Norm Knott creates a continual stream of art, often engaging and enlisting everyone around him to join in a life of assembling found objects.
For many years this Rockford native has been a featured artist at Charlene’s Gallery Ten in Gills Rock. Norm also teaches what he calls, “earth-friendly art courses” to children and adults, combining traditional assemblage techniques with the use of recyclables, biodegradables and natural materials from the outdoors. He likes to see kids and grownups break the rules and get their hands dirty.
But it wasn’t that long ago that this award-winning artist worked as the decorator at Value City Furniture. When his boss decided to toss out a very large plastic Buddha that had arrived as packing filler with a furniture order from Japan, Norm leaped at the opportunity to re-purpose the object. He took it to his studio and covered every square inch with jewels and hundreds of tiny paper scrolls derived from Chinese newspapers. The Buddha eventually became the centerpiece of a meditative installation at the Freeport Art Museum.
Norm explains, “I have received 22 professional, community, and art awards in the last fourteen years. I have been nominated three times for the Rockford Mayor’s Arts Award,” and this year he finally won that acclimation, no doubt due to the attention garnered by the Buddha.
Eventually the Freeport, Illinois show closed, but the Buddha installation has now acquired a new resting spot in Door County. On Saturday, May 7, Charlene’s Gallery Ten opens for the 2011 Art season with a new centerpiece, a room on the first floor dedicated to showcasing Norm’s Buddha and his art derived from natural objects.
There are a series of upcoming events planned throughout the season as well. On May 28, from 3-5 pm author, artist and musician Debbie Clement will be featured in a book signing for her latest publication, “Red, White and Blue,” accompanied by refreshments and her talent as a guitarist.
Artist Ray Kapfamer will present a one-day, plein aire workshop on July 9 at the gallery, painting with participants in the surrounding woods. The workshop will begin with a demonstration of the contemporary approach to landscape painting which Kapfamer practices. Pastels and oils will both be used to demonstrate Ray’s approach to the use of color, value and materials to create energetic and colorful landscapes. After a lunch break, Ray will work with each individual as they paint outdoors.
There are also a number of new artists represented this year with a series of dedicated shows and opening receptions coming later in the season. Charlene’s Gallery Ten represents over 100 artists in a gallery collection that is contemporary, original and eclectic, opening daily from 10 AM to 5 PM at 12625 Hwy 42 in Gills Rock.
GT Coffee, complements the gallery, serving espresso drinks and Door County cherry pie by-the-slice daily from 8 AM to 5 PM. Telephone 920.854.9907 for further information on class reservations of visit on-line at www.GalleryTen.com.