BITTERSWEET OBSERVATIONS
JUN 9–OCT 1, 2017 
ROCKFORD ART MUSEUM
SPONSORED BY WOMEN’S ART BOARD
+ NICCOLE RANZ, IN HOME MEDICAL GROUP


FRI, JUN 9
MEMBERS PREVIEW | 5–6:30 PM
FREE PUBLIC OPENING | 6:30–9 PM

SAT, JUN 10
BOOK SIGNING WITH CASEY RIORDAN MILLARD

10–11:30 AM | FREE ADMISSION


Bittersweet Observations explores the grown-up wonder of childlike nostalgia in a dramatic, fairytale setting through paintings, drawings, prints, animation, and installations by Casey Riordan Millard, Jenny Mathews, Sarah Reed-McNamara and Jeremy Klonicki.

Casey Riordan Millard’s Shark Girl series will catapult viewers into the life of a bizarre half-shark, half-girl’s imaginary world. The artist created the character while confronting her rational and irrational fears during a search for solace from the heartbreak of mortality. “While Shark Girl is sorrowful, wandering, and terrified on her quest for outward diversions, there is a comic element to this fish out of water,” wrote Chicago gallerist Aron Packer. “We can relate to her in our own pursuits for satisfaction and tranquility, knowing a deeper relief from the human condition must come from within if we wish to ease our fears.”

Millard has exhibited her large-scale installations, ceramic works, paintings and drawings across the country. She currently lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is represented by Aron Packer Projects, Chicago. Shark Girl and Belly Button is her first children’s book.

Rockford artist and illustrator Jenny Mathews of Zombie Logic Press reimagines classic fairytale narratives with modern twists that playfully comment on serious subjects such as gender, power, and technology. Also on view are site-specific installations—including an enchanted poetry corner, a dreamy campfire scene, and a life-size fort—by Rockford printmaker Sarah Reed-McNamara of SRM Prints, and custom craftsman Jeremy Klonicki of MainFraiM.

Concurrent exhibits include selections from the RAM Collection in Anderson Gallery, on the museum’s lower level.
Related programs for children and adults are offered throughout the exhibition, including a poetry and illustration workshop, family reading and art activities, an after-hours poetry open mic night, and an artist panel discussion. Full list of related education programs, including $5 Family Fridays and Storytime Saturdays, at rockfordartmuseum.org.

Bittersweet Observations is organized by Rockford Art Museum, curated by RAM Curator Carrie Johnson. This exhibition and its related educational programming are sponsored by Women’s Art Board and Niccole Ranz, In Home Medical Group; partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and by the Armer Ahlstrand Charitable Foundation.

sharkgirl