Beloit Art Center honors Sveum for his dedication
Gallery named after long-time center promoter
CLINT WOLF - Beloit Daily News
BELOIT — Jerry Sveum has been working behind the scenes and at the front door of the Beloit Art Center for over a decade, making sure the community has a place where art can be appreciated and where artists can display their works.
Now, Sveum’s name will forever be a part of the art center as the main gallery at the downtown art center was named the Sveum Gallery during a ceremony Saturday.
“We just thought it was time to honor him for all his work here,” said Dawn Stadelman, a member of the Beloit Art Center Board.
Stadelman was the board member who suggested naming the gallery after Sveum. The board unanimously approved the idea.
Gary Dencker, the current Beloit Art Center board president, said he couldn’t list all the things Sveum has done for the art center, because they are so numerous.
“He is the ultimate promoter of the art center,” Dencker said. “Jerry talked me into joining the board.”
Sveum has been a board member and a past board president for the art center. He also established relationships with area artists and art groups.
He has maintained contacts with area art teachers so student art exhibits could be put together. He has served as master of ceremonies for the First Friday artist receptions. He has hung paintings on the walls and arranged art pieces in the two galleries at the art center.
But, there is no job too small nor too menial for Sveum, Dencker said. He has been known to paint walls, plant flowers or pull weeds and work on the plumbing at the art center.
On Saturday, art center supporters, friends and family members gathered at the art center to surprise Sveum with the honor. It was a double celebration with a birthday cake being served, since Sveum will turn 80 years old on May 15.
Sveum’s two sons, Scott and Tim, attended the ceremony Saturday, as did his sister, Joanie Allison.
“He’s been curating this are center for 15 years,” said Scott Sveum, who traveled from Vail, Colorado for the event.
Sveum is well known in the community. He was a pharmacist at Grand Avenue Pharmacy, with his partner and fellow- pharmacist, Art Carl, who also was present at the gallery naming event.
Sveum said he was truly surprised by the honor.
“I thought it was a joke,” he said about his reaction to all the people turning out for him. “This is wonderful. I truly appreciate it.”
The Beloit Art Center is at 520 E. Grand Ave. It offers monthly art exhibits in the Sveum and Bell galleries as well as art and photography classes.
Kate May Fitch | Sveum Gallery
Beloit Art Center is pleased to announce the May exhibits which will open with a First Friday Gallery Reception on May 5 from 5-7pm. A gallery talk featuring the artists will be held at 6pm. Both exhibits will be open through May 25th.
The Main Gallery will feature Kate May Fitch. As an artist, Kate shows the breadth of items that fall under the umbrella of art. From bronze statues in Illinois, to painted banners in Kansas Kate encapsulates the ambiance of the American mid-west by finding the beauty in the most common. Kate has received many commissions to create larger-than-life sculptures out of bronze and fiberglass. Most recently Kate has focused on a life-size bronze statue of a Native American woman. The statue is located at Hononegah High School in Rockton, IL. Kate and her husband recently purchased the family farm and have enjoyed building a new home with their three young children.
In the Bell Gallery, we are pleased to feature the photography of Cindy Vondran. With her love of ancient history, Cindy decided to bring the classic Goddesses into the modern world in this series, using models and scenery to illustrate attributes as historically depicted in each of the mythological figures. As Cindy explains, “I find it very rewarding to incorporate my passion for history into my subject matter and hope you enjoy this exhibit.” Beloit Art Center would like to thank this month’s Main Gallery sponsor, Senz Insurance and Bell Gallery sponsor Christofferson Moving and Storage.
Cindy Vondran | Bell Gallery
In addition to exhibits at our location downtown, each quarter the Beloit Art Center also hosts work at the Beloit Public Library. The current exhibit is by John Hines, a resident artist of the Beloit Art Center. John Hines is self-taught and was born and raised in Beloit. Most of his art instruction has come from reading books, taking online classes, and working with the Beloit Art Center Thursday night open studio artist group. In 2022 John was commissioned by the City of Beloit to paint the USS Beloit for the dedication ceremony commemorating the combat ship. John has won several awards regionally and his piece Time with Dad, received a 2021 state award from the Association of Wisconsin Artists. His exhibit at BPL will be open through June.
John Hines | Beloit Public Library
Calling all young artists. Beloit Art Center is offering summer classes for students ages 8 – 18. Back by popular demand, Lynette Redner will be teaching classes in cartooning, watercolor, and acrylic painting. Pottery instructor Rebecca Rehpohl will be teaching pottery classes for teens. Anna Banwell will be offering a variety of one-day workshops including papermaking, felting, and creating a recycled art journal. Nancy Mayhew will return again this summer with two mosaic classes for kids. Visit www.beloitartcenter.com/summer-classes-for-students.html for all of the offerings and how to sign up.
This spring Beloit Art Center is excited to announce the 2023 BUTTERFLY BELOIT Fundraiser. Community members are invited to decorate a butterfly with their choice of materials and donate it to the Beloit Art Center. The butterflies will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to support community art scholarships and programming. If you would like to create a butterfly, 24” x 20” wood cutouts can be purchased for $15 at the Beloit Art Center Gift Shop. Be sure to get your butterfly soon, we expect them to go fast! If you need inspiration, Nancy Mayhew will host a free demonstration at 10 am on Saturday, May 13 in the gallery. The completed butterflies should be delivered back to the Beloit Art Center by May 31st.
Please see our website for more May classes and events, including our weekly Open Studio Art Group, which meets on Thursdays at 5:30, as well as our monthly Photography Club, which meets the second Wednesday of each month at 6 pm.
Beloit Art Center is free and open to the public and is located at 520 E. Grand Ave. in downtown Beloit. Gallery and gift shop hours are Monday 10am – 2pm, Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm.