Beloit Art Center is pleased to present the Ribordy Family Art Exhibition in February. Patriarch and blacksmith Jim Ribordy will be exhibiting alongside his daughters Jo Ribordy-Christofferson and Amy Ribordy Reese, as well as granddaughter Bailey Reese, grandson Zach Hubner-Schorsch, and grandson-in-law Phillip Schorsch. Both the Main and Bell galleries will feature the work of this talented and artistic family. A First Friday gallery reception will be held February 4, from 5 – 7 p.m. A gallery talk with the artists will be begin at 6pm.
Jim Ribordy (Patriarch of the Ribordy Clan)
Jim Ribordy has been a blacksmith for 30 years. He made it his second career after the company he created was sold in 2007. Jim, an engineer in his prior life, was the founder of RD Systems, a company that designed and built automatic assembly machines for the battery and pharmaceutical industries. After 35 years of creating machinery, he decided to start creating art in his blacksmith shop. He now spends his time blacksmithing and helping others learn the art. He has recently stepped down as president of UMBA (Upper Mid-West Blacksmith Assoc) after serving as the group’s leader for over 20 years. Each Thursday he opens his blacksmith shop to anyone interested in learning the art or just wanting to see how the work is done. Jim feels that “blacksmithing is about beating a piece of metal until it conforms to your wishes. The wonderful part is that there are as many wishes as there are blacksmiths. If the joy of creating something is art, then I am an artist.”
Jo Ribordy-Christofferson (daughter of Jim Ribordy)
Nature and Landscape Photographer, Jo Ribordy-Christofferson, started studying photography five years ago. She enjoys anything that involves being active out of doors, so photography offers her a great opportunity to be creative and be outside. She is a recent graduate of the New York Institute of Photography. Prior to her retirement from teaching at Blackhawk Technical College at the end of 2020, Jo worked in the family business as president of RD Systems until the company was sold in 2007. She lives in Clinton with her husband Scott and has two children adopted from South Korea. Her youngest child Adam is a senior at Clinton High School this year and Jo plans to travel and take photographs of many landscapes after his graduation this spring. Scott is a great travel assistant! Jo is active at the Beloit Art Center acting as treasurer, photography instructor, and photo club mentor.
Amy Ribordy Reese (daughter of Jim Ribordy)
Amy Ribordy Reese, inspired by Sister Doris Klein at Beloit Catholic High School, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI. After a semester aboard in Florence, Italy, a five-year stint traveling and working in the Scuba Industry (where she met her husband, Jeff) Amy and Jeff returned to Wisconsin. She and Jeff now have two grown children, Bailey and Ben. Throughout Amy’s life, most of her creative energy has been channeled into her family, floral design as the owner of Rindfleisch Flowers for 15 years and seasonal decoration at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. Her book, Illustrated Psalms of Praise, was published in 2006 by Liturgy Training Publications in Chicago, IL. Now retired, Amy is attempting to make the leap from color pencil/watercolor illustration to working in encaustic mixed media (painting with hot wax).
Bailey Reese (daughter of Amy Ribordy Reese)
Bailey Reese is a self-taught mixed media artist and equestrian, specializing in equine fine art focused on the American Quarter Horse. Bailey’s work has been featured in numerous galleries and juried shows including the prestigious America’s Horse in Art Exhibit held each year at the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Museum in Amarillo, TX. Recently transitioning into bronze casting after working for many years in two-dimensional traditional painting and digital art, Bailey currently resides in Florida with her husband, Matt, newborn son, Conrad, her Quarter Horses, Ellie and Allie, her dogs, Marla, Jules, Norman and Umbrella Cockatoo, Bahia.
Zach Hubner-Schorsch (grandson of Jim Ribordy)
Zach Hubner-Schorsch, a Clinton, Wisconsin native, has been interested in photography since he was a child and received his first digital camera for his 12th birthday. Today he travels with his husband, Philip, to a variety of foreign lands taking photos and sketching everything they see. Zach is a self-taught artist and often finds inspiration for his travels while looking at beautiful photos on Instagram. He will sometimes spend hours at a location that he’d only seen in pictures trying to capture the perfect shot to represent the completion of his URL to IRL journey. Recently, he has started to work in film, capturing and developing images, using the same Canon AE1 camera that both his Aunt Amy and Grandfather Jim used in their younger years. Zach often finds himself turning to art for therapy. The construction of physical pieces often helps him find understanding of his otherwise abstract feelings and thoughts. He has created two collections for the family show.
His first collection, “Hurt”, include art pieces he has made to help himself come to terms with significantly difficult times in his past. In this series you’ll notice that a few works are blurred and replaced with reflective words. Zach feels that these photos are too personal or potentially too specific in nature to be publicly displayed without alteration. The true intension of these pieces is not meant to be hurtful to others, but rather healing for himself.
His second collection entitled “Healing” are photos that place less emphasis on the construction, but rather are an attempt to capture the feeling and energy of the time and location they were taken. Each title conveys the specific feeling that was overwhelming when they were snapped. Zach feels that these moments were healing and empowering and balanced out the feelings and emotions of his “Hurt” collection.
In addition to his photography, Zach has developed an interest in creating art through acrylic pouring. He has included one acrylic pour style painting abstractly representing the classic “Yin & Yang” symbol. This piece was important to include because it represents the balance between Hurt and Healing.
Philip Schorsch (husband of Zach Hubner-Schorsch)
Philip Schorsch has always been an artist. He started sketching in the margins of his notebooks in grade school and has found art to be the best way to express his feelings and emotions. Having earned his doctorate degree in Pharmacy, his education provided him with many years of doodling during countless lectures. Philip is inspired by intricate details and how technology and identity influence art. Ever since picking up an iPad Pro and Apple pencil, he has been fascinated with the new opportunities that digital art is bringing to his whimsical and abstract visions.
His main series is an exploration in the way digital artwork can be presented in physical spaces. He views the QR codes as digital age hieroglyphs that, with the right tools and some patience, can be translated to reveal a complex image. The codes are unsaturated and utilitarian but also delicately handcrafted. This is contrasted with their lively digital counterparts. Are these digital pieces made more valid through their physical representation? What is the future of a purely digital medium?