The Rockford University Art Gallery provides a varied series of art exhibitions and related programming in support of the Department of Art and Art History and is an important educational and cultural resource for the campus and community. The Gallery is located in the Clark Arts Center, the locus of the University’s Department of Art and Art History.

Spring 2018 Exhibitions

Man in a tree

Image: Man in a Tree, Engraving and Aquatint, 1963, Man in a Tree – David Driesbach

Exhibition Dates: February 9 – March 16, 2018*

*exhibition will be closed March 5-9 during Spring Break

Friday, February 23 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Public reception, artist will be present

David Driesbach, a highly respected artist and educator, is known internationally as an expert in the printmaking field, has been exhibiting since 1949 in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions, and is included in over 500 museum and public collections. A Man in a Tree is a survey of his work from the collections of the NIU Art Museum and a private collector.

Driesbach’s attention to minute detail draws from artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Hieronymus Bosch as well as illuminated manuscripts and iconography of Medieval Art. He uses innovative printmaking techniques to layer pattern, color, and meaning, and crowds each piece with whimsical characters, meaningful motifs, and political imagery. The exhibition includes early figure drawings, self-portraits, copper printing plates, and prints depicting humorous scenes of human figures, animals, and architectural landmarks including Rockford’s own Coronado Theater.

 American Dreamer

Image: American Dreamer, Pigment print on handmade cotton paper, 2017, 18 ½” x 24 ¼”    

Traces Remain – Melissa Cowper-Smith

Exhibition Dates: March 23 – April 20, 2018

Friday, March 23 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Public reception

The work of Melissa Cowper-Smith explores the contemporary fear of disaster, abandonment, and displacement. Using plants such as bamboo, hosta, yucca, and daylily collected from The Penland School for Crafts and from her ecological farm in Morrilton, Arkansas, she hand makes paper. With this paper, Cowper-Smith creates digital prints of her photographs and paintings created using imagery from small Ozark farms, abandoned buildings, and recently war-torn countries.

She depicts natural and agricultural landscapes and domestic objects and interiors as a way of expressing physical intimacy and the forgetting and passing of time. Cowper-Smith has exhibited in several New York City galleries, as well as in exhibitions throughout the country, and is currently teaching at the University of Central Arkansas.


BFA Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: May 4 – May 12, 2018*

Friday, May 4 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Public reception for the artists

An exhibition featuring the work of graduating Rockford University art majors as a culmination of their development of an artistic voice and direction.

*The Gallery will be open following Commencement on May 12, 2017 from 12-5pm.

Department Information

Rockford University Art Gallery
Clark Arts Center
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Christina Warzecha, Gallery Director

Admission is free.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
3-6pm, or by appointment.

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The gallery does not accept unsolicited exhibition proposals.