artifacts from all continents and all time periods including ethnographic objects from Ancient Egypt, Southeast Asia, and Papua New Guinea; Pre-Columbian and Native American baskets and pottery; excellent 15th to 19th century European painting, prints and sculpture; and a significant collection of contemporary American prints, paintings, and sculpture. The Freeport Art Museum is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
The Freeport Art Museum is located at 121 North Harlem Avenue, and is open Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 5:00 pm., and Saturday from 12:00- 5:00. Tours may be scheduled by calling 815-235-9755. Admission to the Museum is FREE however, donations are gratefully appreciated.