Downtown Rockford businesses double as art galleries for annual Fall ArtScene

Local News

Rockford will take on a much more artistic flare this weekend.

Local businesses double as art galleries filled with paintings, thread art and clothing this weekend. Dozens of local artists display their work for the 32nd annual Fall ArtScene. A total of 36 pop-up exhibits, mainly downtown, participated.

“People should come out and support this,” said Octane owner Patrick Alberto “It’s not only supporting the artists but you also support the businesses.”

Lucette Salon and Spa has signed up to host artists for the fifth year in a row. Owner Kate Wirth says hosting it in existing businesses offers something different.

“People can be exposed to all kinds of art,” said Wirth. “Usually, if you go to a gallery, there’s going to be one specific artist showing or a specific kind of vibe going.”

Stephanie Caltagerone’s Magpie was damaged during the the Hanley fire in 2017. Although her business isn’t open just yet, she still wanted to support local artists.

“I had so many artists since the fire come forward and give me a piece that they wanted hung,” said Caltagerone.

Organizers say 10,000 people attend ArtScene each year. Combining that success with Rockford City Market, is a big win for downtown entrepreneurs.

“Their ability to bring that many people downtown has really helped give people exposure to everything that’s down here,” said Caltagerone.

Octane has been part of ArtScene for nearly two decades. Supporters say it’s another event that makes downtown flourish.

“It brings people together downtown,” said Alberto. “We appreciate every artistic aspect of Rockford.”

“We like participating in Art Scene because we just like celebrating our community and being as involved as possible,” said Wirth.

Fall ArtScene continues Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s free to get in and Rockford Mass Transit is offering free trolley rides to get around.

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